Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bike the Mainland Bridge

Today was Envioronmental / Sanitation day which occurs on the last Saturday of every month. Between the hours of 7 and 10AM everyone is supposed to be cleaning and no one is supposed to be on the road. During that time, we bike across the bridge from Ikoyi to the mainland. The last few days the harmattan conditions have been VERY bad and visibility very poor. There is so much dust in the air that it stings your eyes. The positive side of harmattan is the cooler dry weather. Although the visibility was poor, I still took some photos.

Concentration of fishing boats on the beach on Ikoyi Island. The picture was taken from the third mainland bridge. The second photo is a closer view of the boats on the beach. The boats on the bottom left of the second photo have about 20 fishing nets draped over the side of them and there is A LOT of trash on the beach.

Floating logs tied together to be taken to the market or the lumber yard. On the logs are huts that the workers stay in presumably to protect their logs. The second photo is a closer view of the huts.

To see more photos from a bike ride on the bridge from last November, click here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Train Ride from Ebute Meta Station to Ijoko Station

Today I went on a Nigerian Field Society trip, which was a 30km train ride from Ebute Meta Station to Ijoko Station and back. The trip was organized by Legacy, a registered NGO (Non-Government Organization) founded by a group of Nigerians and Non-Nigerians interested in preserving historic buildings, monuments and the built environment for the benefit of future generations. The train we rode was one that Legacy had restored and it even had air conditioning. There is a commuter train that ues the same route to run one round trip daily for a small fee of 70 Naira (less than $0.5US) one way. While the fee is small, the time commitment is large. The 30km trip took about 1.5 hours as the tracks go right through a very populated market area called Oshodi and the train must pass through slowly enough that no one gets hurt.

At the Ebute Meta Station

Enroute to Ijoko

In Ojoko

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games

Swimmers Scott, Bob, Lisa, Sharon, Nancy
and John the Managing Director of the company we work for

The Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games took place in Abuja (Nigeria capital city) from February 10th thru the 16th and the events included lawn tennis, table tennis (ping pong), squash, tennis, track and golf. Bob and I participated in the swimming events along with some other colleagues/friends, Sharon, Nancy and Scott. Sharon was our swim team captain and she also participated in tennis and squash, receiving a gold medal in individual squash and a silver medal in team squash. Unfortunately she was walked over in tennis because she was participating in swimming (concurrent events).

Back to swimming… Sharon was having a hard time recruiting swimmers that could get away from the office for a few days to participate. Scott committed to participating about 3 weeks before the event, Bob committed two weeks before and I committed one week before. On the Friday before the event Sharon, Bob, Scott and I went to the Ikoyi Club to do some time trials in a 33m pool to determine who would be swimming what event. Nancy was not there as she decided to come the day before the event!

The competition occurred on Wednesday February 13th. It was scheduled to start at 9:30AM but by the time the organizers got the info from each team and decided on the race order, it did not start until 11AM. The games took place at the National Stadium Complex in Abuja, a multipurpose sports complex was built for All Africa Games which took place in 2003. Nigeria also bid to use the complex for the 2014 Commonwealth Games (lost it to Scotland) and for the chance to host the 2018 World Cup as well as the 2012 Olympic Games. Sharon spent the whole week in Abuja so she got to see the preparation, or lack thereof, of the facility. Money was paid to have the venue prepared for the event but a few days before not much had taken place. The pool had not been cleaned (dirt and chemicals) and the power and water was intermittent. The squash games kept getting postponed due to lack of power and at one point they were going to be moved to the squash courts in the Hilton hotel.

Back to swimming… The swim team consisted of the folks mentioned about plus others from other locations (Port Harcourt, Bonne, Eket). All races were 50m in length and each person was only allowed to swim two individual races and the relay. The women's races were shared by Sharon, Nancy, Bleesing and me. The men's races were shared by Bob, Scott, Steven, Charles and David.

This is how the day played out…

Men’s Butterfly – Bob – First Place – Gold Medal
Women’s Butterfly – Sharon – Second Place – Silver Medal
Men’s Breast Stroke - Steven – Fourth Place
Women’s Breast Stroke – Lisa (me) – Second Place – Silver Medal
Men’s Back Stroke – Bob – First Place – Gold Medal
Women’s Back Stroke – Sharon – First Place – Gold Medal
Men’s Freestyle – Scott – Fourth Place
Women’s Freestyle – Lisa – Third Place – Bronze Medal
Veterans Men’s Freestyle – Scott – First Place - Gold Medal
Veterans Women’s freestyle – Nancy – First Place – Gold Medal
Men’s Relay – Bob, Charles, Scott, David – Fourth Place
Women’s Relay – Nancy, Lisa, Sharon, Blessing – Second Place – Silver Medal

Overall we earned 9 medals out of the 12 events! The medal winners will also be winning prizes; gold wins a DVD player, silver wins an iron, and bronze wins a rice cooker. Between Bob and I, we earned 2 DVD players, 2 irons, and a rice cooker!!

The games are held every 2 years and we definitely plan to participate, and even train, for the next games in 2010!

A read a bit more about the venue, go to:

Women's Relay team - Blessing, Nancy, Sharon, Lisa (me)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Bob got me flowers and I got him chocolate that I brought back from the US.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Music and Dance on the Lagoon

Music and Dance on the Lagoon is an annual event at the Lagos Yacht Club although this year it was a bit different than the events in the past. In prior years there was only music and singing and the event was called Music on the Lagoon. This year an expatriate wife took on the challenge of writing and choreographing a musical. The voice and dance talent consisted of Nigerian singers with the exception of one woman who was flown in from the UK and the musical writer/choreographer herself. The stage was set up on a floating barge.

Musical Story Line: Derived from the movie Moulin Rouge, the story is influenced by the song "Copacabana" and the musicals grease, Chicago and West Side Story. The show is set at Copacabana, a dance club in Lagos. Tony, the boss of the Copacabana, aspires to direct a movie called Dancing Queen. He and the Copacabana team - Lola (Tony's wife, Sandy, Roxy, and Christina (a writer) - are trying to persuade Rico, a Nollywood producer, to finance the movie. Roxie and Sandy vie for Rico's attention and the lead part in the movie. The characters compete for success in a story about love, ambition and jealousy.

This was a charity event aimed at contributing a significant amount of money to local charities such as the Epiphany Anglican Primary School - Agagbo, The Salvation Army Primary School, Makoko Stilt Village School, and the Ishahayi Beach School Foundation.

We purchased seats for the event but the meal and drinks were not included. Folks at each table brought some food to share and drinks were purchased from the bar. This was done in order to maximize the contribution to the charities. The dress code was formal for the women and red sea rig (tux without the jacket) for the men.

The Stage
The Show