Okee-doo-kee. In case you missed the first blog entry, here's a recap: We flew out of Hebron, Kentucky on a Friday and landed in Abuja, Nigeria on Saturday. You're welcome.
Sunday morning we woke up at a silly hour to get ready for church. Granted, I still considering waking up at 9am for church to be silly.... It was pretty sunny and fairly warm by 6am, so we wouldn't have been able to sleep in regardless. Our new friend, Ibro, came to get us and we all loaded up in our taxi van and drove to church. It was a fairly large church, maybe somewhere near a 1,000?
There's no air conditioning, so in order to keep it kinda cool, there were ceiling fans hanging everywhere. The poles for the front fans were maybe 10-15 ft long, and a fan in the left front was doing massive circles. Let's just say I felt safer that I was on the opposite side of the church. Of course, there are no pictures of the said fan. I thought it would be rude if I was snapping shots of it. I however, did not apparently think it was rude to take photos of a revival banner and my teammates during a prayer. At least, I think someone was praying. After my flash went off a couple of times, a few people opened their eyes and I realized the members all had their heads down. In my defense, the speaker may have been speaking English, but it was a heavy accent.
There was a rocking women's choir (pic's blurry, but it's to your right), too many speakers to count, (I never could figure out who was who and why one person didn't just do the announcements) and several stories about a dog dying and a little boy who got his fingers smashed off my his dad, the latter who would then commit suicide. Apparently, both tales were about patience. The members all thought it was hilarious. Odd.
There was another large church next to us, plus a market, so the parking was kinda crowded.
On our way out of church, we passed what I can only assume is a farmer's market. It was
jammed packed with cars, stands, goods, people, goats, children carrying yellow buckets of water (looks similar to a gas canister) and some more people. How we didn't hit anybody with our car is unbelievable to me. I think that short drive by the market was my first glimpse into how beautiful the people and country are.
Well, maybe this part wasn't so beautiful : ) But seriously, a public toilet - it's a big deal. And let me reassure you, there are no signs telling employees to wash their hands before they go back to work. There would have to be a sink in order for that to happen. Of the few public type toilets I visited, I promise you a thousand times over, peeing outdoors was preferred. To me, and probably the rest of Nigeria. It seemed safer, cleaner and a lot less claustrophobic.
After we left church, we drove to our friend Emmanuel's brother-in-law's house. Patrick and Sarah have a large, gated house. (If you go to Nigeria, you learn fairly quickly that if a person has any ounce of wealth to their name, that they'll live in what is essentially, a neighborhood. Except every neighborhood is gated, as well as each house. And each house will have their own set of guards.) Sarah fixed a delicious meal of chicken, red soup, rice, noodles, and a bunch of other food that I can't remember. It was very kind of her. From there we took off on our 3-4 hour journey from Abuja (the capitol of Nigeria and where we flew into) to Jos. We were still a little pooped out from our flight, so most of us fell asleep from time to time. It was silly hot in the van and we were packed in there like sardines, so we didn't necessarily sleep the entire time. Which turned out to be great, because that way we saw lots of the little villages and the beautiful hills, the 50 military checkpoints simply made of sticks and rocks and men with machine guns.... Sleeping did however, keep you from seeing your life flash before your very eyes. (I have decided to dedicate an entire post to the driving in Nigeria. Look for it in a couple of days)
We had made it about 3/4 of our destination when our luggage van smacked into the back our van. We then proceeded to smack the back of the car in front of us. Essentially, all three vehicles that were traveling together wrecked into one another. Oops. Long story, but I whapped my head pretty good on the glass (I was in the back seat w/o a head rest. No cuts, but the mother of all headaches) I felt a little nauseated and once we reached our destination, I slept like a rock. I do remember thinking, "If I have a concussion, I don't think I'm supposed to fall asleep... don't remember why... omg, my head hurts... Jesus, I don't want to die in Africa..maybe I should stay awake....zzzzzzzzz" I was a little sluggish and confused once I woke up. Still had a crazy headache. I also had a great desire to talk with Americans in America at that point, but the only phone numbers I brought with me were my emergency contacts, none of whom answered. I think I got pretty whiny by the third or fourth voice mail, so sorry if you got one of those treasured messages : )
Turned out pretty awesome, though. the next morning I woke up without any pain in my back or neck and no headache. Actually, I felt better and more relaxed than I had in several weeks. One of the missionaries that flew in with us told me the next day that she and her husband prayed for healing. I think God totally delivered on that one : )
And now you're caught up on Sunday..... Riveting, I know.