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Aduke is here!

December 19, 2006

People my People! ahoy Africa!

…………I am here for those of you who I haven’t spoke to, (which would be everyone except for my father). After being stuck in Paris for a day because we missed a flight (damn delta!!and damn Air France and the Charles De Gaule airport!!!…but there are worse places to be stuck), but we arrived here safe and sound on Saturday. At least I did…………my luggage was not so lucky. Because of the flight problem it was sent the next day (supposedly, still trying to figure that one out), and then held for ransom at the Lagos airport. They wouldn’t let anyone except me go back to the luggage claim where they very nicely asked me for money. UUmmm….how about no nice Nigerian man. I didn’t understand what he wanted at first and then he started speaking to me in French…………to which I replied in French. So somewhere he got the idea that I was French and didn’t speak much english. Anywho, I got my luggage and got out of the airport without giving him money by playing the dumb french girl (huh??… what?? I don’t know, I’m here visiting my mother…). Anyway, Nigeria is as shady as they say. However, the pleasant surprise was that they are not hostile about it. After refusing to give him money, he then helped me carry my luggage to the door and waved me off as if we were friends. Afteward I almost felt bad for not giving him the only money I had on me 100 Nira…which is about equal to .75 cents US….. who am I to deny a man 75 cents? Especially since I was so happy to see my luggage.

Being the light skinned green eyed monster in town has created quite a spectacle that started at the airport and has continued into the village. Word travels fast and though they speak Yoruba around me, they mix in enough English for me to figure out that they are talking about me, in wonderment about the girl who calls herself Black American. By day 4 I am almost use to the stares and the way people look at me as if to almost fear me….Ive been other places where I wasn’t black…..thats not new, but Ive never been somewhere where people seemed really leary and suspcious of me. I asked Dayo on my first day here if it seemed like I was making a spectacle to which she replied “I was hoping you didn’t notice”…I was hoping everyone else didn’t notice. We took a road trip out of town to a village about 350 miles away to pick up her brother at boarding school and were stopped by a police man and her stepmother kept insisiting that they were only stopping her because of her “babaoyo” daughter…. ummm does that mean white? unsual?…..did they think that I was smuggling drugs? or being smuggled myself? who the hell knows. The shit is wierd for real.

Other than the wierd reactions from people and the food struggles it has been very good so far. By day 3 I had already been rechirstened “Aduke”, meaning the family pet, the one in the house everyone wants to spoil and pamper, not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing. My biggest difficulty is I think my stomach has unofficially declared a hunger strike consisting of water, rice, and plaintain with occasional recognizable goat and beef parts. What part of the animal you get just depends on the part that ends up on the spoon……….. I have already lucked out way too many times and received the asshole. They didn’t even have to tell me, I know asshole when i taste it….never had a chiterling in my life……but everyone who has smelled it knows what the hell it is when they taste it. I have beeen a good sport so far and gone out of my way not to offend and be a gracious host………….but I absolutely draw the line at goat asshole. Even if it is called something cute like “tripe”, o hell naw. “Just rice for me please”

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