More visits in Benin City

Friday, January 19, 2018
Benin City, Edo, Nigeria
We had two more visits today, although they didn’t start terribly early. Osas once again came by with his car about 10 am to take us back to his house to visit with one of his sisters. There were several things we needed to discuss with her, and we enjoyed the time we once again had in their home. We left a little after 12 to go back to the hotel.
Traffic coming back was terrible, often at a complete standstill. The police presence was much greater, and several of the side streets were blocked off, which no doubt made the traffic snarl even worse. Osas explained that we were going near the stadium, and he suspected there was a political rally going on. That would explain the extra traffic, the larger than usual police presence and the blocked off side streets. All we could do was wait for the cars in front to creep ahead a few paces, and follow suit. The temperature on the Fahrenheit scale was in the upper 90’s, and with no air seeming to stir outside, when the car can’t move it gets quite warm inside!
Driving in Nigeria is similar to driving in Ghana, but a little more aggressive. When you want to merge, you simply stick the nose of your car out in the road and either hesitate or go for it. There must be some way the drivers can figure out who is going to stop and let them in and who won’t, but I can’t really tell the difference. Actually, from the looks of many of the cars on the road, there are a lot of drivers who can’t tell the difference either! Cody’s comment is that driving in Nigeria favors the bold. My wife would probably attest to the fact that there isn’t a lot that intimidates me behind the wheel of a car or truck. I have driven in Ghana, and can do so again when and if needed – but I have absolutely no desire or intention whatsoever to drive in Nigeria!
Another member was coming to see us in the afternoon, but he arrived late because of the terrible traffic getting across town. He had some scriptural questions, which we answered, and then we discussed a few other things regarding the local congregation before he needed to get back across town and prepare for the Sabbath.
I was able to get a little work done in my room, but had two problems: one, my card key would no longer turn on the lights and a/c in the room – a similar problem to what I had in my first room. The desk agent came up, and once again couldn’t get my card to work, so he gave me one of the management’s master card keys, which works. He told me to just keep it for the duration of my stay, which was very nice of him. It also allows me to go down to eat while leaving the a/c going in the room. The a/c works OK, but when the room is stuffy it takes it quite a while to cool it off, and working on its lowest setting it never will get the room cold. So being able to leave it on even if I’m out for a bit is a very nice thing!
The second problem was that the power kept going off and on all afternoon. We’d lose all lights, and a moment later I’d hear the large diesel generator outside the building start up, and we’d get lights back. I lost track of how many times this happened, but there is the same momentary loss of power when they shut down the generator and switched back to the city power lines. And every time this happens the rather tentative wifi connection goes away for a bit, so I’ve been unable to do much other than send out a quick email, not enough connection to post a blog this afternoon.
For dinner Cody ordered a traditional Nigerian dish, and I decided to take a chance and ordered the beef “Prime Mignon”. The description sounded decent, but I’ve learned over the years that what is written in a menu sometimes bears little resemblance to what you end up with…
In this case it was surprisingly pretty good. The meat wasn’t as tough and chewy as is often the case, and the cooked onions and tomatoes with it were good too. Score one for the chef – good job! I noticed Cody struggling a little bit, and he commented that he’d forgotten just how spicy that dish was. Score one for me – for not following suit and ordering what he did!
After dinner the power seemed steady, and I was able to connect my phone to the wifi where I could call my wife. (Wifi calling allows me to call at no charge – which is pretty neat!). We are seven hours ahead of the time at home, so while it is into the evening for me, its early to mid-afternoon for her, and she’s finishing her preparations for the Sabbath.
After an enjoyable talk with her, we disconnected and I finished my preparations for the Sabbath. Cody and I will give split sermons, then I’ll give a Bible study. And we have the wonderful opportunity to have the blessing of little children on two babies tomorrow!

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Tess Washington

LOL!! I have to let you know that you made me laugh all throughout! Good that you and your wife had the time to talk from a long distance! We are benefitting tremendously from most of these modern technologies! Thank you for writing to us...