Saturday, September 03, 2011

Nigeria for beginners

I'm sitting in my hotel in Abuja, getting ready for the MANI consultation ( where we're hoping to develop some partnerships with African mission movements coming to Europe. I'm here with 3 coworkers, James Lauderdale, Dale Phillips, and Kevin Mason. This is my first time in Africa and I'll have to say that I've had to be very conscious of my 'cross-cultural attitude.' That kind of surprised me, being a cross-cultural worker and all.
The first day was a little strange...
About 3:45 the taxi picked me up after a solid 4 hours of sleep. Packing took a bit longer than I anticipated. As we took off, the conversation kind of stopped as we all realized that the song on the radio was 'YMCA' in Hungarian. Surreal is the only way I can describe it.
Everything was pretty normal through the layover in Amsterdam until we got to the gate for the flight to Abuja. I have never seen so many kids on a flight. Little kids and babies. We're estimating 70-100 kids on this flight. And it felt like we were the only ones who noticed. If this had been US TSA agents we never would have left. Kids were running everywhere, sticking their hands in the baggage x-ray machine, playing, I think it was a kid who opened the emergency exit that brought airport security over to investigate. We didn't really go through in a line, but more of a cloud. It's not like this is the first time I've had to navigate other 'line cultures,' but this one was noticeably stressful for me. Then the guy came out to announce that there was a fuel leak, so we might be delayed. Apparently it didn't leak too much, because they fixed it quickly and no fuel trucks showed up to top off our tanks. After that it seemed like it went back to a normal flight. Then we landed.
Passport control, baggage claim, and customs were all using the cloud method, which was fine. It's a different place and I expect that. The ride into town was an hour or so because of the army check point set up for security. There is increased security at every public event. Today we saw them screening people going into a wedding. Granted, there were about 12 bride's maids, but it's still just a wedding. Let's get back to the drive in. Two lanes marked on the road. Three or four lanes in use the whole way in. I was wondering whether dying in a car wreck going to a conference counts as martyrdom.
All in all, it was an interesting day of travel for me. I'm glad I'm here and I'm looking forward to what God has for me to learn and what He's going to do in Africa and Europe as a result of this event.

-it's about the glory of God

Location:Idris Gidado St,Abuja,Nigeria

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this good insight Todd. I'll bet James loved the cloud lines :). Praying for you all.