Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Coming along....

My trip from Lagos to Abuja was quite exciting...we were taxing the runway and suddenly this lady gets up and starts shouting she is uncomfortable adn wants to get off the plane!! she is very persistent so the plane does turn around...now the other passengers are quite irritated and are very suspicious of her and after she gets off...they wanted to get off too...it was really funny to see the comradarie among the Nigerians...there was a Nigerian sitting next to me and he was also quite friendly...she said that this type of thing happens sometimes:) Anyways the pilot convinved all to stay on board and we did finally take off and I landed safe and sound. The VSO team was there to pick me up and we checked into a very comfortable hotel with AC and internet in the room...very good so far!

The next morning I met the 10 other volunteers who were from UK, Canada, Uganda, Ireland, Netherlands and Kenya. There were a few serving volunteers as well. Its so amazing to see young people who ahve been here for 4 months but who know how to get around, the local food, how to get a sim card and recharge!!

Mobiles are very cheap here...a new sim card costs only Rs 70!

The first day we had an orientation at the VSO programme office [very nice] and then we went for registration to our embassies and the British Council. We all get free membership:)
That day I was really tired and went to sleep early. Today was exciting..we had security and briefings, presentation on the Nigerian social, political context and also a bit on development challenges and cross-cultural workings....It was so strange but half the time it felt as if we were all talking about India...there are so many similarities...

They did some really fun energisers which I have noted for future use...

After the sessions, I had a good discusison with my Programme Manager: National Volunteering about what my role and what to expect in next few weeks. Good news is that my apartment will have all the basic equipement like a fridge, TV etc...so thats a relief...

Tomorrow they are taking us to a market to give us a taste of real Nigeria....on Thursday we are going to a city called "Jos" where there is a meeting of about 50 VSO volunteers serving in Nigeria. Its called a "Patch Meeting"! IT should be fun...

We return on Monday and I will visit another city called "Kafanchan" to meet some more volunteers who are doing similar work as I...I will reach Lagos only by end of March....Until next time....

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