We arrived in Lagos, Nigeria 24 hours after we left Salt Lake City. Of course there is a 7 hour difference. When we left Atlanta after somewhat of a delay, we noticed most of the passengers were Nigerian. Presuming they were going home. After 11 1/2 hours flying time – the plane started to desend for landing. The plane became somewhat quiet but when we touched down the whole plane started cheering and yelling and clapping. We thought they were happy to be home. But later we found that two weeks before had been a bad plane crash in Lagos – so everyone was cheering because we landed safely. Of course so were we. But the adventures just began. We were the first people in line to go through customs, but because we were white they held onto our passports and eventually everyone had gone through customs but us. So we had to go from counter to counter to get our passport finally an hour and 1/2 later we got it so we could get our luggage. It is a very confusing unorganized terminal. But we were lucky enough Elder & Sister Baker came to get us. Usually no one can come into the terminal but because they know Elder Baker they let him come in and help us get our luggage. Then we had to pull our luggage to the parked car – There were shoulder to shoulder people in the parking lot (a dirt parking lot) and everyone wanted us to exchange our US dollars for Nigerian Nera but we just kept walking. A man approached us saying he was the police and that we had to pay him before we could leave the paking area. Sister Baker said to him “you are not the police – you don’t have a uniform – so we will not pay” She told us to just get in the car and ignore him” Wow that was a little nerve racking. We had a long drive to the Mission Home where our Apartment is because of traffic. Traffic is undescribable – two lanes with 4 cars across, a majority not on the road but on the shoulders. We are probably only inches from each other – all the way. Finally we reached the Mission Home Compound. It is completely walled in gates with guards to let us in.. The grounds are beautiful well manicured. When we drove up Pres & Sis Karkari, Elder & Sister Johnansen, two office Elders were there to meet us. Such a wonderful warm welcome. Now there are 6 white Missionaries in the Nigeria Missions – 4 missions altogether. Then up to our apartment, everyone helping us carry our luggage. The apartment is very nice – it is small but clean and bug free (as of right then). We are on the second floor in 202. The Bakers and Johansen’s and Karkari’s are on the 3rd floor. Of course no elevators because the electricity goes out at 5-6 times a day and who would want to be stuck in an elevator. We will get good exercise. It is only 2 flights of stairs. Our apartment was made so comfortable and homey – there was some food in the fridge, canned food and we were invited to the Presidents apartment for dinner. How much better could it get. Just a couple of rules we need to remember. Only drink bottled water and water from the filter not out of the tap. You can shower and do laundry with tap water. The stove is gas but must be lighted with a lighter. We even have a stackable washer and dryer and a TV. This is pretty classy. Be must be in the building by dark because the Malaria mosquitos come out at night until dawn and of course the malaria ones are female. Also for other safety reasons we stay in at night. The story will continue,. but a few pictures first..
Yes! even the eggs have to be Jek (Clorox/water bath)
What we take for granted in the U.S. is not what is real life here in Nigeria – All vegetables and fruits we buy at the market (out door markets) have to be washed in soapy water – rinsed and then soaked in a clorox/water bath for 15 minutes. We don’t drink the water from the tap- we use a filtration system that we drink from. We do shower with the water in the system. We brush our teeth with bottle water that we keep in the bathroom ( or else we would forget and use the tap water). The kitchen is very small and so two people cannot be in there at the same time and by my vote Brent is the King of the kitchen and he does a spectacular job. I think he has inherited his mom’s ability to cook and make it taste good. I do the jeking and he does most of the cooking. It truly is a team effort.
water for the teeth – no shelves – so guess what the bottle sits on?
Life is not dull here in Nigeria. We have had many opportunities to be of service and learn more about the way of life in Nigeria. The particular Saturday we are talking about was August 18, 2012. At the 6:30 am we met at the Church to do a service project.
The Area Presidency set up what was called “All Africa Day”. Which meant all church members were to be of service for free. To go to areas and clean them up. Each ward, branch, stake and district had an area assigned to go and clean. Anyway, we were assigned a medical clinic ( here in lagos all medical facilities are called Hospitals). You have to understand that the standards of clean and dirty is a different terminalogy than we understand. The hospital was about 30 minutes away – when we arrived the hospital was all walled in but the grounds were full of trash – old cars, car parts, garbage, dirty diapers, clothes, shoes, everything you can think of was on the grounds. Yes we did wear gloves! What it looked like was everyone just stepped out the door threw their trash in the yard. In the U.S. the clinic would have been closed down. We finished about 10:00am there was probably 50 people. We forgot our camera so the other couple has pictures they will give us so we can post. Leading up to that day – the News and TV stations did a press conference at our Stake Center. We were interviewed by the TV station and several members saw us on TV but of course we didn’t see it. Wait there is more. Because we were close to our apartment we could drive ourselves. If it is a questionable area or more than a half hour away we have to have a Nigerian to drive us. We use our car but he drives. Anyway a little excitement keeps your heart pumping, on our way home we took the wrong turn and so to get on the right road we followed another car that went on a road under the freeway Brent and I were in the front and the Jennings (the other couple here)were in the back seat in seat belts. While going under the freeway some of the highway police about 6 of them(which are very corrupt) stopped us and wanted us to roll down our window and get out. We had been warned about this could happen. So with Brent trying to wind his window down he hit the car lock and one of the police tried to get in the back. Sister Jennings was on the side he tried to get in. She refused to move and so he was trying to sit on her by this time Brent was backing up and we were telling hm to get out of our car. The policeman said your running over my foot so we said get out. Finally he gave up and got out and we just drove away very quickly. We were all saying WOW! that was an experience. The Lord does protect us. Sorry we had no picture of that either.