Friday, January 22, 2016

#5 Nigeria: Lekki

These are all just pictures I took from my car window to give you a feel of what it's like in this area:
a small glimpse of a market

Unfinished buildings, people running through the road, and a mini-bus (the green and white van).

Everywhere is really crowded and unorganized - at least to my untrained and OCD eye. 

wild horses by the side of the road 

This isn't a wide enough shot, but there were 5 lanes on this 3 lane road 

some more "normal" looking buildings 

I thought this "shopping complex" was funny - reminded me of a run-down strip mall. 

This is a new, big grocery store that just opened a few weeks ago. It's very close to where we live, so a lot of the expats are excited about that. And this is probably the most-comparable-to-something-in-America place I've been since we got here (off-camp, that is).

The roundabout we live by. We live right next to an Expressway (basically a main road, not a freeway). There are several roundabouts on that road - like 7 between our house and the school - and people definitely do not obey the roundabout rules. You just go in when you want to, and when you want to exit, you just start going that way until people let you through. There's no stopping and waiting to be let in. Ever. You just inch where you want to go. I would be an awful driver here.

Goats! Probably going to be turned into food. Since they eat goat here...

Starred the American International School (where Sophia will start preschool next week), the church building, and the Chevron Compound. With traffic, the trip from Chevron to the school takes an hour.

I really haven't been around town much, but I'm glad I took my camera with my the first time because it's already starting to look more "normal" to me. I can only speak for this small area of Nigeria and Lagos I've seen, but I think it's a lot like Cairo, Egypt. That's the first place I saw tons of run-down buildings, small shacks all over, crazy driving, and whole families riding on mopeds. India seemed more poverty-stricken. There, you'd drive past people sleeping on the side of the road or in the shade of their rickshaws because they had no where else to go. India also smelled really bad, sickly-looking cows rambled around in the streets, and people were bathing and doing laundry in really, really dirty and smelly rivers. I'm sure all of that goes on here as well, but not in areas I've seen yet.

It is still very sad, though. All along the expressway (which is our main artery to everything here), there are small wooden shacks set up where people sell things. Every so often you pass markets, which just look chaotic! There are tons of tents and people and there's not any real sort of organization. There are burned-out cars left on the side of the road, and we usually see one or two car accidents because the driving is pretty crazy. We asked a driver if you'd get pulled over for speeding, and he laughed. I think we've only really seen 1 traffic light, but there are lots of roundabouts. People don't signal or yield when they're changing lanes, they just start coming over! When there's traffic, the three lane road turns into 5 or 6 lanes - with one lane in the bumpy dirt next to the road. But I would say it's not as crazy driving as in India. Here, we are just inches away from playing bumper cars with other people about every 30 seconds. So it's important to find a good driver who will make you feel safe, not be overly aggressive, and also knows his way around town.

When we drove around with Sophia last week, she kept saying, "Oh no! They're driving with their door open!" or "Why are they walking in the road where cars are moving!?" or "Why are they sitting in the back of that truck with no seat belt?" It was cute. That's Sophia - always concerned about safety.

1 comment:

Carson said...

Wow, those pictures really look like India to me, except for horses on the road instead of cows. What a unique experience to live there! Thanks for posting the pictures so we can see what it's like.