Friday, August 1, 2008

Jos: The Best Weather in Nigeria!

This was my second visit to the cool city of Jos. We stayed with an Indian couple (both VSO volunteers with the same organization)-Biswajit and Himadri. Himadri made us scrumptious three-full-Indian-meals-a-day and their baby Yash was giving lovely the smiley faces to the sweet melody of my nursery rhymes!

Jos's origins go as far back as 500 BC attested to by the discovery of the Nok Terracotta. Jos itself was built by the British in early 1900s as a tin-mining centre and a "cool healthy retreat" for the British officers. Jos's climate allows for growth of many fruits and veggies which are found only here. It has a huge expat community and one which I have seen actually walking around town unlike in Lagos where you only see foreign faces in cars!

The Jos Museum has a lovely collection of musical instruments, masquerades (huge masks to facilitate the interaction between the spirit world and the real world), masks, currencies (cowrie shells, feathers, metal, West Africa in 17th century a cupful of cowries equalled a wife or a slave!) and a huge terracotta collection of funny looking pots. Parth was fascinated by one of the pots with holes which was used as a musical instrument! The highlight though was the many mangoes which Biswajit managed to pluck from the trees with the help of the curator!

We then strolled into the deserted entrance of the Museum of Traditional Architecture where you can walk through full-size replicas representing different styles of Nigerian Architecture including Katsina Palance, Zaria Mosque, Illorin Mosque and the Kano City Wall.

Jos is also the home to Alternative Trade Network which markets local and traditional crafts. Their shop provides information about the origin of the product and how it was produced. We bought nice stuff for my Lagos home and India including a floor mat made out of rubber slippers' material, traditionally dressed men/ women magnets, wood carvings and a jute hot plate! In the photo you see Sebastian (VSO Volunteer with ATN), his boss, his colleague and us!

The drive to and from Jos was green and mesmerizing with clouds draping over the hills. We made a stop enroute to Abuja to Assop Falls!

1 comment:

Anuragini said...

What a beautiful place... and the fact that it is so old makes it even more intriguing.

And am definitely envious of all the places you are visiting/seeing.

Keep writing