Jessica's arrival at the airport--our first glimpse of any family for over a year. Can you say excited?
A big hug!
Made to the parking lot and found the car....happy to be together!
After an exciting (at least for Jessica) ride to our compound we were met by Felicia and Edith who could hardly wait to meet Jessica--what a great warm welcome!
A welcoming pizza dinner with the Johansens and Karkaris
No time for Jessica to settle in or get over the jet lag. The next morning we were off to a wedding for our friends, Victoria and Smart. It is the tradition for friends of the bride and groom to dress in a material that they have chosen. So I had a wonderful lady, Blessing Igolo, make Jess and I dresses for the wedding. Good thing we are close to the same size as they were just delivered to us the morning of the wedding.
A "snap" with the groom
The bride arriving and meeting Jessica
Showing Jess the infamous "Opebi Street" in front of the church--pretty quiet on a Saturday morning. Just beside the church is an open air bar that is a parking lot in the day and a rowdy bar from about 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. We can hear the bass booming along all night long in our apartment. We know that if we wake up and we can hear the music we know we can go back to sleep as it isn't time to get up yet!
The colorful guests after the ceremony
Jess made many friends--but not this one! Many times the children love to rub your arms or face to see if white skin feels different!
More success in making friends here. Little cousins of the bride that danced at the reception
The groom's sisters loved Jessica!
Smart is a policeman and his friends obliged us with a picture
Dancing the day away with the bride. They do know how to party here and Jessica fit right in. They were so impressed with how "Nigerian" she could dance!
Sunday we attended church here in Ikeja and then had a wonderful dinner with the Ibe family--some of our best friends here in Nigeria.
Ike and Freda Ibe with Freda's mom, Georgina and their oldest son, Alston. The other 2 boys were fast asleep so missed the picture. Jess felt right at home with all those boys!
Monday morning we always start the day at the staff devotional. Jessica joined us and made instant friends--especially when she handed out Smarties and Canada pins!
Visiting one of the thousands of markets here--looks great in pictures but Jessica found out that the heat, the smells and sounds add much more to the experience!
Just next door in the market I finally went into a shoe shop. And--for the first time in over a year I bought a new pair of shoes! That is a record!
Jessica among all the fresh offerings
One of our very favorite office elders was going home this week, so we had a special family home evening with him and his 2 companions. Elder Brown (on his way home), Elder Engmann and Elder Ghunney having dinner with us.
One of the lovely ladies in the office made a very special chicken pepper soup for Jessica so we shared it with the elders. It is pretty hot and spicy!
One day we took a little journey with Cletus Martin who works next door to us in the service centre to see his new home and farm. This is his wife and the lovely fruts and veggies she gave to us--again, such generous people.
On our journey to the farm we found a special sign for one of Jessica's boys. Enjoy this Carter!
We visited a school close to the Martin's home where their youngest son attends. It was very new and they loved having us there.
Aren't they all just too cute??
Another day we took a trip to Abeokuta, a city about an hour away with our friend, Rufus driving us. There is a tourist attraction called Luma Rock. In the 1800's some of the people in the area lived in this small crevice between 2 rocks to avoid the war going on between tribes. These were the remains of their houses. Even us shorties couldn't stand up!
Near the top of the rock--great view!
Jessica's last day and a birthday celebration for Marcus from the travel department. For cookie Friday we also had 4 kinds of popcorn (ketchup, dill pickle, white cheddar and sour cream and onion) with spices that Jessica brought to us. An interesting experience for many of our friends. They love popcorn but hadn't ever tasted flavored popcorn. Friday is usually traditional day and many woman wear their traditional dresses to work--so, Jess and I joined right in.
Jessica almost packed and saying goodbye to the Johansens.
Our airport drivers--not allowed to drive alone in the dark--so we called on our friends Victor and Prince. Good bodyguards don't you think!!
A last goodbye hug! See you in 5 months!
And there she goes! What a wonderful week we had and what great experiences we shared!