Mother Nature – Get back on your meds


I understand that springtime and fall can bring about a wide variety of weird weather patterns.  Leaving Africa in August to arrive in Washington State.  Traveling to Seattle and then California with a friend in September, and eventually driving to Washington D.C. in October has had me confronting the most drastic weather patterns that I have encountered in my entire life.  I have been exposed to 89 degrees, clear down to 10 degrees.  I am seriously not sure how to feel about this.. except to say at this time I am seriously ready to go back to Africa!!!!

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“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”
― Alice Hoffman

Ahhh – comforting warmness

“SAUL: ‘We made love outdoors, my favorite place to make love, assuming the weather be fair and balmy, and the earth beneath be clean. Our souls intertwined and dripping with sweat.”
― Roman Payne

…. then rain….

“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”
― Tony Hillerman

But the sun returned.. with an enormous amount of cold.. but still the beautiful sun..

“Even after the stormiest weather, a true warrior will still reflect the brilliant rays of the magnificent sun through both his or her eyes. You may get hit by sudden lighting or take severe beatings from the cruel wind, but you will always get back up and stand strong on your feet again, soak in the sunlight, and be prepared to get hit by even the most merciless hail – time and time again.”
― Suzy Kassem

 

So yeah… then came the snow and the very, very cold.

Finally, after a torrential snow, sleet, rainstorm…I wake up today to this.

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I’m going to just assume it’s cold out and stay inside and pretend that it is still summer.  I do love the seasons changing.. I just wish they would not visit every season in a one day period!!

“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me quite nervous.”
― Oscar Wilde

 

3 days – 3 years


As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.

-Yo-Yo Ma

I am 3 days from the end of my 3 year tour in Lagos, Nigeria.  It has been as amazing as I have expected it to be and as good as any other place I have had the pleasure of living and working.  The people are magic and the country is unfound gold.  Yes, there were ups and downs.. good people with bad….like every where.  Unlike everywhere, there were electrical outages, random housing alarms, floods, bacterial and parasitical infections, needing to leave 10 hours ahead of a flight to ensure you get to the airport in time to fly out, and of course chaotic traffic issues.

However, if you open your eyes, heart and mind to what is around you, you can find the smiles and the warmth that exist beyond the frustration, image or object that is directly in front of you.  When you can do that, you will find that as different as everything is around you, at the core of it all, it is still very much the same of who and what you are.. just people in a random part of the world trying to make a living and a life.   You will find that you have become a part of a life that at times had seemed incomprehensible and that life has now become a part of you.

When I arrived in Nigeria, I was considered a tough manager who was too hard on the people I was managing.  My expectations were too high and I did not cut anyone any slack.  A year into my position, I held an awards dinner for my staff because not only did they meet my bar but they surpassed my expectations for achieving a cohesive and high-functioning team.  Before I could even present my award to my team, they stopped me and actually gave me a speech at how much I positively affected their lives and their work.  The team lead started out by saying, “My oga (big boss), when you arrived it was like a hurricane…” another team member shouted out, “MORE LIKE A TSUNAMI!!!” This brought chuckles but also earned me the affectionate nickname “Tsunami Sam”

On Friday they gave me a shirt and told me that on Monday, my very last day of work here, we would all wear this shirt.  I am proud of my team and proud of myself for breaking down walls, changing hearts (mine as well).. and leaving Nigeria on a super positive note.  I will miss Nigeria with a passion.  I basically say this at the end of every tour.. and I basically mean what I say.  Nigeria I will miss you!!

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One of the girls even drew a pencil sketch of me.. amazing…

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I will end with some photos of my last few walks.  I will miss … not miss … some of the hazards of walking on the sidewalks.. not really sidewalks of Lagos.  I hope you have enjoyed my visions of Nigeria as much as I have enjoyed sharing some of my experiences here.

And off I go!!

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.   – Steven Wright

I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it.   – Olivia Newton-John

Life of Value


Beach Day – short and sweet.  This is the first time I have travelled to the beach and did not actually take pictures of the beach.  For some reason I was much more interested in the journey then the actual time spent there.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did!!

Fait alone will lead you to – – –

Naija Style


Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.     Nigeria

Make no mistake, I get it, weddings around the world can be amazing, glorious, inspirational, and even horrible.  But weddings in Nigeria are sensational and chaotic things.  I have been fortunate enough (and honored enough) to have been invited to another wedding in Nigeria of one of my colleagues.  Wow!! Just pure fun.

The color, the chaos, multiple photographers, kids, dancing, eating, matching clothes…

 

The kiss..

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and..

welcome.. the bride and groom….

 

Other cultural posts about heritage

YorkCastle, Rantings, Petroglyphs, roaming, patron saints, Morya, legacy, hotdogs, blarney, irene, Unsung 

Stay Calm and Carry on


Sometimes I wish that I could go into a time machine right now and just look at my self and say, ‘Calm down. Things are gonna be fine. Things are gonna be all great. Just relax.’ Tristan Wilds

Chaos runs amok in my life and the lives of my friends these days.  Surgery, work, construction, sickness, death, language practice, social commitments, and just life in general.  It’s always easy after the fact to remember that these things come and these things go.  In the heat of the moment though.. not so easy.  Sometimes I’m just chugging along and “BAM” there it goes again.  When I finally calm down.. I realize it was never that bad.. or even if it was, it’s over and life is good again and I feel silly for taking it all so personally.  That’s one reason I’m so happy to have some visual reminders of the calm that exists in my life no matter how chaotic my mental state can sometimes be. I hope you enjoy the visuals that I have been exposed to recently.  Sunsets, sunrises and grandkids first day of school!

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus

“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.”

“Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”

“I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.”
― Oscar WildeThe Importance of Being Earnest

Where’s my Backpack,  Leya, WoollyMuses,Roaming Urban GypsyLadyleemanila, Oh, the Places We See . . .Netdancer’s Musings, Jaspa’s Journal,WordsVisual,  A Day In The Lifeceenphotography.comOuch!! My back hurts!!,Mama Cormier,Figments of a DuTchessTravelrat’s TravelsOut an’ About, Une photo, un poème,  Musin’ With Susan, The New 3 Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect,