Ma vie en pilules (hellbent4carob) wrote,
Ma vie en pilules

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I'm back, from outer space!

Well, two weeks ago I've returned from Nigeria. I had lost the password to the journal I created specifically for the purpose of documenting my trip. Alas.

I started classes again, and took the comprehensive finals. If everything goes well, I should be awarded my M.A. in Linguistics in May, and I believe (though I've said this several times before), that I finally have a subject to write on.

Nigeria was a paradox. I fun paradox, but a paradox nonetheless. On the one hand, you have the sweetest, most open, loving people in the world, but on the other hand, they'll also scam you for little bits of money here and there. They seem to forget they owe you "change" when you give more than the total amount of goods you purchase. A little pestering and you get your change, but still, it's quite amusing that you have to go through that each time.

The whole country smells like a campfire. People are burning trash everywhere, or cooking food to sell on wood fires just about any place they can. My clothes still smell like I've been roughing it in the woods for a decade. Ahh, sweet memories.

Malaria sucks! I got it, it was awful. Three days of nothing but... discomfort. It wasn't like a flu where you don't want to move or anything like that, or your lungs fill with nasty fluids. No, this was nothing was comfortable. You can't eat, sleep, or whatnot. You try to find a nice spot in your normally cozy bed... it's not there anymore. So, I was a wreck from it for three days, all the while getting teased by my host family. "We get it at least two times a year! Get out of bed, chicken! You're not gonna die!"

I could have done without Ibadan. The place is utterly polluted, and the infrastructure is horrid. We were stuck in traffic in that city for nigh on four to five hours, trapped between two oil trailers who were venting the most foul exhaust I've ever encountered. I blacked out a few times from it, but I survived. I'm probably going to get cancer when I'm 36, now.

The food was samey. After two weeks of similar dishes, you get tired of it quick. In the last week, I was so desperate for a hamburger, I was ready to go to the market and buy a bull, just to devour it on a bun!

There's so much I want to say about Nigeria, but I just don't think I can put it all here. Needless to say, despite the rolling blackouts, malaria, lack of reliable internet, snakes in the toilet (true story), cholera symptoms, complete and utter lack of Dr. Pepper (the Barbarians!), and something the Peace Corps calls "Africa Time", I plan on going back. I'm hoping to return in January to finish my data gathering for my masters' thesis, as well as visit again with my wonderful, wonderful host family.
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