February 9th, 2013

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Nigeria – Day 1 ( #ibmcsc )

Originally published at Rodney's Blog. Please leave any comments there.

Yesterday I arrived into Lagos after what I can only describe as pleasant flight experiences. I flew with Lufthansa and I have to say that I usually always enjoy it. I felt under no pressure or stress as I had finished packing around 20.00 the night before and was able to have a nice and calm evening.

So after 12 hours traveling time (2 hours to from Stockholm to Frankfurt, 3 hours of layover, 1 hour of delay, and 6 hours of flying), I finally made it to Lagos, Nigeria. The first thing I noticed upon arrival? The heat! Glorious, comforting, 25-degree heat. The sweat underneath my eyes at the thought of not needing a winter jacket again for 4 weeks were actually tears.

Going through immigration was painless enough, if not a bit lengthy. I got my immigration stamp rather quickly (as it would turn out, the stamp needs to be re-done because they only stamped until 07 March and I will stay until 09 March, but this is being solved for us). The fun part was trying to find the people waiting for me. As it turns out we walked past each other quite a few times, and in the height of hilarity, after 30 minutes (and both parties making a few calls to our local coordinator), we were standing back-to-back to each other…literally. So that sorted, we head over to the bus and additional police escort and wait to collect more of our colleagues who are also arriving. A couple of hours later (in retrospect the time went by quickly…I was just cranky for a hot shower) and we were at the hotel, meeting the rest of the group who had arrived. Some dinner and socialising and everyone was in good spirits. If you had walked past the group, you would have thought that we had known each other for years instead of having talked over the phone for a few months and hadn’t met face-to-face before. But that in some way is the typical IBMer: we tend to bond really quickly when placed in groups :)

Our local IBM, NGO, and Government contacts are all awesome and amazing people – we are so fortunately to be working with them over the next 4 weeks.

This morning was our briefing about logistics and other matters before we set off to Ekiti. The Sheraton Hotel by the airport is a nice place to wait to depart :) No time to dip into the pool unfortunately, but I am satisfied with the fact that there is not a snowflake on the ground to be seen anywhere.

We haven’t been anywhere in Lagos or other places to take pictures, so the only pictures I can offer are the ones I took on my flight from Frankfurt to Nigeria. The first picture is snow-capped mountains, and second one is beautiful desert. I’ll look forward to complimenting future blog entries with more pics and less words :)

2013-02-08 13.22.24 2013-02-08 14.26.51

#ibmcsc Nigeria

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Nigeria Assignment – Day #1, Part 2 ( #ibmcsc )

Originally published at Rodney's Blog. Please leave any comments there.

Today we had the fun task of driving 6 hours from Lagos to Ado Ekiti.

We piled into the van which was very cozy for the enormous amount of people and luggage we had and eventually made it to our hotel. We saw many things along the way and took several pictures. One of the things you get really impressed by is the fairly large amount of nature that is visible, if not available for hiking and trekking just yet because the tourist areas are not yet fully developed).

Once we got to the Delight Hotel, we were welcomed with a refreshing drink and we checked in. If I had to describe our hotel, I would describe it as cozy enough to meet the needs that we have. I feel safe and secure in the hotel without a doubt. There is hot water and a shower and air conditioner. The hotel is of a good standard so I really can’t complain. The free internet leaves something to be desired (we only get 100 MB complimentary – yikes!), but otherwise that is my main thing. Dinner tonight consisted of jollof rice and chicken, which was probably my first Nigerian-themed dish. It was spicy. I mean sweating-in-my-shirt-and-mouth-on-fire kind of spicy. But it was good and a nice introduction to Nigerian food. During dinner we received a notification that the Governor of Ekiti State, His Excellency Dr Kayode Fayemi, invited us to his birthday party as an unofficial welcome at his residence. His generosity was greatly appreciated by us all. Not a bad way to spend our first night in Ekiti state!

Slowly but surely some pictures will start making their way into my posts. At the moment the internet connectivity isn’t always as consistent as I would like it to be, so I will add posts and pictures as often as I am able.

 

Picture with His Excellency the Governor of Ekiti State

Picture with His Excellency the Governor of Ekiti State

Delight Hotel - from the outside

Delight Hotel – from the outside

Mosquito net over the bed...it reminds me of my G.I. Joe tent as a child :)

Mosquito net over the bed…it reminds me of my G.I. Joe tent as a child :)

Jollof Rice with chicken and plantain. Nigerian food is kinda spicy :)

Jollof Rice with chicken and plantain. Nigerian food is kinda spicy :)