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!

Stunning Sunset!

Here are just a few photos of the incredible sunsets we were able to see while spending our Christmas vacation in Florida. Some days the sky was completely clear, withthe bright sun reflecting off the water. On other evenings, the sun got behind the clouds in a way that revealed a lot more color in the sky. A truly stunning sight to see! 

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!

Best Neighbors

Every day when I look out my window to do dishes and laundry this is my view. I love it! I see the families and people below going on with their lives despite not having many conveniences at all. I have a lovely home and running water and electricity, which are two things my neighbors daily live without.  I appreciate these neighbors because they will always make me feel grateful for the blessings of life I have no matter how challenging my day may be, or no matter how many timeouts some of my younger children may have needed or no matter I have kids whining about practicing their instruments. I feel grateful I have these challenges and can provide, for example, an instrument to learn (however I am not saying my kiddos are quite at that gratitude level yet:)-gratitude to practice??? hmmmm…

Breakfast at…. well not at Tiffany’s.

This is a typical lunch spot right across the street from where our congregation meets for church. It it lunchtime! This is more affordable for many people who don’t have any way to cook in the places where they live which are definitely not what any American would be used to. It always helps our family to be grateful for all the many opportunities and things we have in the USA.

If you look closely, there’s a lady in the middle of all the customers who serving up the “cocoa” for lunch.  See if you can spot her!

The Sights of the City

Some of the sights we see driving in Lagos consist of streets filled with potholes, the poor condition of the apartments that many unfortunately must live in,  the murky water of the Lagoon that runs between Victoria Island and Ikoyi, and occasionally the oil rigs that line the harbor. Lagos is a city with millions of people. Everyday the streets are lined with people, some trying to catch a bus, others selling their goods. Though not shown here, many of those vending on the streets carry their goods on their head. We have seen people selling nuts, loaves of bread, small pastries, and even homemade medicines and herbs, and all of them walk around with their goods on their head, selling to passersby.