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Orientation and Ado Ekiti Tour ( #ibmcsc )

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

Today’s fun adventure included a security orientation, an orientation on health services, and the last free day before the kickoff activities and work begin tomorrow. We also did some ice-breakers to get to learn some more about each other. The team continues to get along really well and that is nice. And working with my sub-team is also great. We have similar thoughts on most issues and have good discussion for a great exchange of ideas. So what can I say? So far so good :-)

The hotel also has internet and a fairly nice restaurant. I don’t really have a lot of reason to complain. The hotel staff is just fantastic and they are so warm and friendly. That is going to be a recurring theme over the next weeks. I can’t really overstate how welcoming and friendly each and every person I have met has been.

In addition to briefings and orientations, we also had an opportunity to visit a local private university, the Afe Babalola University. The university was not in session unfortunately so we made a promise to make a return visit, but the University is notable because it is funded by private investment. In addition to several colleges within the University, they also have their own bakery, electricity station, access to water, and a mango farm. It will be exciting to make a return visit to see the University when it is in session and hopefully get a chance to talk to the students.

 

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Bianka, Ming-Hai, and Cinthia

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Afe Babalola University vehicles

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Chancellor of the University speaking to us about Afe Babalola University

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One of the colleges at the University

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Law College

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As normal, we end our night back at the hotel and make sure we are ready for our big day tomorrow – our press conference, meeting with the Ewi (King) of Ado Ekiti, and our formal reception with the Governor.

The weekend to acclimatise has been a great idea. I suppose we could have been dropped into the middle of it all and just left to run with it, but the structure and set up so far have served us well. The only wish we have: more opportunity to interact with the local population at some point in the trip. I feel perfectly safe in Ekiti and statistics and other measurements really do bear out that the State enjoys a relative peace and calm, but I also understand that we have to take reasonable measures. Our security team could not be nicer and friendlier, and our local hosts assigned really do go out of their way to accommodate us. But just the same, we’re already ready for some visits to market, etc, etc. However, one of the things you can easily see in Nigeria is the enormous opportunity to develop tourism (particularly on the sustainability and eco-tourism sides). So maybe our eagerness to buy local crafts will help kickstart that as well :-)

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