I am woman.. hear me…


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You.Are.Amazing.

As. you. are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.

Be Strong. Be Confident. Be You. ~ Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011

I have been living and working in Lagos, Nigeria now for 18 months.  One of my favorite things about this country is how vibrant and strong the people are.  Specifically the women.  Talk about inspiring folks.  Every day there is a new surprise that faces me down.  In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, my friend and I visited the Nike Centre for Art and Culture.

Every time I visit this gallery I find about 200 pieces I would love to buy.  The work covers everything from photography, to bead work, statutes of wood and metal, oils, fabrics, and really just everything you can imagine.  Well, this installation was possibly my favorite as it covered all of the artistic genres mentioned with a focus on the strong women who create the work.

What I love even more is the owner of the gallery.  Nike Davies-Okundaye – Nike Davies-Okundaye a.k.a. “‘Nike Davies'” a.k.a. “‘Nike Twin Seven Seven'” a.k.a. “‘Nike Olaniyi'” a.k.a. “‘Mummy Nike'”  – Wikipedia

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Talk about a strong woman.  I. LOVE. HER.  She is Nigerian.  She is strong. She is intelligent. She is kind.  She is an art piece all by herself.  What an amazing person.  So generous with her time and her ability to explain every piece of art in her gallery.  If you make it to Lagos, Nigeria and do not stop in to her gallery, you are missing a treat!!

The art presented that was specifically on display for Women’s Day was spectacular.  Created by women about women.  I did not take enough photos to really give it due respect.

My favorite pieces were so amazing!! They were huge though.  If I only had a place big enough to house them.

All of the other work was equally impressive and to be fair, there were many more “favorites”.  Even the work not specifically on display for Women’s Day, had a flair that I could not stop going back to.

For more Nigerian artwork that focuses on the Nigerian woman’s perspective, this book would be an excellent choice to get started.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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Travel theme: Woman

Other woman links:

Woman! Women of Cuba A daily stroll through Bucharest ; Roaming Urban Gypsy2017/03/12/athlete/Woman | Ladyleemanila;

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Animal Eyes


Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. Paramahansa Yogananda

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We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. Jawaharlal Nehru

More eyes –

Where’s my backpack – The eyes have it……with sunglasses! | Third Time Lucky! – Eyes Eyes – JenStewie – Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery – A Day In The Life – Übersetzen und Literatur, doch nicht nur – Ladyleemanila

Old Town Square – Prague


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Old Town Prague.  The square was beautiful, crowded, noisy, and full of a variety of surprises.  Just like a square should be.  Sun, food, entertainers, and tons of bubbles.  I hope you enjoy.

 

Square x100 @  Travel Theme Challenge: Square!

Travel Theme – SquareSquare – WoollyMusesThe life of a 40 something few words-uncountable colorsInteresting Square | HIP Photography pdjpixTravelrat’s TravelsJulie Powell – Photographer & Graphic ArtistThe Quotidian HudsonThe Quotidian HudsonLe Drake Noir;

 

 

A Child laughs in Lagos


The January 18th daily prompt was called Reason to Believe it asked; In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

I have always felt that laughter in the face of reality is probably the finest sound there is and will last until the day when the game is called on account of darkness. In this world, a good time to laugh is any time you can.

— Linda Ellerbee

My reason to believe is even in the worst of circumstances, the most harrowing of places, and in the lowest depths of humanity, I find laughter.  Usually in the face and body of a child.

This is the third blog regarding my tour of Makoko the stilt village in Nigeria.  As always, my favorite part of this tour was being able to interact with and watch the children actively engaged in the routines of their daily life.  It seems that no matter where I go and what environment I am in, the children are always the happiest or at least the most engaged and willing to interact with the people who pass through their lives.

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Every house we went by the kids would jump around, try to hide from us, and laugh and scream and call us silly names.  They loved getting their pictures taken. It was inspiring and made you really think about where you were in your own life.  Despite everything, this area was filled with play and constant laughter.  How can you not have hope and believe with those smiling happy faces staring back at you?

If you’re able to grow up in Nigeria and go through certain things, you’re able to tackle anything around the world because you’re able to live wherever, if you can survive in a city like Lagos or Warri or Niger Delta, as far as I’m concerned.

Nneka

 

[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

I hope you enjoyed my tour of Makoko.  Like I mentioned, this tour was just the start, just the beginning of my new routine.  Tours like this give me a reason to believe that I have a purpose for being here or anywhere.  For me the only difference between a routine and a rut, is how you move through it.

My goal is to once again move through my new routine in as a manner of learning about where I am and gaining a larger understanding of what I am doing and how to do it better.  It’s what keeps me believing.

Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.

Paulo Coelho

Nigerian Proverb:

Chicken wey run way from borno go Ibadan go still end up inside  pot of soup

loose translation: You Can’t Run Away From Your Destiny

HOPE – by Shaggy

More Reasons to believe

 

What is normal – Lagos Part 2


“Normal is an ideal. But it’s not reality. Reality is brutal, it’s beautiful, it’s every shade between black and white, and it’s magical. Yes, magical. Because every now and then, it turns nothing into something.”
― Tara Kelly, Harmonic Feedback

It’s easy to get caught up in how normal or abnormal a different life lived might be.  I would like to think that in general I live a fairly normal life.  I get up, do my stretches, eat breakfast, go to work..work..toil..worry..stress…eat lunch…work some more, come home, eat dinner and go to bed.  It’s my routine and I’m comfortable with it.

In the process of doing what I do, I will sometimes pass by lives, actions, ideals and philosophies that sometimes feel incredibly abnormal.  I might at times feel saddened by the brutality of it all, the abnormality and chaotic nature of it all.  I have to force myself to put the brakes on because what is normal to me now, might have at one point not so long ago, appeared to be very abnormal.  This life I lead right now often presents to me situations that do not feel normal at all.  When I visit some of the places I visit, a part of me screams inside my head that, “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!”

I have to ask myself what is normal?  What is routine? Who am I to make that call?

So Makoko Stilt Village part 2.

We visited the village in a traditional canoe which allowed us to see more of the area and see how this community really lives.  We visited a maternity ward, a school, passed by local markets and we were able to get an authentic feel for the lives being lived here.  To me interesting and lives uniquely lived.  There is no argument to that statement.  Except maybe to the people who are living that life.  Their routines are no more abnormal to them than mine is to me.

It is brutal, it is beautiful, it is every shade of black and white.

The more I travel and the more I see, the more I realize that in the middle of every single place I visit, exist regular people doing what is normal to them.  They all have a voice and they all have a story.  It’s crazy that I have to remind myself of this so often.

But on the other hand, in the midst of the chaos, you find normal people. You find people who are willing to risk their lives to tell you what they saw, even though they have no dog in the fight.

John Pomfret

Other routines.