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[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary

11/2/2008

Visiting Marebec

Filed under: friends,philippines,rtw,travel — kevin @ 11:13

After Vigan I had the long bus ride back to Manila, another night at Friendly’s Guesthouse and then boarded a disturbingly rattly old 737 for the Air Philippines flight to Cagayan de Oro city, Marebec’s hometown. The approach to the runway at CdO was especially interesting, with the plan veering from side to side as the pilot apparently kept overshooting and then overcorrecting.

Marebec met me at the airport with her niece and took me back to her parents’ house. We went into town, where we kept bumping into people Marebec knows, met her sister and had dinner at a restaurant there.

The next morning we took a bus to Malaybalay in Bukidnon province, where we met Tanya (another former VSO) and her friend Mavic (a former colleague of Tanya’s) at a nice café. There are some nice caves in the area, so the following day we took various buses and jeepneys to reach the ‘blue water’ cave.
Tanya and Mavic lying on a bed, Marebec sitting on a chair. A cave with bright blue water flowing through it. A river of muddy water, with some bright blue water flowing in from one side.

The next destination on Marebec’s plan was Camiguin island, just off the coast near Cagayan de Oro. We took an early bus to the port, then a very slow and rusty old ferry across to the island. We ended up staying at the Caves Dive Resort, their cheapest room was right by the beach (admittedly with a shared toilet and no air-con). We spent the afternoon lounging around or in my case mixing lounging around with trying to get through to Qantas’s office in Manila. On our second day on the island we hired a ‘multicab’ (a small truck with a minibus body built on the back) to take us around the island. Highlights were the Santo Niño Cold Water Spring (nice for swimming but quite cold), the ruins of a church destroyed by a local volcano and the Ardent Hot Spring, where we stayed for the night. On the way back from Camiguin we were incredibly lucky and saw some dolphins.
A rusty old ship sits in port.  In the distance behind it is a conical island. The ruins of a church cast shadows in smoky air.  Vivid green plants grow all around.

Back in CdO we had a free day to do laundry, drink coffee, do a bit of shopping and buy tickets back to Manila. Then in the evening Marebec picked us up and took us to the company she works for: MORESCO UNO. As the culmination of their company sports competition they were having a cheer-dancing competition and Tanya and I had been roped in as judges. It was one of the more surreal evenings of my life, sitting watching teams of electrical company staff performing their dance routines and having to award points.
A group of people in blue and white uniforms and white gloves dancing. A group of people in red and white uniforms dancing.

On our remaining days in CdO we went to see “Sweeney Todd” at the cinema and spent a morning rafting on the Cagayan river. Then I had a much less worrying flight with Cebu Pacific back to Manila.
Marebec and Tanya standing in front of a jeepney with three rafts piled on its roof. Six people and a guide in a rubber raft paddling through rapids.

8/2/2008

Mindanao

Filed under: friends,philippines,rtw,travel — kevin @ 03:46

I’ve been visiting Marebec in Mindanao for the last week, Tanya is also around so it’s a little former-VSO-Nigeria reunion.

We’ve spent a few days in Malaybalay and another couple of days on Camiguin island. There are photos but I’ve not had a chance to upload them yet. In fact I might not get around to it until I’m back in Scotland.

On Monday I’m planning to fly back to Manila then catch a bus up to Baguio to start a bit of a tour round Northern Luzon. If all goes according to plan this will include the rice terraces in Batad and Banaue and some time in Sagada. For any remaining days I’ll try to find somewhere peaceful and relaxing before heading back to Manila and flying home.

13/1/2008

Lee and Hannah’s wedding

Filed under: australia,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 00:18

This has taken me a while to upload, because I’ve been travelling around Tasmania for the week since the wedding and haven’t been able to get on the internet.

The wedding was great, fantastic weather down on the beach and really relaxed. Hannah and Lee looked like they were really enjoying themselves and I think all the guests did too.

Anyway, here are the pictures (if you hover the mouse pointer over a picture you should get a short caption):
A curving beach of golden sand. Hannah, in her bridal gown, looks over her shoulder toward her bridesmaids. Hannah and Lee standing on the beach in front of the wedding celebrant. Hannah and Lee hold hands. Hannah and Lee kiss in front of the wedding celebrant. Hannah sits on a bench in a wooden shelter to sign the wedding register, Lee is standing behind her. Lee wraps one arm around Hannah while he cuts the wedding cake (a pyramid of profiteroles) with the other.

You can browse all the wedding pictures I took.

30/11/2007

Sailing and skiing

Filed under: canada,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 08:49

It’s my last night in Vancouver. I’m having trouble typing, since last post I’ve been sailing (although no wind) and snowboarding (but falling over a lot). Here are some pictures:
Adrian to the left of picture, in the cockpit of a yacht, against the sky. A beginner (me) snowboarding badly, snow falling between the camera and subject.

27/11/2007

Around Vancouver

Filed under: canada,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 03:16

I’ve been getting out of Vancouver a bit over the weekend.

On Saturday Mo (another former Nigerian VSO) collected me and we took the ferry across to the Sunshine Coast. A friend of hers has a house there, where we spent Saturday night. We had a couple of nice meals, wandered around a bit and caught up on all the news since we last saw each other in Nigeria.
Mo standing in front of a body of water, mountains in the background. Sea and mountains, in the distance a white ferry is coming towards the camera.

Today Dugly and I took a fairly long trip for a bath. In the forests near Harrison, along various rough logging tracks there’s a lovely little hot spring, undeveloped apart from some hot tubs and decking. It was lovely sitting in the hot water and looking out at the trees and snow-topped mountains. The way back was less relaxing, various traffic holdups and torrential rain.
Dugly stands in front of a mud spattered Land Rover Discovery.  Snow lies on the ground and there are trees all around. A large wooden tub, full of clear steaming water sits among rocks and trees.

