We stayed at the Lagos State VIP chalets. The complex had its own dock on the creek that we had traveled to get to Badagry -- the creek is an inland waterway that runs on the other side of the narrow peninsula going parallel to the Atlantic Ocean coastline (does that make sense?). Each of these chalets was divided into 2 suites, each with a bedroom, living area and bathroom. The hotel had been described as about a half star hotel, but I didn't think it was that bad. It was nothing fancy, but was clean and they turned on the power at night, and it had running water.
I'm going to write a separate post for each day on this trip -- I took lots of pictures. After checking into the hotel on Friday, we took the van our tour guide arranged to downtown Badagry where the folk festival performances were taking place that afternoon. We had seats under the tent with the chiefs -- being the only white people in town guarantees VIP status.
We sat in the row right behind this row of chiefs. The head oba, the Akran of Badagry, was in the middle and all the performers would come and bow to him before and/or after their performances.
There was music and dancing...
The audience would periodically join the performers and everyone loved it when one of our group -- an oyibo -- went out and joined the celebration. She became the most photographed performer in the whole festival that day and she was recognized and hailed by the residents during the rest of our visit.
There was this masquerader with this really big draped costume. It was kind of cool (to watch, I mean -- for him it had to be awfully hot in there!).
I thought it was kind of funny that under this elaborate costume, the dancer was wearing Nike tennis shoes.
This little girl saw me taking pictures of people carrying things on their heads and she grabbed a box from the street and walked by me deliberately, looking back to make sure I was catching her picture.
That evening we attended the festival "gala" dinner which was not really very "gala," but we enjoyed getting to know the other B.P.s and participating in a different kind of cultural experience. The dinner was on typical Nigerian standard time -- with food served almost 2 hours later than scheduled. The speeches were too long and the comedian was untelligible, the food was barely edible -- but we enjoyed being there and visiting with new friends and reviewing our interesting afternoon in Badagry.