Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Tuesday 25th May 2010
NEPA was kind overnight and the air con stayed on without fail, even to the point of me leaving at about ten. I had the usual goodbye from the children on their way to school. Femi turned up around ten and we headed off to pick up Mr Dee before making our way to pay a visit to the build at Alagbado. Unfortunately progress has been delayed due to lack of finances and support, although the medical centre certainly had improved from my last visit. The outside had been rendered, roofing on and inside the floors and many of the walls had been tiled. The tiles looked great, not too clinical which is rare in a Nigerian hospital, a nice touch. A long way to go until completion but by Gods grace, sponsors and donations will allow its completion.
The Alagbado area has no local hospitals at all, the nearest we know of is about 3 miles away. This distance is just not practical for many to travel and with local herbalists and witch doctors on the doorsteps this is their first choice as its cheap and accessible. Many Nigerians have been brought up with this kind of medicine and believe it to be safe, which it often isn’t and at best doesn’t harm them but neither does it heal them. Another Doctor set up a local business nearby but found that turning the clinic into a brothel would be far more profitable. There is a huge need for help in this area and the local people deserve better.
We then made our way back via the airport, so I could change up some money for myself and some of the money donated from Beth’s school and friends to pay for the children’s party. We met ‘our man’ on his moped at the airport, bartered for a good price, then off he went to meet with his next client. No one uses banks to exchange money in Nigeria - another black market thing that is tolerated and accepted.
We then made our way back to Mafoluku and the clinic, passing though the back streets of Oshodi. At one point we were following the dustman as everyone runs out to chuck their rubbish in the back of the dustcart. As we arrived in the road of the clinic, Fumni (caesarean delivery last year) was sitting outside the tailors with the baby. With a huge smile she stood up with Rachel and I got out of the car, she handed me Rachel, who was not so pleased to see me and burst out crying. A strange Oyibo (white person) turning up and snatching you might be scary if you have never met one before.
Later Fumni came to the clinic to measure me up for an outfit to be made from some material that Eniola kindly gave me on my last visit. Femi hoped it would be ready for children’s day, so I could dress for the occasion. As soon as I walked into the room the baby cried again, I definitely have not made a good impression on her!
At the clinic we opened the suitcases everyone was amazed at generosity of people back in the UK and their thoughtfulness at wanting to send stuff to people they do not know. Their was also medical things that the staff in the gynae clinic back home sorted out which Femi was very pleased with, stuff that can be difficult to obtain and often very costly here. Everyone was very excited and wanted to look and touch everything, asking what some things were. The children’s day party should be a huge success and a big thank you to all those back home that helped make it happen.
Femi wanted to go to the local pool for a swim, so I accompanied him, although I didn’t have swimwear so I sat poolside and wrote my blog. I also enjoyed some suya a hot spiced meat which was tender and enjoyable. My only chance for a tan and it was overcast, typical. It made a nice change to be able to sit out & enjoy the warm weather. We went back to the clinic to eat rice and a spinach type dish with chicken. I find food here very filling and can never eat all I’m given, I guess because it’s so starchy.
The other bizarre thing that keeps happening (please tell me if it has happened to you) I keep getting repeated texts sent to me. Tony, Michelle and Femi all sent me a text on arrival in Nigeria and since then the same ones keep coming through not once or twice but several times a day (and night!) Again, ‘only in Nigeria’!