Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Abuja: The Centre of Unity!

After a 14-hour long albeit safe AC bus ride through refreshingly green landscape, we arrived in Naija's capital city-Abuja!

If Abuja is your first stop in Nigeria, locals are very quick to tell you that Abuja is NOT Nigeria...open space, wide roads, functional street lights, regular NEPA, cheap taxis, no danfoes, great weather...all make Abuja a cosmopoliton global city! It has a huge central Mosque and national Church next to each other which resonate with its state motto "Centre of Unity"!

We stayed with our very hospitable and loving friends Dele, Nike (my landlord's daughter!) and their lovely dog Eva! They have a lovely home on outskirts of Abuja with small hills and greenery all around. Nike cooked lovely vegetarian food for Parth which restored his faith in the otherwise all-NON VEG Nigerian cuisine!

Dele has an interesting background, he studied in Spain and worked with the Friedrich Naumann in Lagos (our connector) until the office closed down and is now with the West African Civil Society Forum. After his masters, he authored a book called "My Grandfather's Mandate" about Yoruba philosophy in folklore.

Abuja is also home to VSO's programme office. Its a comfy, friendly and warm work environment with a room dedicated to volunteers called the "Volzone"!

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