Finding a routine in Lagos – Part 1


“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.”
― Vilayat Inayat Khan

Well, nearly 4 months in and still trying to find that routine.  The quote above exemplifies though that my routine is not about conformity but about discovery and experiences.  Lucky me, I found and joined a group that will allow me the opportunity to create a routine of discovery.

The Nigerian Field Society (NFS) is a national organization founded in 1930 with branches in several cities across the country which depend entirely on local interest and volunteer commitment. The first edition of NFS’s publication, “The Nigerian Field”, was published in 1931. This journal still continues and is one Nigeria’s oldest continuous publications. For more information go to http://www.nigerianfield.org/.

I just completed my first trip with them to Makoko, the stilt village.  I was able to visit this community of about 100,000 people and experience what their daily life is really like.  At least as much as one can in a single tour.

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This village was initially established as a fishing village in the 18th century and has been referred to as the Venice of Africa.  From the A-frame school house I was able to interact with some of the children and was also given the best overall view from the 3rd floor of this structure at the immenseness of this”village”.  Mouth-dropping really to see how expansive this stilt city was.  To think that there were over 100,000 people living here.  Out of the 100,000 people, we were informed that only about 350 were lucky enough to go to school.

For the children who were not in school, they would help transport food through the village, learn to fish, do a multitude of other tasks, or simply hang out and play.

It was amazing to see this completely different side of Lagos.  You can see a very interesting article from CNN world that gives you more details of this village.  Postcards from home: documenting Nigeria’s floating community

A trip to the stilt village was added by another member of this tour group.  The video gives you a slightly different image with sound perspective.  I hope you enjoy.

Other routines you might find interesting.

Favorite faces Favorite places


“For a moment at least, be a smile on someone else’s face.” 
― Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun

Faces are really beautiful to me.

Nigerian Faces I loved

What do you think is the world’s most recognisable container of information? It’s the human face. We are constantly reading each other and responding.

Jan Chipchase

Faces I loved in Nepal

Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?

Pablo Picasso

Beautiful faces in Venezuela

There’s nothing more interesting than the landscape of the human face.

Irvin Kershner

Beautiful and crazy faces in Korea

 

Other posts on faces from Where’s My Backpack

Figments, Middleton, Food Face, Elizabeth, Cee, A frog, Le Drake, Oh danny Boy, Quotidian, Lady Lee, Woolley, Tanzania, Sue Judd, Elizabeth, Mecyme, Regional

6 Weeks In – Keeping it Real


I try to keep it real. I don’t have time to worry about what I’m projecting to the world. I’m just busy being myself.

Demi Lovato

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Well, here I am.  6 weeks in and still working on getting organized.  I’m having a great time and keeping super busy at work.  It does seem that I’m way too connected to my work to really take time away from it.  By the time I get home, I’m usually too tired to do anything but watch streaming TV.  However, now that I’m sort of settled in, I’m hoping to get back to disconnecting a little and start exploring.  I wanted to take a minute and present some of my favorite first impressions on my new home.
 “I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.”
― Lauren Myracle
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The first thing I have really been mesmerized with has been the fact that people carry nearly everything on their head.  Possibly I’m most impressed with this because I can barely walk without dropping something or falling.  It’s super impressive.  Everything from bread to sewing machines. Sadly I do not have a photo of the last. I can completely understand how convenient that would be to free up your hands, but it just seems impossible. Apparently it’s not.
The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.

– John Madden

The next thing I noticed was that you could virtually buy ANYTHING on the street.  On ANY street. ANYWHERE!!  Not even joking.  Hungry?  Check.  Newspaper or book? Check. Fine art, masks, or toys? Check. Bathroom mirror? Check.
Like most of the countries I have been in, there is a network of quasi-broken down cheap forms of transportation.  I have not as yet used one of these and so far, I am not convinced I will.  Most of the roads are great, but as you can see, some are barely passable, even in a bigger vehicle.  I still enjoy watching these industrious individuals transporting people around.
For me, one of the best changes from the last 3 countries I have lived in has been my commute to and from work.  Normally I am either walking to work in a fairly dirty environment, pushing through traffic, or being transported in a very uncomfortable car-pool or on a crowded subway.  Here, a quick trip to a boat ramp about 7 minutes by water and then boom.. walk into work.  For me, a great way to start and end each day.  It also forces you to get to work on time and to leave work on time.
Speaking of water, many people live on the water and live from the fruits of the water.  Everything from tug-boasting to commuting, fishing to dredging sand to sell and just sailing.  The water is an important part of this place.  It’s a main shipping hub and it seems like everything from every country goes through here.   People live in shanties on the water and in high rise condos or on resorts.  It’s such an interesting lifestyle.
“I did things I did not understand for reasons I could not begin to explain just to be in motion, to be trying to do something, change something in a world I wanted desperately to make over but could not imagine for myself.”
― Dorothy Allison, Trash: Stories
I was fortunate enough to go out on a medical outreach where we were able to weigh and measure people, test them for diabetes, provide vitamins and doctor screenings.  My favorite part of the trip was playing with the kids though and learning about their games and teaching them some of ours.  It was  great one day trip and look forward to participating in more of these when they come around.
My favorite part of being here, is being back by the water.  Aside from riding to and from work by boat.  We are close enough to the ocean that an occasional beach day can be had.  I do love the ocean.  So with that I will end this post.  Thanks for visiting.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie

Past posts I have missed

  1. LettersFamily LettersLife lessonsRoad lettersTvor TravelsA trivial MindNaomiHow will your future remember you, 3Rs, Middleton, Sea fruits, Below, Partenie, Julie, Gray Hair, Halloween Scare
  2.  Photos we loved, Social Boundary, Barriers ETC,  Witch with a View
  3. Lens n Pens Nature, Mind’s Eye, Nature’s Pace, end of summer, True Friends, Changes, Forest of the Mind, Starlight, Black n white direction of light, sustainability, Indira, patchwork, Into the forest, Street Photos, Angeline, NW Frame, Halloween

Fantastic Kids


While on a coffee “trek” in Nepal, I definitely saw some great sites.  Despite being in Nepal, no one expected trekking to the coffee farm. (In reality it was not a major trek, just a very, very long climb down).

had some harrowing roads to travel

We had some coffee and eventually toured the grounds.  Pretty impressive and more so knowing how difficult it is to grow a coffee tree (it takes 4-5 years for the first fruit).  It’s also a lot of hard work.

After the farm tour, we were able to tour the Kathmandu roasting plant.  Ironically we ended our coffee tour by drinking a cup of tea!!!

However, out of all of the fantastic things we saw on this trek.. the local kids were the most fantastic!!

Other fantastic posts:

  1. Where’s my Backpack
  2. Now at home
  3. Caverns
  4. Le Drake Noir
  5. World and time
  6. Sangria stained lips
  7. Oh the places we see
  8. Traveller on a mission
  9. Paris
  10. Cubus
  11. Deco
  12. Walls