I had a busy end to last week, with a huge crowd of VSOs descending on NTI for the northeast Nigerian patch meeting. These meetings are an opportunity for volunteers in each of the four ‘patches’ (NW, NE, SW, SE) to get together and discuss issues affecting them. In this case it was an opportunity for me to meet some of the new volunteers who arrived just as I was heading off to the UK.
We got some security information from VSO, mostly what they were planning to do in the run-up to the presidential election, and passed on our concerns on some things. It was also Jenny’s opportunity to pass on the mantle of being the patch representative. Due to some interesting rules only two of us were valid candidates and I was elected, interesting to see that Aine has also been lumbered with the job.
I’d had an especially day on Thursday, with Jenny and Irma arriving at lunchtime and a reception for Prince Charles in the afternoon. I managed to direct Jenny and Irma to the market and then it was time to put on a tie and hang around waiting at Arewa House. Prince Charles did the wandering around shaking hands and talking to people briefly, then there were the speeches. It has to be said that the Emir of Zazzau’s entourage (at least twenty of them, in very colourful outfits) were much more impressive than the Prince’s Special Branch escort.
The rest of the weekend was good fun, getting to know the new people and seeing old friends again. Even more fun was trying to get a party of twelve to fourteen volunteers around Kaduna by public transport!