This morning I woke up and went to church, which I have to say is the first time in a very long time. However, I really wanted to participate in a church service in Nigeria as I had heard that they were very intense experiences with lots of prayer and singing. About half of the group went to the services and I have to say that I am very glad that we did go! The church was welcoming of us all, and even took a few moments out of the service to mention that we were there, what IBM was working on in the community, and then the minister asked the congregation to pray for our success. It’s really hard to describe what we experienced. In some places, it was about solemn reflection. And in other parts of the sermon, it was only what I could describe as “violent prayer.” Not violent in the sense where people were hurt, but in the sense that there was a lot of shaking, shouting our prayers and asking for redemption, and holding hands. If the roles of ministers are to whip the congregation into a frenzy of devotion and unity of message and purpose, then the mission was accomplished. The congregation seemed to hang on their every word. At the end of the service, the congregation gave us some small gifts and told us we were warmly welcome back. It was hard not to smile leaving the church. Next week we hope to visit a traditional Yoruba church as well as a mosque as Ekiti seems to be a multi-religious society.
After a morning of prayer (the service was 3 hours!), we had a an afternoon of golf thanks to the kind auspices of the Chief Security Officer (CSO). There were 3 of us who met up with the the CSO who took us to the golf course in Ekiti. I have to say that it was a great experience and it was great to spend the afternoon being a bit active and working on improving my horrible golf handicap! Towards the end of the game we were joined by a couple of other colleagues and just then it started to rain. So back at the lodge area, we had some beers and started talking with people around it. It was a great way to end the Sunday! I also realised that I am a long long way away from being anywhere close to Tiger Woods.
I don’t have golf pics at the moment, but promise to add them later!