tirsdag 16. juni 2009

A night to remember

Our stay in Lagos was getting to the end. As a last memory we wanted to spend a night at the beach hoouse. We went together with the Zimburg family, Axi 7, Uli 9 and their parents Marieke and Albrecht. We had a lovely walk along the beach, the kids playing in the pool and the two fathers preparing the moskito nets for the night. The holes in the roofing where noticed and they hung the nets as best they could to avoid the worst places.

The dinner went well, barbeque and happy kids. It started to get dark so we were lighting some candles. The wind started to increase in strength so we engineered a candle holder from an empty waterbottle. The kids lit some candle in and kept under the bar to protect them from the wind.

And then came the rain. We all knew it was rainy season, but we also knew that we could be lucky and get little or no rain. We got the lot. Rain, wind, thunder and lightning. And the rain was pouring down fast and hard. We just had to try and save what could be saved. So we grabbed the bags and threw them under the bar desk to keep the bedding dry, save the cameras etc. I noticed young axi talkking about some candles, but did not pay any attention because we needed to get the stuff out of the pouring rain. Suddenly it was the smell of something burning. Fire under the bar desk. We had put some luggage over a burning candle!

The loss turned out to be three beloved pillows. The place was suddenly covered in tiny wet feathers and meltet nylon from the bags. After this shocking experience and calming down the kids, we went to find them a dry place to sleep. That was surely easier said than done.

They ended up in the storage room on top of some mattresses. Two of them with their stuffed animals. The adults had to look really hard to find somewhere dry to spend the night.
We ended up three of us sleeping on two mattresses in the shower, and one on a mattress on the toalett.

B ut we never lost our good sense of humour, we survived the night, and in the morning everything was sunny and nice again. And Olav was covered with 50 insect bites while the rest of us were spared. And all three of the kids had experienced their worst night ever.

fredag 22. mai 2009

Visit to the woodcarvers shop

Yesterday we went visiting the woodcarvers workshop. There were woodcarving in all stages going on. Some just starting out, some ready carved and being sanded, while other projects were being finished and polished.

The young men working there were sweaty. It was warm, it was stuffy, and they had hard work to do. All work were being done by hand, absolutely no help be electricity. CD racks, done by hand - a lot of work compared to the price they receive at the marked.

In the workshop there were materials and half finnished projects everywhere. For me it looked
like the total chaos, for them this were just the way things were done.

mandag 18. mai 2009

Norwegian Independence day celebrated in Lagos

The Norwegian independence day is May 17th. In Lagos we celebrated it from May 16th 03.00 PM to the end of May 17th.

We started out at the StatoilHydro compound the afternoon of the 16th with champagne and fingerfood, games and competitions for the children and Hot dogs with sausages from Norway. Then we went marching and singing in our traditional May 17th parade. We left through one gate and came back again through the other. We sang our national anthem very loud and clear, before the children went to the bar for a Norwegian childrens movie and some ice cream, and the adults went to the penthouse for traditional Norwegion food. And the party lasted until 17. of May had started.

Sofie decided to go home with another Norwegian family, so she went from the party to the Chevron complex. The rest of us continued to the beach next morning for a champagne breakfast, a birthday celebration and a relaxing day at the beach.

So May 17th celebration in Lagos is strongly recommended.

tirsdag 12. mai 2009

Wooden stools

There are a lot of nice and special wooden artifacts and furniture here in Nigeria. Some more practical than others. So I must admit that I have stuck to the practical ones, the one I think I can use when we go back to Norway.

I have found a really nice and gifted woodcarver (or truth be told - he found me) that are working on several objects for me. He made me a wooden bench with carvings, and so far he has delivered two wooden stools.

They both have the same carved pattern at the top, the largest is supported by 8 legs, the smaller by 6 legs. The smaller is made very dark, while the larger is lighter. Probably done with shoe polish. There will be two more so we can have 4 stools all together as extra space for guests when needed. And when not needed? They can be stacked away like a small tower, one on top the other.

According to plans a wooden chest, two more stools and a bunkbed for Sofie is to be delivered before we move home.

Tuesday night at the movies

We were several people going to Silverbird movie theatre yesterday to watch the preview og Angels and deamons. But we were told that the film was cancelled.

"How can you announce a movie as a preview and then not show it?" we asked the man told to be acting manager. The answer were that they did this to create awarness of the movie. That is why they had put adverts telling everyone that the preview would be there tuesda May 12th. "But why not show it?" We kept pressuring the guy until he finally told us that they did not know where the movie was, and that they normally change programmes on Thursdays.

What movie should we watch instead? X-men? Fast and Furious? They did not seem like good alternatives so we went out and had a lovely dinner instead.

mandag 11. mai 2009

Sofie has stomach pains

For the las weeks Sofie has suffered from "tummy ache". First (when I was travelling) the dad took her to the company doctor, to the hospital and they did some tests, gave her pencillin and pain killers and sent her home.

That seemed to help for a few days. Then it all came back again, and friday I spend the day at the hospital with her. Could it be amoeba? Appendix? Food poisining that do not result in vomiting or diarrhea? Side effect of the anti-malaria medicine they have put her on?

Well the took samples of blood, urine and stool friday, and today we are up for ultrasound scanning of the stomach.

Sofie normally eats breakfast at 6:15 in the morning, so now the local time is 8:55 and she is "starving" since she is not supposed to eat anything before the hospital visit today. Just hoping that the are able to find out what is causing the pain, and give her a proper treatment. ...and that we will spend just a few hours there, not the whole day.

torsdag 30. april 2009

Loosing luggage at the Lagos airport

is not something you would wish upon your friends or relatives. I arrived yesterday as planned (not delayed!!!) and everything went smooth, immigration, passport and Visa check. Then I went down to wait for the luggage. To my surprise suitcases had already began arriving. And my suitcase came. I just had to wait for my second and smaller suitcase to arrive.

Next to me was a family of three travelling together. The had the largest suitcases I have ever seen. And each person had 3 suitcases. So the used three trolleys to get their luggage. In addition they had so much carry-on luggage that I wonder how they were let into the plane? Don't KLM restrict its passangers to one carry-on item? These guys had back-packs, small cabin bags and several plastic bags.

Well, I am getting off track. My second suitcase did not come. So I found KLM grouns staff. She asked me if my name were on a list she had. When I told her no, she told me that then my luggage was not missing. I showed her the luggage tag and told her that I was missing one item. I was told to wait. First after 20 minutes would she get a form and write a "Property Irregularity Report". And she did this in a manner as if she blamed me for my missing luggage. Finally I told her, that I had not misplaced my luggage, KLM had, so please change the attitude. That really did not help. Now she wrote even morre slowly on the form.

I asked what to do next. Then I was told to travel back to the airport the next day and inquire for my suitcase to check if it had arrived! KLM wanted me to spend even more time with this? "And if it is not there then?" I asked. "You keep coming back" she told me.

I really do not think so! KLM stole hours of my evening yesterday, and they are not getting my coming evenings as well. I will write to KLM in Amsterdam and ask if this is the service level they are providing. If so - I will just have to fly with someone else.