Everything is the same but different

Written on October 30, 2009

241My two colleagues and I left from our homes in Ghana at 5am to get to the airport.  All of us got up much earlier than that to put the finishing touches on our packing.   I packed pretty light for this trip because I find it easier to pack light and wash than to pack heavy.  Our departing plane  on Virgin Nigeria was on time and we landed in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, about 20 minutes late because of a VIP landing (they closed the airport; it’s a whole other story).

From here everything looked the same but different.  It felt like I had been in Nigeria before because the buildings had a similar look to Ghanaian buildings.  But then some of the architecture was, I guess, strictly Nigerian.  The roads in Abuja were smooth and relaxing like Accra, but there were very little street vendors.

When we arrived at our first destination, Jos (which incidentally got its name from when it was first settled by missionaries and stands for Jesus Our Savior), the streets were congested and looked the same as Ghanaian streets, but they were different because Nigerian police had stands in the center of intersections to direct traffic.  There were many Nigerians zooming by on machines (their word for motorcycles) like Ghana, but Nigerians were bundled up because it was in the high 60’s.  I was and am cold, like the Nigerians.  I guess Ghana has made me weak and thinned my blood.

Africa is strange like that.  Everything is the same, but different.

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