23/11/2007

More Vancouver pictures

Filed under: canada,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 00:36

The weather has been lovely over the past few days, although a bit on the cold side.

I’ve been out and about a bit, visiting some of the museums and walking through more of Stanley Park.
A carved wooden totem pole with outstretched arms stands in front of a high concrete bridge. Across an expanse of water stand a crowd of tall apartment blocks, in the background mountains tower over them. A raccoon sits on the parapet of a bridge. Looking up at the canopy of tall trees, sunlight streams through the branches.

The raccoon was just at the entrance to the park. Locals obviously feed the animals there as they were all very tame and approaching people looking for food.

21/11/2007

Vancouver

Filed under: canada,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 00:28

Yesterday I flew back from Kelowna to Vancouver, going from a dry -7°C to a warmer and wetter place.

I met Adrian’s girlfriend Amy at her work, dropped off my big bag and set off for a wander to occupy some time. I only got as far as the big public library around the corner, which had the benefits of being warm and dry and having internet.

Once Amy had finished work we headed for the apartment, in the West End of Vancouver. Amy then took me for a walk to show me the neighbourhood and we had dinner at a Greek restaurant nearby.

This morning—after a nice lie-in— I did some washing then wandered into central Vancouver to buy some new rechargeable batteries for my digital camera.

The apartment is quite close to Stanley Park, so I went for a walk round the sea wall, which has only recently reopened after severe storm damage last year. It’s a lovely walk, especially on a cold, clear day like today. The first picture shows an apartment block near the park; the tree apparently represents the height of the trees that used to be in that area. The second picture is of ships waiting to enter the port.
A modern apartment block topped with a  tree, against a clear blue sky. A line of large cargo ships against the horizon.  In the foreground birds fly low across the water.

These pictures show a view along the sea wall, Siwash Rock and the Lions’ Gate.
A path with pedestrians leads from the bottom right to the centre of the picture, above it and to the right is a bluff with a few trees.  In the background hills covered in trees and houses rise from the water. A rock spire with a tree on top stands in water.  Mountains in the background. A green-painted suspension bridge is directly overhead going from top to bottom of the picture.  The bridge is seen between the spars of one of its towers.

18/11/2007

Kelowna

Filed under: canada,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 19:15

The past few days I’ve been staying with Tammie at her house in Kelowna, British Columbia. It’s a nice town by the side of a huge lake and is apparently popular with people wanting to escape the rain in Vancouver.

I spent most of Friday wandering around town, starting with an early-morning walk along the lakeshore.
On the left a path stretches off, dotted with benches.  On the right a view across a lake to mountains on the far side. In the foreground stand two trees with orange leaves, between them is a view across a lake to a marina, high apartment blocks and a hill.

The town is mostly quite low-rise, with quite a few nice old houses dotted around the streets. I visited the Okanagan Heritage Museum and the BC Orchard Industry Museum and went on a tour of the local brewery.

Yesterday Tammie and I went on a tour of a few of the local wineries: St. Hubertus, Cedar Creek and Summerhill Pyramid (that’s where the pictures were taken). On the tour of Summerhill I had to bite my tongue as they explained how their pyramid-shaped cellar and its magic powers improve their wine.
Tammie standing in front of a large globe, half-sunk into the ground. Behind her is a lake and mountains.

16/11/2007

Stirling to Canada

Filed under: canada,friends,rtw,travel — kevin @ 15:17

I’m sitting in Tammie’s house typing this as I eat my breakfast, after a good nights sleep.

Early yesterday morning I left Stirling with Mum and Dad, heading for Edinburgh airport. The start of a long day of airports and flying. I’d allowed plenty of time at Heathrow, in case of delays, so I ended up hanging around there for several hours. I’d bought access to the Servisair lounge in Terminal 1, so had somewhere pleasant to sit and something to eat and drink. Unfortunately, they only allow you in three hours before your departure time and my flight started boarding well before that so I only got two hours for my £18, not sure if it was worth it.

The flight from Heathrow to Vancouver seemed endless. The food was good (sausages and mash) and they’ve now introduced video-on-demand, so I could watch films and TV programmes until my attention span dropped to the point where I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I managed to doze for about half an hour and then woke up with the usual stiff neck.

Vancouver airport seems very new and shiny, lots of sculptures, nice wood panelling and a few water features. A lot of construction still seems to be going on. The immigration staff were polite and friendly, lots of questions about what I’m doing in Canada but that’s fair enough. Then I had to check in at the domestic terminal and sit and wait for my flight to Kelowna. By this point I was in that weird state that seems to happen after too much flying and not enough sleep, everything seemed a bit surreal, especially as the airport was mostly empty.

Today’s plan is to wander around town, see if I can persuade one of the Canadian mobile networks to sell me a pay-as-you-go SIM and buy a few supplies.

25/9/2007

Getting ready to leave

Filed under: friends,VSO — kevin @ 08:42

At the weekend I had a small goodbye party in Kaduna. Marion and Monique were around and Helen and Julia came through from Akwanga and Jos.

We went to the NAF club on Friday night; for a hike near NTI on Saturday; to PDP Saturday evening and had a lovely buffet lunch at the French Café on Sunday.

At the end of Saturday’s hike we were all hot and desperate for a mineral, so we stopped at a small shop in Rigacikun. Within minutes a huge crowd of children surrounded us, watching our every move with great interest. The shopkeeper occasionally tried to chase them off but they always came back straight away.

I’ll see if I can borrow some photos from one of the others to add to this post.

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