Sunday, October 31, 2010

,,,eight days in...

It is Sunday afternoon and after washing some clothing and hanging it on the porch to dry, I have walked the 25 minutes up to the Kwara Hotel where there is a computer access shop - 300N for one hour on the Internet ($2US).  I needed to print some work as well as download the first pictures for this blog, which is faster here than at the bungalow.  Not sure the order that the pictures will appear, but here are their contents: our bungalow, a view from ours up to the Vice-Chancellor's, two of the guards at our gate, a baby at the place on the market street where we buy our bottled water at the lowest price, a street scene Friday on our way to purchase two bedside table lamps for Phil (Philamina) and me, tall corn growing behind a compound wall on my way up here this afternoon, and the sharing of my birthday cake with some of the workers at Kwara State.

The four school visits on Wednesday were eye-opening - dedicated staff working with few materials and in less than adequate facilities.  It is apparent that high incidence disabilities are virtually unknown, so KWASU has a long way to go in their commitment to train teachers for this population of children.  But, there are some immediate needs that Jonathan, the first special education faculty member, and I feel that they can begin with.

Yesterday was Election Day here in Ilorin, so no cabs or drivers could be on the streets between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., therefore Phil and I had to do our grocery shopping Friday afternoon.  It took three stops to find the canned tomatoes that we wanted and the cornmeal that we got was really cornstarch, so the fried fish for last night's guests (Nancy, Dell, and Miguel) was "interesting".  The bread pudding and apple pie turned out delicious, due to the contributions of Nancy (cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, and the pans) and rolling the pie crust with a wine bottle!  Phil made two Nigerian dishes, one with rice and coconut oil and tomatoes, and one with beans and various vegetables.  Both were delicious, as were the fried plantains.  We have so much leftover that we won't have to cook for a couple of days - hooray!

Hopefully, the "cleaners" will come tomorrow and sweep, then mop our floors and clean the bathrooms.  Having to do the laundry by hand today is enough.  I need to remind Abdul-Rasheed when I see him tomorrow after his return from the US that he is wasting our intellectual capital when we have to not only cook, but clean and do laundry!

The television interview is in the morning; two more school visits on Tuesday and a lecture to a Psychology class; and Jonathan and I drive the two hours to his former university, The University of Ibadan.  Then the remaining two days of this week will find me holed up at the bungalow writing up "the plan".  I will be attending a wedding on Saturday and have already been told what to wear and what to bring.  The couple and their immediate family members invited their friends, and then the friends invite their friends!  The bride picks colors which guests are supposed to wear and in some instances individual guests choose fabrics and their guests order dresses in the fabric.  So, groups of people at the wedding are dressed alike.  Then during the dancing at the wedding, various people, the bride and groom, their parents, the friends of both families, are "sprayed" with different levels of money, the amount determined by how well you know them or how wealthy you are.  I have been advised to wear as much white and turquoise as I can and to bring a fistful of 5 and 10N bills!

Happy Halloween to all you Americans!  My Marissa LOVES Halloween, so I am sure that she has been in costume all weekend.  My Jack is in Boise visiting his granddaughters and their parents.  Oldest son H.F. is recuperating in Scottsdale from a back injury, and my second son Rob and his wife Cherra will deliver my first grandchild in May 2011.  I couldn't tell anyone until after her 12th week.  She begins Week 14 today!  I am, of course, tickled!

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