Sannu! My goodness, the heat is climbing upwards each day I wake up to the desert sun of Birnin Kebbi, and it even continues into the night - which isn’t pleasant to bear when the electricity decides to black out and we’re stuck laying in bed in the pitch black darkness with a couple of cockroaches, buzzing mosquitoes and sweat streaming down our backs! It’s something I’m quite not used to, having grown up in frigid Canada for the past 28 years, but any day I would pick this heat over the icy cold snow weather! What’s important is that I quench myself with continuous safe H2), keep my body slathered in SPF 30 and keep my cool, polarized shades on!
This past weekend, Zach and I hopped on the kabo-kabo, which is a motorcycle driven by a cabbie, to the local military base where there is a market. At the Mami Market, the sharia law (the law of Islam in which Kebbi State government runs its policies and state under) is not in effect and alcohol is served. Zach and I had a beer, and brought some back home with us. Sunday, we went to my friend Sadit’s home, he is an ex pat from India who works at the local eye hospital, and we had some delicious soup, potatoes & rice… starch laden foods have become the norm of my food intake here - as delicious as they are, I hate the fact that every meal I have is consisted of 60 percent starch!!!
No worries - I was hooked up with an occupational therapist through a former volunteer from the Netherlands - Hiljkje - who came into town to visit. Sanjo, the therpaist, is going to whip me in shape in the next few months - as he had done for previous VSO volunteers looking for fun and a way to keep in shape with all the weight dropped from the extreme heat. Looking forward to this!
My VSO supervising officer, Liz, is coming tomorrow, so have to get the house in tip top shape, and stock our pantry with food….. market, here we come.
INo news on my lost blue baggage… I am sooooo BUMMED… there was a lot of stuff in it I absolutely needed to survive the weather, the bacteria, the boredom here… VSO is working, working, working on finding it… fingers and toes crossed!
On April 11 and 12, Zach and I are off to Minna, a state four hours south of Birnin Kebbi, for a goodbye party for a VSO volunteer, Aine, who has completed her stint and is returning to Ireland, so it should be fun… then we’re off to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, to bid Zacheroo goodbye as he flies off to the States on the 14th. I’ll be sticking around the southern states for a bit, visiting Akwanga to see my dear friends Jane, David and Helen, then off to Jos on the 18th to visit vols Heather, Julia and Sebastian and mingle with the Deaf community there… see if I can share any of my expertise and resources with them… then its back to Abuja on the 23td and meet up with some important people who came to BK to visit - the Federal Government Dept of Education - they requested a meeting once I came to Abuja to discuss resource sharing and the possibility of funding for Deaf clubs, language programs and classes for the Deaf Blind… so this is a perfect opportunity for me to start networking with the national level… I have connections already with the state and local governments!!!! amazing networking so far!!!
Even all the Deaf schools in the nation are aware I am here and the heads of these schools want to meet me - either for networking or to have me give a lecture or worksop on Deaf Blind issues and culture. Things are definitely looking up!
I made three vlogs - but the net here is so slow and my single diles alone are so large, I’m not sure where I can compress my videos on the Internet then download?? Any suggestions??
I’m off - kabo kaboing and Mami-ing - so y’all have a great day, wherever you are in the world… or time zone, that is! Stay warm, stay cool and stay tuned!