Friday, February 04, 2011

The 252nd good thing about Lagos: an chance to be a small part of making someone's life easier

I was very glad to arrive safely back in Lagos last Sunday evening.  I am especially glad that Lagos is right now a more peaceful place than Cairo.  It's been amazing how quickly Cairo descended into chaos.  When we visited there a couple of years ago, Egypt seemed much more functional than Nigeria.  My friends who moved to Cairo from Lagos last year have had to evacuate, leaving their home.  Not very long ago, I would have put the odds of us having to evacuate much greater than their odds.  But I'm hoping this African reform/ revolution contagion will not spread to Nigeria.  There are presidential elections scheduled for April, and there is generally some upheaval and turmoil before elections here, but hopefully the Nigerians will let their voices be heard in the ballot box and they won't resort to demonstrations on the street.

A week before I returned to Lagos, I got an email from a friend who helps the American Women Club support a local charity.  The club has helped Mama Theresa and Ife Oluwa  for a long time and Mama was in need of a wheelchair.  I sent out an email to some friends, asking if anyone had an unneeded wheelchair that they could donate.  I also started looking on CraigsList to see if there was an affordable used one to buy, and I checked with the airlines to see what it would take to transport one back as extra baggage.  I found that there were used wheelchairs available at quite good prices, but before I purchased one, I got an email back from a friend that he had a wheelchair that he would give to me.  After some emails and phone calls, it seemed that KLM would be willing to transport the wheelchair even if I wasn't in need of it, though I wasn't sure till I got to the airport if they would charge me the $200 extra baggage fee.  In the end, there was no charge and no hassle.  I brought the wheelchair out to Mama Theresa this morning and she was thrilled.  She had just gotten out of the hospital on Wednesday, suffering from malaria, and she was still quite weak.  The wheelchair will be a tremendous help to her.  I was so glad to be a part of this chain of giving -- a friend who knew of Mama's need and another friend who had a wheelchair waiting to give and an airline who brought it across the ocean.   I haven't done any big things to make things better in Nigeria, but there's a lot of satisfaction that comes from being a small part of a chain of giving that makes one person's life easier.


Judy A. said...

What do you mean you haven't done big things to improve life in Lagos??? You are selling yourself short, Carolee. My hat is off to you!

lovintheempteenest said...

What a great story . . I'm going to print it and send it to Colby. I know missionaries can related to being a small part of a chain of giving.