Tip #415: Impressions of Lagos

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Gracious hospitality at Southern Sun Ikoya Hotel- they gave us a huge box of musk spa materials upon our leaving- and everyone asks when we will return and they hope it will be soon.

Nigerian people are delighted when we wear their native costume- while we were worried they might take offense. I still received compliments days later after wearing Nigerian dress.

Bright colors, patterns- ornate or delicate laced flowers even on men’s dress. Some men wear very long robes, others the long shirt, loose pants and hat. Many women have something covering their hair- a hat, a scarf, the native scarf.

The fishermen in the morning mist in the middle of Lagos Lagoon- have manually poled their boats out to the middle of this huge lagoon. They must be incredibly strong.

At the open market, one man was selling beautiful pictures-made entirely of butterfly wings!

Ben Ben was a gracious and masterful business counselor in the simulation. He has a beautiful beautific smile, listens carefully, follows up, repeats to be sure he understands, gently probes to find all issues and determine what the business owner has done. I was in absolute awe!

I didn’t write last night because I was up until 3 a.m. the next day making changes to the Business Counseling Fundamentals materials, writing a proposal to Ayo to design the health related curriculum she wants, and then packing four bags. One to go back with Tricia to the US and then mailed to Jenny, the others to go on to Jordan with me. Without Jenny there to do her expert packing, this took me quite a while!

This was particularly true because the power was off in the office and we sweltered for two or more hours. I was dressed for travel, so had on long pants that got very damp…

However, I must say that this trip to Lagos has been really wonderful, thanks to Tricia (who is terrific company!) and Ayo, our driver, who made me feel safe and looked after. The hotel was, as mentioned before, very gracious and comfortable. I’ve enjoyed everyone I have worked with in the training programs. I would definitely return to Lagos in a heartbeat! Besides, I need to get back to that open air market!!! Items I had purchased for 250 N were sold for 2000 N at the Lagos airport!

I had a marvelous time on the flight from Lagos to Amsterdam. The food was the best I’ve had (chicken and rice) and I was able to watch two movies I had missed in the states: The Artist and New Year’s Eve.

This is good, because I had a terrible shock when I went to check my baggage and tell the KLM Dutch airline person that I needed to have my luggage get off the plane with me in Amsterdam. She couldn’t do that- and sent me to their office, kindly keeping my 2 bags totaling 100 pounds by her. I had to pull my carry on through construction-which meant over dirt, mud, broken concrete- and then discovered that there was no elevator. It is so very lucky that I am now able to lift, because I had to carry my bag up a huge flight of stairs. The heavens were smiling on me, because a fellow traveler coming down the stairs offered to help me and took my bag up the rest of the way.

KLM would not budge on their rule that the luggage could only be off loaded at the end of a booked flight. I was given a choice: purchase a one-way ticket to Amman for $1600 (notice this is US dollars, not naira!) or a round trip ticket for $1290. Clearly, I had no choice. I just hope and expect that either Banyan Global and/or Ecodit will cover that cost.

May your learning be sweet.


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