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[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary


Information for visitors

Filed under: travel,VSO — kevin @ 12:59

Just in case anyone is thinking of coming out to visit me here in Nigeria I’ve added a page with some advice.

Let me know if there’s any other information you think should be on that page.


Trip to Jos

Filed under: friends,VSO — kevin @ 15:46

Karen (from Jos) and Jenny (from Akwanga) stayed over at our house after the Queen’s birthday reception at the British High Commission on Friday.

On Saturday morning we were sitting around the house after breakfast when Karen suggested we all go back to Jos with her. As the alternative was a day of washing and shopping we decided to go.

We travelled by taxi, bus and motorbike to Karu motor park, to the south-east of Abuja. The left-hand picture shows Karen, Jenny and Marebec at the motor park while we were waiting for our car to fill up. The other picture is a random landscape shot from near Jos.
Picture of the girls waiting at Karu motor park Landscape photo of the plateau near Jos

Jos (short for “Jesus Our Saviour”) is the capital of Plateau State and has quite a pleasant climate due to its altitude (1295m), noticeably cooler than Abuja. Karen has a huge house but a very unreliable electricity supply, although we were quite lucky while we were there. After some shopping at the market, ice cream and a lovely pizza at a local Lebanese-owned restaurant we went back to the house for board games by candlelight.

Back in Abuja I had a huge pile of washing to do and some work to prepare for Monday, as well as the final of the “Paddy Cup” pool competition at the British Village tonight.


House pictures

Filed under: VSO — kevin @ 10:18

I promised some pictures of the house, so here they are.

Today was a public holiday so I spent most of it cleaning my bathroom. After that it was still nice outside so I took some pictures of the house:
Picture of the house, from the kitchen end
To the left you can see one of our two water tanks and behind that the fuel tank for the large generator for Radio House.


House, weather and social activities

Filed under: VSO — kevin @ 08:13

Updated: Added a picture of the rain.

We’re settling in to the house, developing a bit of a routine. We keep thinking of extra things we need to buy and Admin have a list of things that need to be fixed (lights and plumbing mostly) but it’s quite comfortable now.

The weather has been changing recently. It’s still very hot but we’ve had occasional heavy showers, usually accompanied by lightning. Last night I was out pumping water to our upper tank when a cool breeze sprang up, lightning was visible on the horizon and ten minutes later it started to rain. It didn’t last long, we probably caught the edge of heavier rain elsewhere in town. Here’s a picture from my office during one of the downpours:
Picture of heavy rain shower at Radio House, big raindrops bouncing off cars

On the social side of things I’ve been up to the British Village a couple of times to take part in Ronan’s pool competition (the “Paddy Cup”). I got knocked out in my first game but I’m into the semi-finals of the shield competition (for the losers). A couple of people are coming to stay on Friday, all the VSOs seem to have been invited to the celebrations of the Queen’s birthday at the British High Commissioner’s residence. I’m looking forward to a glass of nice red wine.


Moving in

Filed under: VSO — kevin @ 11:26

We’ve finally moved into the house!

On Monday the Director of Administration and Finance told us that the house was ready, so we arranged to move in on Tuesday.

It’s a nice little bungalow behind Radio House, in between it and Army Headquarters. We have a living room (with air con), a reasonably big kitchen with a dual gas-electric cooker and two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. The bedrooms also have air con, TV and a CD player, all very luxurious.

There have been a few snags.

The main problem has been with our water supply. When we moved in we had a full tank of water, unfortunately it’s the lower tank and the pump that moves water up to the upper tank hadn’t been wired up.

Yesterday the pump was wired up and the upper tank filled, I was so happy I started cleaning the (filthy) kitchen. It turns out that there are some leaks in the water system, a few hours later the tank was empty again. This means waiting for the water company to refill the lower tank, which usually happens during the night.

This morning I worked out that the float valves in both toilet cisterns are faulty, so lots of our water is flowing straight down the drain. In the meantime we have two buckets that we can fill from a tap in the compound, one for flushing toilets and washing and the other for processing into drinking water.

Tonight we’re having a housewarming party, Marebec is spending the afternoon making snacks and we bought two crates of soft drinks (“minerals” here).

I’ll post some pictures of the house once we’ve cleaned it all up and it looks respectable.


Singing in Utako

Filed under: VSO — kevin @ 17:00

Today Marebec, Cocoy and I went out to visit some Filipino ex-pats living in Utako (an area of Abuja out to the west).

I hadn’t realised that going along would not only involve playing scrabble (and losing) but joining in with karaoke. This was a painful experience for everyone but they insisted that I sing, twice.

Here’s a picture of Marebec singing (she’s really good):
Marebec singing


Contact form temporarily down

Filed under: site — kevin @ 09:37

The good news is that I have internet access at work again, the bad news is that some spamming scumbags seem to be trying to use the contact form on this site to send junk mail.

I don’t think it’s working, it all seems to be ending up in my inbox instead, but I’ve disabled the contact form until I can be sure I’m not acting as an unwitting intermediary for these vermin.

Update: the contact form is back up again, the attempted spam was just being sent to me instead of the intended victims. I’ll have to think about ways of avoiding this as I don’t want hundreds of these messages clogging my inbox.

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