Thursday, November 26, 2009
As an aside, Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Nigeria. But this year the Muslim Sallah has fallen on Thursday and Friday so we actually have a 4-day weekend, just like many of our American friends. Last year we also happened to get Thanksgiving Day off because of a local election, but then the next day chaos reigned as riots erupted throughout our city.
Back to the story...I've been running out of everything lately: toilet paper, dish soap, flour, sugar, etc. It was obviously time to take a trip to the bulk foods section of the market. In fact, the last time I was there was in May before I traveled to the US. I bought 96 rolls of toilet paper then, and we just ran out now. A couple months ago I tried to get into the market, but the traffic was just too heavy. Because of that, I was trying to be very strategic in planning my next attempt to the bulk foods market. I really figured that an early morning run on a public holiday would be a great time to go. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Huge tractor trailers full of 50 kilo bags of flour, rice, sugar, or boxes of soap completely blocked off the road, while their goods were off-loaded onto the heads of strong young men. The men have this running-walk that they use when carrying such heavy loads. Just stay out of their way when they're coming through.
I saw a couple of tempers flare up throughout the busy market area, probably similar to some altercations which will occur during the U.S. "Black Friday."
There was a great deal of hustling and bustling. Things seem to move faster in this market than in any other market in Jos. Anyone who sells retail food provisions throughout Jos buys from this market. It wasn't the holiday that made it busy; it's just this way every day. Actually I'm sure Sundays would be a bit slower, but the market would still be open.
My neighbor went with me so I could introduce her to this side of town and this type of buying. We both had pretty extensive lists. We went to one shop, about 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, and told the shopkeeper what we wanted to buy. Then he went around getting everything for us. If he didn't have it in his shop, then he would get it from his neighbors. It took quite awhile because other customers were constantly coming in and interrupting our transactions.
Finally, we had everything we wanted in a huge pile outside the shop's entrance. I hired a young man to put the load in his 'truck' which is a cart that can hold about 3 times as much as a wheelbarrow. He headed down the street towards our vehicle with the load. My neighbor, Lily and I took another route along the frontage of the shops. When we saw our car, we were surprised that the 'truck' hadn't yet arrived. I went back to search and found that they were stuck in the middle of a huge traffic jam. There was really nothing to do but wait for the jam to somehow sort itself out. I have never seen that place so congested before.
So much for my proposed peaceful outing to the market! But at least with all of the shopping I did today, another trip shouldn't be necessary until February!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tonight I read a story about albinos in East Africa which has turned my stomach. I pray that this horrific idea doesn't travel to the other side of the continent. Click here for the story.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The family behind this foundation has adopted three daughters from Romania. Tragically, one of their daughters was killed in a car/horse carriage accident in 2008. The family has come to Nigeria on a missions trip.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The woven shiny white/silver/maroon fabric is called aso oke (pronounced ASHO-kay). Aso oke is produced by the Yoruba tribe. My neighbor graciously allowed me to cut some blossoms from her poinsettia tree in her front yard.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I was fully engaged in giving an extensive tour of the ministry and providing lunch to 8 visitors from the US--until I got a call from David's school.
I met a missionary doctor in the hospital, and she greatly streamlined the process of getting David's x-rays. Amazingly, we were out of the hospital within an hour. Under other circumstances, we could have been there for hours. Cost so far: $17.
Thankfully David's break is quite minor, and the bone does not need to be set. We don't know yet if he will get a cast; for now he's in a sling. He is amazingly chipper and hasn't even needed any pain medication.
David's experience brought back memories of when Tobi was 6 and broke his arm diving out of a treehouse window which was about 6 feet off the ground. In David's case, he was swinging on a 6 foot bar at the playground with one hand, lost his grip and landed on his elbow. So both of my boys broke their left arms while they were in kindergarten.
Let's just hope Lily doesn't follow in her brothers' footsteps!
With her permission, I'm sharing part of what she wrote to me:
Hi Mary Beth,
But the story doesn't end there. Apparently, when the kids graduate from this school, they are presented with a quilt as a blessing to wrap around them and take with them to college. But for some reason, this girl never got her quilt.....until her funeral.....she got to have your quilt as a blessing for her going home.
For a previous blog post about the quilt, click here:
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thanks to my menu plan on the fridge, we had an enjoyable, tasty meal tonight. I haven't made Lil Cheddars for quite awhile, but when I looked through my recipe box, I remembered that they had been popular with the kids. I'm not really a fan of meatloaf, but my kids all really like it. This one is a little more exciting because it has cheese in it. I think our cheddar (imported from Europe) is pretty mild because I couldn't really taste it. Before we started our meal, David had his fork and knife in hand, and said, "I'm ready to attack!" I enjoy it when my kids enjoy my food.
And to think that the darkness is going to come progressively earlier for the next 6 weeks. The other day someone said to me, "I like to think of Dec. 21 as the first day of Spring because the days start getting longer from that point."
We are about 8-10 degrees north of the equator so our daylight hours only fluctuate about 1 hour at the beginning and end of each day as the seasons change.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
As a child, I never really played with dolls. I didn't dream of becoming a mother one day. I figured I would have kids one day--just because that's what most people do. But I also could have easily missed motherhood simply because I didn't think it was important to me.
I didn't realize I was entering a sacred profession that would forever change my life. Now, standing on the vista of 40, I wish I would have started younger and had more children. I can't imagine a bigger blessing in life. I love being a mom!
I have a friend who turned 35 today and also announced that she is pregnant with their 7th child. By the way, she and her husband also have 7 adopted Liberian children. Their oldest child is 13 years old. I'm so grateful that this family has provided a loving home for these children from a war-ravaged nation. At least one daughter has hepatitis and another accidentally drank lye as a small child, resulting in a severely scarred and constricted esophagus.
Thanks to a couple of my cousins, I learned that November is National Adoption Month in the U.S. and that today is Orphan Sunday in the U.S.
While looking for more info on the internet, I found this: "Before reaching the United States, the vision for Orphan Sunday was birthed in Africa, where there are more than 80 million orphans – 12 million of which lost their parents to AIDS, according to the United Nations. The U.N. Children’s Fund predicts that by 2010, half of the orphans in Africa will be orphaned because of AIDS." (Christian Post)
I discovered that the U.S. has honored National Adoption Month ever since 1990.
Now that Lily's adoption is actually in progress, I find myself wondering if there might be another adoption in store for our family. We'll pray and leave that in the Lord's hands.