Gardening – Nigerian Style

Around the corner from our house on the side of the road, a lady named Patience sells handmade pots and Linus the gardener sells plants. In the video, Linus helps get our plants into the pots we just bought. And that is the extent of his job! Everyday as we drive by, both vendors sit there waiting or selling plants/pots to passers by. But there are also hundreds of other vendors who do the same thing – selling lemons in wheelbarrows, or loaves of bread on their head. Also caught in the video is a lady carrying her baby on her back, and the goods she is selling on her head. In many ways thes people live simple lifestyles. Linus, our neighborhood gardener helped us get three new plants to put up onto our balcony with new handmade pots – all for the equivalent of 30 dollars!


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An Islander’s Livelihood

On the outskirts of the big city Lagos, many islanders live their lives based off and center their future on sand-dredging, partially because there aren’t many other opportunities for work. This involves extracting the sand from the bottom of the lagoon and transfering it into larger, wide-sided boats where it is strained of all the water. The blue boat you see below is one of the boats that strains and carries the sand to the island, which is eventually used to make concrete. These boats actually get filled so much that they often seem on the verge of sinking – the boat sinks about 3 feet into the water as it fills with sand. This can be seen in one photo below where the driver is in the back controlling the motor. Believe it or not, that boat, when not filled with sand, is just as buoyant on the water as the blue boat is. When we would pass by in our ferry, we had to go to a no-wake speed because they would get mad at us and yell across the lagoon if we went any faster, because it would make enough waves that could tip their sand-filled boats. The other boats shown below with large tubes coming out and reaching over the water are the ones that dredge the sand from the bottom and transfer it into the larger boats.

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Snowy Days Part 2 

​​​The sight we awoke to this morning was 27 inches of snow and still snowing!​​​ When we longed for snow only weeks before, we did not expect this much would still come. Now we wish it would melt quickly! School has been canceled, shops are closed, my sons orchestra performance has been canceled, and most people-if they did go to work- were sent home early. This is the day to make an amazing snowman, but it is a struggle to even walk around! Welcome to March!

Getting a Phone Number 

Though this photo seems to have little meaning, there is a story behind it! A few weeks after arriving in Lagos, we cautiously crossed the road to the MTN phone/Sim card registry store. After leaving the house at 10 AM, we sat and waited patiently as they processd the necessary information for myself and my son to get phone numbers. They had some complications, and required a photo identification (as shown in the picture), which took almost an hour. For some apparent reason, they also needed my fingerprint. And after all this had taken place, The lady that was editing the necessary information on the computer, forgot to save the document and the power went out. Welcome to Nigeria. So now we were stuck waiting for another hour and a half possibly for them to retype the information! And through all of this, I had two of my sons and my daughter with me sitting in the Nigerian MTN store working on homework. It was a crazy drawn out adventure that left us all hungry thirsty and tired afterwards. And the next day, they disconnected the numbers we had just connected! Fearing another drawn – out, wasteful morning and afternoon, we postponed our returning for over two months!