Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving in Nigeria

We are doing well here.  We are trying to figure out what we can do to make a little difference.  
The needs are overwhelming.

We have discovered why the men are so old here when they get married.  There is something called a "bride price".  The man must pay a very large amount of money to the bride's family if he wants to marry.  Besides that he must pay for all the costs of weddings...(plural).  Each village that the families are associated with have special ceremonies and celebrations that the groom must also pay for.  Then on top of that, he must pay for an apartment for a year in advance (anyone who rents an apartment must do so).  There is no credit, cars must be paid for entirely.  There are no such things as car payments or loans.

We are loving this country and the people here.  We are actually beginning to understand what most people are saying.  Despite the poverty, there is a strong spirit of hope.  The people are loving and caring and families are everything to them.

We were invited to a wedding and found that we needed to purchase material from the bride's friend.  Evidently, everyone at the wedding wears a dress or shirt made from the same fabric.  The bride told us that this is the tradition.   A lady came over this evening and took our measurements.  Besides our usual activities working in the mission we went shopping on Friday in an area where artists display their wares.  We purchased a mask and some African figures.  I think we will go back as the prices were fairly reasonable and the art work was amazing.  On our way to the art area on a busy long bridge one of our tires blew...and completely shredded.  We will send pictures next week.  Elwood was out directing traffic.  We also bought 150 roll on deodorants at a local store to give to the missionaries as part of their Christmas present.  (As I have mentioned before, this is needed!)

Thanksgiving was quite different this year.  The night before we went with the mission president and his wife along with the other senior missionary couples to the Sheraton Hotel for dinner.  It was delicious...and the first time we have been to a real restaurant since we have been here as we are not encouraged to go 
out at night.

We put up a Charlie Brown Christmas tree on a little table in our apartment.  It actually is quite cheery.

Elwood has spent a lot of time checking out missionary apartments to see what needs to be done to make them more livable.  We have both been working with the mission president to assist him in what needs to be done to help make the mission more successful.

We love you all,
Penny and Elwood

Off-loading sand from sand barges.  They dredge where the river and ocean meet, load it on barges, off-load and sell

Plantain: a large fruit in the banana family cooking on a stove.  This is a very popular African food item.

Large tubers or yams, basic to the African diet. 

Penny and our shopping guide Freida at the huge shopping area called Balogun.

Moving product in Balogun.  Many "streets" are too narrow for a vehicle. 

Shoppers and two cars... even worse.

Now this is a crowd!

This is really dressing for work.

Carrying merchandise to stores 

Happy mother with child

Woman roasting corn at a shopping area in Maryland, which is a suburb of Lagos.

Penny purchased a basket

The roads are always muddy and rutted in the suburbs.

Festac Stake Center, quite nice on the outside. 

Elwood with the missionaries in Festac

Senior missionaries, President and Sister Adebayo, and Victor, the regional facilities manager,
after Thanksgiving eve dinner at the Sheraton Hotel - an unusual night out.

1 comment:

  1. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and seeing all the sights of Nigeria. What an adventure! We know you will make a difference there. Love you, Dan & Ann