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01 June 2009 @ 10:27 am
Nigeria: The Apartment  
April 20

Moving on, I was taking in my new apartment for the next six months located at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, a city in Eastern Nigeria. Walking past the bathroom and small bedroom, there was a kitchen area and then a sitting area. The first thing I thought of when I saw these rooms was: "Wow, look at the lizards." Lizards were everywhere. They were on the walls, floors, and ceiling. They were in the sink and the cupboards. I tried to chase them out, but it seemed as if they were laughing at me. I later learned that they are just part of the area. Nigerians are as used to lizards in their houses as I was to ants. They are considered harmless and most Nigerians don't even notice them. So that was my apartment. A bathroom, bedroom, kitchen corner, and sitting area. Since I had not known what to expect and would not have been surprised if the whole apartment was a mud hut, I was pleased with the unit. Once I had gotten my stuff put away, I decided to scout the area and find something to eat. The apartment sits in the corner of the large campus that is the University of Nigeria. In Nigeria, people walk a lot. Just from the apartment to the main buildings on campus was a few kilometers. The market was about an hour's walk. Yet, not everyone -- in fact very few people -- owned cars. So most people just walked. It took a while to get used to the amount of walking I had to do, but eventually I didn't think twice about it. Walking outside the apartment, there was one road heading towards the center of town. There was a big soccer stadium about ten minutes up the road, and kids were there twenty-four hours a day playing soccer. I was so used to kids playing soccer with $100 shoes back home, that it was odd to see that most of the kids playing had NO shoes! That's right, they just played in bare-feet. You know something? They were good too.