Friday, August 11, 2006

nigeria and cote d'ivoire

i am sitting in my hotel "lobby" eating a plate of fruit (papaya [not eating blak], mango [super yummy], and pineapple) and pan au chocolat...lovin' this. it is the first morning in a really long time that i wasn't up before 6:am and the first time in the whole week that i have been able to actually have a breakfast.

but let me back up and give you some taste of nigeria and cote d'ivoire

this is me having lunch with some colleagues at the hotel

orange was the theme of the abuja sheraton
mirrors on the ceilings and orange everywhere

room with this view

abuja is africa's geneva. it is sterile and not much like africa. there is not much to recommend it, but there is not much to hate about it either. it is a peaceful mellow town. most of the town is about 5 years old, as that was when the capitol moved from lagos to abuja.

one of the ladies at the embassy that was helping with travel was really upset. she explained that someone in her family was having their house demolished in the next couple of days. they have just finished building it 2 months previous and then the city decided that the title they held for th property was not accurate. that they had not purchased the land from someone who actually owned the land. Hence, demolish the house. such an insane rational, and there is no way to prove who is right or who it wrong. but they have no recourse. there is nothing that can be done. they are trying to get their belongings out in time. apparently many people who are living on the streets these days are people who once had homes and stable lives, but who the government has treated in a similar way. house demolition???!!!!

travel companions dr. samuel adenyi-jones (the king of nigeria) and corina

happy, confused, and seriously we checked out of our hotel

the large mosque from the road

on the road to the airport

the airport in lagos

our security detail. they follow us where ere we go

we stayed at the sheraton in lagos, which is famous for it's parties. all of the people working for the oil companies, flight attendants and pilots all layover there. they stay up all hours drinking at the bar. there is a long line of prostitutes outside of the hotel. it is a nice but seedy hotel. i was glad to get out. but i was not glad to wake up at 4:am to get on a 7:am flight (armour toured of lagos in the interim) only to have my expediter slow down the process and the plane be delayed (long story that i will explain later). once on the plane i thought i would asphyxiate from the smell of gas, i got in a HUGE fight with a flight attendant, and corina's luggage was lost. my lovely travel agent booked me on the same flight that crashed with embassy staff a few months ago. anyway it was a disaster, i am glad i got my luggage and kept my life. i feel bad for corina who doesn't have her luggage. two days later the luggage is still missing.

but then i arrived in cote d'ivoire:
sunset from the hotel lobby

this is the pincane and the hotel lobby

corina's new fiance

this is the hotel. my room is in the building in the back. the Wafau

there is a weird relationship brewing between iran and cote d'ivoire. it troubles me. is it like china and sudan? or is this islamic fundamentalist recruiting in a vulnerable, tense country? it is really concerning to me.


Clementine said...

'scuze the ignorance, but what sort of wicked cool job do you have where you get to travel to all these interesting spots? it's incredibly fascinating to me.

Manfoom said...

so the other day I was hanging out with the king of Nigeria...

greenfrog said...

You're wrong about papaya. Squeeze some lime over it, then re-evaluate.