• Archive for March 2008

    Lagos, Nigeria

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    The real adventure began last Sunday when I arrived in Lagos, Nigeria. I think we’re going to really enjoy it here but many things will take some getting use to. Lagos is a sprawling city of 15 million + people. The most populated city in Africa in the most populated country. You can tell right away when you get off the airplane, people are everywhere! The main part of the city is three islands right on the Atlantic ocean. We will be living on Victoria Island which I was told was the affluent area. It doesn’t seem like that though, even this part of town is run down, full of garbage and roads that you can barely drive on. It’s not uncommon to see men relieving themselves on the street (1 & 2). We’ll also have to get use to “security”. Every property has a wall around it topped with barbed wire, and a gate with guards. Even the grocery stores. These are good things though. I went to a market and saw a nice beach nearby, I asked the driver if we could park and go look at the beach. He said we couldn’t because there wasn’t good security.

    I do feel safe though. The drivers are good about where and where not to go. You have to get special permission to leave the islands but there is almost no reason to unless to go to the airport.

    Right now I’m at the company hotel. I’ll be moving to a flat on the same property as the office in a couple weeks. General Services needs to do some final repairs to the place before I move in. The compound is fairly run down but compared to everywhere else I’ve been here it is paradise! There’s a nice pool, tennis court and a brand new play area for kids. Rose and the girls are in Canada until I can get things ready here. Our shipments on the way and I have to hire a driver etc.

    I’ve taken a few pictures to show what it looks like here. They’re not the greatest pics because I was told Nigerians don’t really like having their pictures taken so I can’t exactly walk out on the street taking shots. Most are from my apartment, office or car. The first shot below is from my hotel room. It kind of looks like I live in a prison! Pulling in here at midnight the night I arrived was a bit intimidating. It’s not that bad though. The second shot is the pool behind the hotel. It almost looks nice.

    The next picture is a shot of the apartment where we'll be living at the compound, taken from the office. There's about 90 kids there so the girls should have lots of friends. There's a play park, small basketball court, tennis courts, squash courts, fitness center and pool.

    Looking at the office from our living room.

    View from Marion's room looking away from the compound.

    Here some photos from the car. The mall in the first pic is the only mall in Lagos but it's actually pretty nice. There's a good bookstore, electronics store, some good coffee shops, a Wal-mart type store called game, and even a cinema.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. I have limited access to the internet until I move into my flat (in two weeks), so these updates will probably be rare. I’m at an internet cafĂ© right now.