By the grace of God we arrived at Abuja international airport at about 5 am local time on Friday February 29th. After clearing immigration and customs smoothly, with the exception of missing two bags, we went to the Baptist Guest House in Abuja and had breakfast and then had a 4 hour drive to Jos. We arrived at our new home in Jos Nigeria at around noon local time (6 am EST).
We were warmly greeted by the Cari Uland who is in charge of member care, among many other things and we began to move into our house. She set us up with lunch and dinner appointments for the first week so we are meeting a lot of new people and are well fed. Our first couple of weeks will be spent in orientation to life in Nigeria and to our new ministry. We will need to buy our own furniture and appliances to replace the ones being loaned to us. This is not a simple matter here, the furniture will likely be made to order and appliances are not as readily available here.
We have a relatively large three bedroom house with two bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, large pantry, combined dining/living room and an attached sitting room. It has concrete block walls and a bare concrete floor. We live on a compound with eight other homes; besides the missionary families there are two Nigerian families and one Nigerian single man along with a hostel for kids whose parents live outside the city. One of the Nigerian men on the compound has 400 chickens from which we can get eggs and broilers. Unlike AIM – Tech in Kenya we are much closer to the missionary community and therefore there a lot more kids for David and Brian to play with. They have already made several friends and have adjusted great. We could not ask for a better transition for them. We will also have a much more interaction with the missionary community than we did in Kenya. This is good, but it can also be a distraction from interacting with Nigerians. We will have to work hard to find the proper balance.
We have arrived at the beginning of the hot season and near the end of the dry season. Right now everything is brown and there is a lot of dust, we are told however that when the rains come, in mid April, things will green up. In the midst of the brown there is a flaming tree (tree with bright orange flowers) and a Jacaranda tree (purple flowers) blooming in the middle of our compound which add some color to our compound. We enjoyed these trees in Kenya also. There are also lemon, orange, avocado and grapefruit trees around the compound for us to enjoy.
Jos and Nigerian culture are very similar to Kenya so we have not experienced much in the way of culture shock. We have not had a lot of interaction with the Nigerian people yet, but in the interaction we have had we find them similar to Kenyans. We have been told that Nigerians are more in your face or perhaps aggressive than other African’s, but our experience to date has been pleasant.