On the way to their home we stopped off to see Mr. Aghimien’s shop. They run a small roadside hardware shop near one of the busy intersections in town. There is a lot of traffic past their store, which is always good for business! I’d never seen it before, so was happy to find out where they work. Mrs. Aghimien and Faustina, one of their daughters, were tending the store.
Then we traveled on to the house where Mr. Aghimien and most of the rest of the family were there. Rachel has been studying to be a midwife, and as part of her training she has been required to do a year of service someplace of the government’s choice. So she has been posted to Abuja, the nation’s capital city. She has spent most of her year there already, but was able to take a leave of absence to come back and travel to Kenya to serve as an FOI volunteer for their youth camp, which took place over the winter break.
She will not be going back to Abuja for at least a few weeks. The national elections in Nigeria take place in February, so she is going to be able to stay home at least until after the elections. Everyone is praying the elections will be peaceful.
After the visit Osas was able to bring us back to the hotel, where we both could finish packing, and chance into fresh clothes to begin the long trip home. Our flight from Benin City to Lagos was delayed twice, but we still had plenty of time. We arrived at the airport about 2:30 pm, and were able to complete all the boarding procedures smoothly and went into the lounge to wait for our plane. We boarded and took off shortly after 4 for the 30 minute flight to Lagos.
In Lagos we had to catch a cab to take us from the Domestic Airport to the International airport. They are two separate terminals just a couple of miles apart. We both were booked with Delta Airlines all the way home, but because he was flying through Paris, he had to check in through the AirFrance desk as they codeshare with Delta.
Our planes took off about 30 minutes apart, but from different parts of the airport, so we parted company and each headed to our gates, separate security procedures and then finally boarding the planes.
My flight was from Lagos directly to JFK airport in New York. The pilot announced that it is 11 hours and 10 minutes of flying time – a very long flight! I had a layover in New York before catching a flight down to Atlanta, and another layover before flying on to Fort Smith where my lovely bride was waiting just outside of security! From the time I got to the airport in Benin City until I exited security in Fort Smith I spent about 31 hours on planes and in airports. And I am very glad to be home and with my family once again!
I hope it is of some value for you to travel along with me via this blog. Thank you for your prayers and the kind comments that many of you made. So, until next time…