April 7 ~ Hello from Africa!
Written by: The Bridge on Saturday, April 8th, 2006
Oops! Instead of landing in Nigeria, the plane got lost and ended up on Jupiter, well at least that what it looks and feels like! (Ok, Matthew CS, I can see you laughing at that one!) As we got lower and lower you could watch the outside temperature on the info screen go up, up and up. At 3000ft we were around 22 degree C. then 23, 24, 25, 26…I was thinking, “That’s quite enough already, you can stop now”, 27, 28…Altitude 1500 ft and falling, temperature 29, 30 and still rising. The monitors shut off just before landing, so I didn’t get to see the final temperature, which was just as well.
Did you know that the term confusion and chaos was created especially to describe a Nigerian airport? Just kidding, but that would perfectly describe the airport experience! I’ve never seen so many people all going somewhere, and nobody really knowing what is going on. Mind you, they did manage to somehow sort most of the white people into a separate line, of course there was a lot of waving and shouting involved. Eventually we got through in one piece, there were some boys from Palmgrove there, waiting to take us home. Going through the city of Port Harpcor is an experience in itself. I’ve seen scenes like that before on videos, but to actually see it and experience it…it’s unbelievable! People living in poor conditions and in such dilapidated houses, even old containers are made into crude homes!
If you’re ever wondering why the horn on a vehicle is on the steering wheel, it’s because it is just as an essential piece of equipment as the steering wheel itself. If the horn doesn’t work, you may as well not have steering wheel. It didn’t take long to learn to hold our ears shut when we saw a big truck passes by.
Our first day in Palmgrove, we went around and looked at everything. At dinner time, we went over to the dinner hall to eat. We had rice and…well…rice, with bits of unidentifiable protein mixed in, it tasted good though!
The current situation in PalmGrove itself is a royal disaster. Everything is worn out and run down by the lack of care and maintenance. For those of you who wanted to hear some good news, sorry, but it’s a depressing situations to be in. The income in Palmgrove is next to nothing. We don’t know where to start, so much to do, so many obstacles. On a brighter note, reading the bible has become a more real experience, simply because it the only thing that we can trust and depend on. Back home, we had it so well made with a steady income and trusted system, whereas out here there is nothing but uncertainty.