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.



Swaziland Candles

On one of our many family adventures we set out to explore the very small country within a country, Swaziland.  It is located in the southeastern part of the country of South Africa. It has many traditional events that happen, the Reed Dance in March being one of the most well-known.  However, we chose to visit when things would be calmer and were not disappointed at all. The adventure begins when you get to the border guards.  You get out of the car, get in a line, wait, wait, then have to finally show passports.  Then, get in the car, go through another gate lock down, get out of the car, wait in line, wait, wait…then do the same thing again now that you get into Swaziland.  Just make sure you don’t have a child that has to use the bathroom, because, this is difficult and remember, it is also a bit remote…facilities are “rustic”. However, the beauty and serenity of the fertile lands and farms against the backdrop of magnicifent mountains was quite breathtaking.  We had beautiful weather, sunny, warm and warmer.  We wanted to stay forever.

One of our main goals was to visit the famous Swaziland Candle Factory.  The candles are all hand made, and and you can sit for hours and watch the quick and deft fingers of craftsmen shape the hot wax to exactly anything really.  We saw hippos being formed, elephants and wildebeest and many other typical African game animals.  I wish we had better pictures but here are a few of the amazing things they created.

If you can ever get there, do it!

Whale watch with us!

Whale watching in South Africa is a must for anyone who even remotely loves ocean life.  We are a homeschooling family and for one of our field trips spent several days in Cape Town and especially in Hermanus during the whale migration and were not disappointed.    To have the opportunity to watch them up close and personal proved to be better than any documentary you’ll watch on tv. The Southern Right Whale migrates to this area every October to November, giving birth in the warmer waters before heading south again.

If you are interested in any of our fabulous wildlife videos for your own personal homeschool education to show your kids from “real” people and not just the tv shows –  we would love to share.  We have whale videos, Kruger National Park wild animals, live lions, videos of elephants that surrounded our broken down car in the Addo Elephant Park, South Africa, lots of monkeys from the Monkey Preserve and the cutest penguins from the Penguin sanctuary in Cape Town and Boulder Beach where the African penguins live.

Watch for more to come!