Submitted by Ambika Samarthya
(Ambika will be in Nigeria for a year through BBC, training producers how to incorporate HIV outreach and education into programming.)
It’s rare to ever fly for 6 hours in the same exact time zone, which really makes one believe jet lag has a lot to do with just flying and not particularly with the time warp. Anyway, I left london yesterday at 10pm and arrived in Abuja at 4:20am.
When I arrived, a driver met me with my own mobile phone with numbers plugged in! Would love calls but have to warn you that there’s no voice mail system. My house is a 2 bedroom cottage style place with ac, cable tv, a large kitchen, and no mosquitos (so there mr. macy’s scary man telling me weird larvae stories!).
I went into work today and it was really fun, and everyone was really friendly and not all that tall. I am sitting here emailing, having boiled peanuts and tea, and ready to leave soon to relax in my crib with a book. I am really tired.
One of the most interesting things I have learned is that people here usually strive to be lawyers and doctors and that creative work is sort of the end all. As opposed to the States where everyone wants to do creative work but have other careers in case it doesn’t work out. D. was in med school for 4 years and he failed out. But he loves what he does but he says that many others don’t.
Abuja reminds me of Chandigargh in Punjab – well structured roads, no slums, fairly level city, and everything close together. I was expecting an onslaught of “Africa” but it’s been pretty much like India with African people.
Stay tuned for more.