Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This one is short and sweet as I am in an internet cafe on borrowed time. Jane, the new MBA, has arrived and she has taken my room at the lodge. I've been moved to Lush Suites Hotel about a 6 minute drive from lodge. It's not bad, considering. I have a working tv with 5 working channels, including CNN and MTVbase and consistent power. On the other hand, the hot water heater in my room doesn't work, the wireless internet they said they had is, of course, not functioning, thus why I'm in an internet cafe down the block. They also forgot to give me a towel which made showering a bit tricky, but I have the towels I packed so I guess that's a plus...Don't know, I think I'm just getting tired of the really spectacularly shitty service that seems to be the norm in this country. Like I've discussed with my teammates, I have little to be upset about if folk would just be straight up. Don't tell me you have wireless when it's been inoperable for three days. Don't tell me you have hot water when you don't. And, please, don't charge me a premium price non-existent amenities. I know the internet thing is not the hotel's fault, but it becomes more tiresome the closer I get to home...

So, a lot of my work is ending...I got our files organized into a semi-organized hierarchy, although I'm still lacking random stuff from varied team memebers but I figure once I'm gone, they can just add them to the existing structure. On a more exciting end, I may be speaking to a group of planning students at UniCal about my experiences working in Nigeria. One of the profs I work with invited me, assuming they call of their strike before I leave, of course. And I have my first official duty! I get to attend the public presentation of the economic impact study of this past year's christmas carnival celebration. It's slated to be a rip-roaring 4 hour event where there will be guest speakers talking about the christmas festival and economic impacts...why this has to be a 4 hour event I don't know. I also don't know why there are like 3 guest speakers, an entry procession, and opening and closing prayer, but I guess if you're gonna do it, then do it big. So, being the "academic liaison" it is my solmn duty to attend this thing as an official representative of the project. I plan on comitting ritual seppuku at the beginning of the second hour in protest for attempting to make a grand public event out the publishing of an annual economic impact study.

Although, I do hope the strike gets called off so I can talk with the students. I'm really curious to hear what future planners have to think about Nigeria. I mean, all I can offer is my own frustration and belief in Nigeria's potential. But, honestly, it seems like everyone from other countries always say that. I'm tired of hearing people, foreign and Nigerian, blowing smoke up everyone's collective ass. The government here, at nearly all levels, suffers from endemic corruption that prevents basic services from reaching the people, does not address the issues of poverty, educational attainment, and myriads of other social measures that they are trying to address. It's time for the model to change.

All of which is very easy for me to say, considering I'm leaving in ten days and don't have to work within the system with all of its attending bullshit and political games. Sigh...it's just a hell of a position to be in. I want to talk with those folk and hear them and try and offer what little I can without coming off as being condescending or colonial. Although, I doubt the profs will be off strike by the time I'm gone, so the point is probably moot. Anyways, I'm out. my time is about up here.

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