Sunday, October 19, 2008

Talking Green at the Beach!

The Eko Beach Resort just outside of Lagos is THE queen of beaches, being privately managed. The GREEN Trip--a festival organised by "Children & the Environment (CATE)"--is a day for children and parents to enjoy and learn about environment and creativity and luckily chose the resort as its venue. The "just outside" Lagos can be misleading since we spent eight hours going and coming on the road and only 4 hours at the beach!

Anyhow the stress of the travel was quickly dispelled the moment we got there. There were about 60 families with their children from maybe ages 3-15. The short time we had there the children got to learn about origami & painting, watch a play and the parents got a pep talk on how to allow their child to follow her passion and also make them go "green"!

Nike has been volunteering with CATE since many years and the director, Aunty Sola put Nike and me incharge of a session with the kids. As with all our very enjoyable brainstorming sessions, we came up with a pretty good plan with a word puzzle with environment problems and solutions; role play about convincing peers, schools and parents to go green and finally song about being an active citizen!

I certainly am better at managing grown ups than children. Anyhow we managed to do some energisers and the word puzzle before we got summoned to start wrapping up:)

In the pictures, you see our gang (Nike, Yinka, Fola, Ayo and ME!). One of the pics, you see the three ladies posing as the angels for our Charlie!

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Mama Mia"

On Nigeria's democracy day (Oct 1) which happened to fall in the middle of the week, the usual gang of four (Ayo who we lovingly refer to as our "Charlie" with his angels = Nike, Yinka and me) embarked on a mission to watch the critically acclaimed Yoruba film, Arugba on the BIG SCREEN! This was my first time in the popular Silverbird Cinemas which is one of the three cinemas in Lagos and probably one of ten in the whole country. At almost 500 rupees a ticket, it falls into the "luxury items" list and Lagosians prefer to have the same experience with a 80 rupees DVD an no go-slow!

There were cinemas in Nigeria in the 1960s, but they began going out of business in the 1970s - partly because of the difficulties of operating under military dictatorship. Cinemas closed down across the country and today many are used as churches or Islamic education centres. The scarce and erratic supply of electricity called for seven generators being installed to make sure that the films do not stop mid-show and the air-conditioning does not break down.

Needless to say, after eight months of separation from the multiplex, it was a surreal experience. It was unusually crowded for a holiday and to our surprise the tickets were all sold out! I was visibly quite disappointed and the guys immediately offered to watch a hollywood film. My eyes were caught up on MAMA MIA with a stellar cast (Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep...).

Unlike Indian multiplexes, there was quite an eclectic choice of food. We were quickly discouraged by the horribly long queue of irritated and impatient Nigerians and we headed straight for the hall.

The movie itself was ok but what kept me smiling was the evergreen music of ABBA in a gorgeous Mediterranean island. And quite a surprise was that not one cellphone rang during the whole show! Indians can learn a bit or two from Naija in this area! As we were moving out of the Hall, I felt a sudden pang of nostalgia and homesickness especially since we were right behind an Indian family! I realised that I missed home a lot more when I did stuff that I used to do at home!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Indian Dinner for Mayowa!

Mana's Mom & Dad invited Mayowa for a sumptuous full fare Indian Dinner to their house. See all of enjoying the great meal, Mayowa gifting a handpainting to Mom and Dad, which by the way is already framed and put up in the drawing room due to Dad's supper quick action, and Mayowa wondering at the collection of Mana's photos and pointing at the one he liked the most!

Mayowa at CCS, Delhi!

Mana's boss at the GIVE Network, Mr Mayowa Joel, came to Delhi for a meeting and he generously agreed to talk to CCS Team on involving volunteers in CCS work. Well, he is more like a big brother and mentor than a boss! Here are some of the photos of his talk. He also gifted a wonderful handpaiting to CCS which you would see in the group photo. We very much hope that by the time he visits next time, CCS would have adapting his ideas and build up a great volunteer program. Dhanyawad, Mayowa!