Today my roommate and I woke up late, so we missed breakfast, but for me, that wasn't much as I only really have two spoonfuls of oats anyway. We said goodbye to the other group that left for the airport, flying to another part of Nigeria. After we said goodbye I went back to the room to finish off packing.
Once packed we all got on the minibus and left for Gwada, we were told it would take around four hours. About ten minutes after leaving the convent we stopped off at a shopping centre. To get into the shopping centre, the bus had to pass through armed guards, and then when parked up we walked through metal detectors again to get into the mall. The security was very high in this mall, and it was actually pretty empty, I'm guessing this was because not many can actually shop there due to the price.
Once in the mall, I bought a basket full of items some that I don't need and others that I will. I bought lollies for the children, pineapples for my host family and salt and vinegar pringles for myself among other things. We also got to buy ourselves lunch in the mall. I got myself jollof rice and fried beef. The beef was really good, taking the texture of beef jerky just with a little more moisture. After this, we got back on the minibus and started towards Gwada once again!
The next set of photo's are from the journey, they are pretty self explanatory.
After a three hour drive through Nigeria’s beautiful countryside and small villages we arrived in Minnia, once here we stopped at the chairman of AFAN’s office, which stands for All Farmers Association of Nigeria. He then welcomed us to Niger (the state of Nigeria Minna is located, not the neighbouring country). I thought it would be appropriate to give him one of the pineapples that I had bought in the mall to him and he seemed to like this gift.
After a team photo with the chairman, we carried on to the small village of Gwada. The children defiantly knew we were coming, as we got into the village the minibus was swarmed by kids following us to VSO "Office" which was actually just an empty room. As I mentioned previously, I thought it would be amusing to draw my host home with lots of children as that's what I was told it could be like. What I hadn't realised was that I was meant to draw what I wanted my host home to be like. Subsequently, this meant the team leaders paired me with a family with 13 children the oldest being 16. When told this I thought the team leader was joking. However, they weren't, Cosmas and me had joined a family with 13 children. As we walked through and met our host family we were once again swarmed by children, and presented a newly born baby. In fact, the little girl had been born yesterday meaning we are living with 14 children.
This was pretty overwhelming, so I asked the oldest son of 16 to show us around the village, which he did, we walked for around thirty minutes until we made it to the VSO "office". On the way back we walked through a market selling anything from sugar Kane to Cows. When we got back to our host home, we started to unpack our bags as we were quickly losing light. Halfway through this, we were presented dinner which consisted of rice and vegetables. Which was actually very filling. I then had a go at getting the water out the well, which was a lot deeper than I thought. And went back to unpacking. By this time it was dark, and I had to find my head torch to make my bed (mattress on the floor) and put up the Mosquito net. To finish the night off, I had my first bucket shower... in the dark, the cold water being very refreshing, the experience was a lot better than I expected. I retreated to my room with Cosmas shatter from the heat and day's travels. Interrupted occasionally by any one of the fourteen children calling "Alex", "Ander" through the window. The two-day year old baby kept surprisingly quiet through the night.
Like I mentioned previously when on the road from Abuja to Gwada we went past a lot of fuel tankers parked up on the side of the road. I asked for the reason for this but didn't get a definitive answer if you know then comment below the answer. In addition the second video is our welcoming to Gwada from the local children.