At last, I arrived at our hotel yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. To review, the trip started with the wonderful airline who had a plane with maintenance problems that caused me to miss my connection. So after a late arrival in Atlanta on Thursday night, 26 extra hours there in an airport hotel room, an 11 hour flight to Lagos, an overnight there, a morning tour of part of Lagos, and a 4 hour car ride to Ado Ekiti, I was very happy to get here.
I eventually met up with my 14 colleagues who were doing a tour of a university around Ado. It was great to finally meet everyone in person and join in.
Some noteworthy events and observations:
- When coming through customs in Lagos I had a brief encounter with an immigration agent over what he called a problem with my yellow immunization card. One number was crossed out, which he deemed an amendment to the card which is a violation. After 20 minutes and a threat to quarantine me, I was allowed to go without handing over any money. My situation is not unusual.
- Lagos is not like a city I’ve visited before. There is no what I’ll call “tourist spots”. Guide books indicate that the tourism infrastructure is to be built.
- It was quite the trip from Lagos to Ado Ekiti. We were accompanied by a security vehicle and armed guards. We were a two vehicle motorcade with a siren used whenever there was a need to create a path. Quite the dignitary treatment.
- The Saturday evening that I missed included an impromptu visit to the governor’s house for an informal meeting and birthday party for him. From all accounts it was special.
- Sunday evening was spent watching the African Cup final where Nigeria won for the first time since 1994. What fun to watch with the Nigerians who were primed for the match and ecstatic with the victory. Perfect timing…
- The people in Ado Ekiti have been incredibly nice and hospitable. What a pleasure.
Today starts the real work part. More to come on this later, including pictures which take time to upload given the limited internet bandwidth. Nigeria #ibmcsc