Travel to Benin City

Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Benin City, Edo, Nigeria
The driver was at the hotel by 8:15am. I’d already settled the bill, so we loaded up and left right away. It was easier to get back to the airport area this morning than it was Monday night, but it still took nearly an hour to make the trip. Traffic was moving very slowly – but at least it was moving!
The check-in procedure at the domestic airport seems to change regularly. However this time I went up to the counter, she processed my ticket, checked my bag and handed me my boarding card in only a minute or two. Passing through the security screening is a bit like traffic on the streets: everyone bunches up, and whomever has an opening gets in next.
In order to get a tray to put my laptop, tablet and the powerpoint projector in I had to walk around to the backside of the table. So I unloaded my electronic items, took off my shoes, and then walked back around to the front. Since everyone there was still vying for a tray and taking stuff out, I walked up to the scanner, put my things through and walked through the metal detector. Nothing beeped, no pat down, he just wanted me to get my stuff and move along. OK…
This was flight number 8 for this trip so far (out of 12 scheduled total), and it was the first time I’ve had any delays. About the time we were supposed to be boarding they announced the flight would be delayed for nearly two hours, due to “operational reasons”. Looking out the window confirmed that the “operational reason” was there was no plane to board… Maybe a pilot overslept at the other end, who knows. But then about an hour late they called for boarding. Even though I’m sitting near the back of this flight, I was among the first to board. That becomes important because few pay any attention to the amount of hand luggage they can carry, and the overhead bins get filled quickly.
The boarding process is almost like a Laurel and Hardy skit as people jostle one another to get through, put their bags anywhere along the way no matter where they are sitting, then plot down in a seat regardless their assigned seat numbers! When the man who was to sit behind me showed up, someone else was in his seat. When he rather politely told the man he was in the wrong seat, the man said they would trade seats. It took some persuasion – and a flight attendant – to sort that out, but eventually the interloper moved to his correct seat.
I had no such problems. My seatmate was a very proper looking business man who took his seat and dozed off quietly – about the best I can hope for short of having an empty seat beside me! So the 30 minute flight to Benin City passed quickly and without problem, and we landed only just over an hour later than scheduled.
My bag came off quickly, and I walked out to find Osas waiting for me. We greeted warmly (well, everything is warm here right now, but I meant with brotherly affection) and we went out to his car for the short drive to my hotel.
This day was going to have several “firsts” for me. Since I was pre-paid at the hotel, check-in was quick and simple, and in a few minutes I was in my room Osas had a few things he wanted to talk about, so he came up and we talked for perhaps an hour.
When he left, I started unpacking and getting things set up for my stay. I pulled out my computer charging cable, and since it is rated for an input of up to 240 volts, I plugged it in like I have many dozens of times on these trips. But this time something went wrong, and the cord where it plugs into the power inverter popped and blew sparks all over. When the smoke cleared (literally) I found it had blown the end of the cord right where it plugs into the inverter completely off! That was going to create a problem if I have no way to keep the computer charged…
I went down to the front desk, and they had a cord that will fit my inverter that they will let me borrow for the length of my stay. It works fine, so that problem is solved. My room will just smell like burnt electrical wiring for a while…
Osas came back to pick me up at 4:30, and the Bible study was set for 5. I’m not very far from the church building, so we had plenty of time. The only problem was my stomach was starting to not feel terribly well. I didn’t feel like eating much, so I just munched in a couple of snacks I’d brought with me.
By the time we arrived at the building I was starting to feel worse. I fellowshipped as much as I could until it was time to begin. I started with the message on humility, having no idea how humbling this study was going to be!
About 15 minutes in my stomach was in full revolt, and another “first” for me happened: I had to interrupt a message I was giving and excuse myself to go to the restroom. Very fortunately there is one in this building, and it just so happened that the water was on too. I don’t know that they always have water here.
I returned and picked up where I’d left off, but only made it about 10 more minutes before having to excuse myself again. This just was not going to work! I gave Osas my notes and asked him to finish as best he could by reading my notes. I don’t write out what I say completely, just make notes that will remind me of a train of thought and I speak from there. Osas won’t have my same train of thought, but I couldn’t think of a better way to go right then. I don’t know how he did because I was rather preoccupied in the other room…
One of the ladies brought me a few tablets of what they take when they have an upset stomach, and I appreciate her thoughtfulness. I asked one of the other men if he could find me a taxi to just run me back to my hotel, but he came back and said he wasn’t able to find one. By this time Osas has finished, and he took me back. One of the young men volunteered to come and spend the night with me to help, and while I greatly appreciated the offer, that won’t be necessary. I carry some medication with me to help with these problems if they arise, and I’ve only had to use any of it once before. I’m glad I have it!
Shortly after getting to my room and taking some of the medication I started to feel a little better. I don’t feel like eating a thing, so I’ll just go to bed and see how I feel in the morning. I’m not certain I’ll be making any visits tomorrow.

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Dave Myers

Tom! So sorry for your sickness! We'll be praying for an immediate recovery!


So sorry for the bug and hope you feel better. Keeping you in our prayers that all improves and you accomplish your plans.

Kathy Treybig

We're so sorry you had to deal with being sick so far from home! Praying you'll be well soon to be able to continue with your work.


Oh no! So thankful you had the brethren to help out!