Thursday, 29 November 2007

2 weeks - and counting!!

Hello folks! I'm afraid I have joined the members of the team who are counting the days until we leave Lafia. I am going to miss the people so very much - especially my host mum who I've grown very close to. I will not however, miss this place called Lafia. Everything here is so difficult and organising anything takes so much time and energy - and its very draining!

This week we have been busy preparing for world disability day. We had a fantastic meeting with about 20 disabled people in the office of our implementing partner NACWYCA. We had the blind, deaf, leppers and what the Nigerians call 'cripples' - but to you and me they are in wheelchairs. We wanted to conduct a needs assessment to determine what we will discuss in our disability forum that we are holding on world disability day. We are inviting policy makers and advisers to the governor to hear what the people ahve to say about disability iddues. We want to give these people a voice, because at the moment, nobody seems to care about them. I really hope we can pull it off, but its taking all my brain and physical energy to get thigns done!

We are also celebrating world aids day on Saturday with a rally and educating people about HIV issues. We are hoping to visit what they call a 'junction town'. These towns are where the long distance truckers have mistresses and therefore the rate of HIV/AIDS is very high in these areas. We hope to give out condoms and raise awareness while we are there.

Last saturday we managed to raise 11000 Nira for the local hospital through a day of fundraising. We did a steet role play about road safety issues and had a fundraising party in the evening. I was in the role play and I died 6 times that day because I got run over by an Okada! It was great fun and the money will go to a good cause. When we went to the accident and emergency section of the hospital they gave us a list of about 20 drugs that they didn't have. They said they sometimes have to wait up to 2 days before they can get more drugs. So if you turn up on the wrong day, it could mean the difference between life and death. We really don't realise how lucky we are that we have free access to health care.

What else? I have been buying things to bring back for Xmas and it will remain a surprise for those involved. I have become an expert at haggaling and I think the market stall holders hide when they see me coming! Roy the puppy is still very naughty and still poos on mammas carpet everyday! I wish I had the time to train him, but we don't get back until very late most days.

So 2 weeks to go until we come home!!! Unfortunately one of our UK team members had to be flown back to the Uk today as her grandfather waqs taken seriously ill. We had to say a very emotional goodbye to her yesterday, but we will see her again in London. She is a very popular member of the team, so we were all very oncerned for her. Lets keep our fingers crossed that things will work out for the best.

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