Clean & Green Calabar

so much world, so little time has been busy since we last checked in with you around the end-of-year holidays. Thus, without our noticing it, more than two months have passed. Our day job — you know, that trauma center/hospital because of which we’re all here — takes up at least six days out of seven, and on the seventh day…well, we tend to do yoga, read and sleep. Though lately I’ve taken to making dhal on Sundays as well, and can I tell you: I learned how to make pretty darn fine dhal during those seven+ months of … work … in Sri Lanka. 🙂 Anyhoo: I took an R&R weekend to Nigeria’s cleanest and greenest town, lovely Calabar on the Cross River not far from the border with Cameroon. Photos of said weekend are appended below. For those who don’t already know, I’ve extended my stay here since I love the job so much, and will now leave in May…I hope to post at least once or twice more before I leave, but let’s face it: I’ve only got about nine more free Sundays between now and my expected departure date…and one does want to enjoy the company of one’s (fabulous) colleagues, the ambience of a smoggy, humid, disgustingly hot Port Harcourt Sunday, and so on and so forth. So be patient. And read the archives, if you’re just s t a r v i n g for more smw, slt. Love and kisses. Vote Obama. Please. Let’s start focusing on beating McCain, shall we?

Colonial buildings abound in Calabar — most built in Liverpool, brought over by ship, and then reassembled piece by piece here. They housed colonial officials and their families, and also those Africans wealthy and powerful enough to buy one as a status symbol. After taking this shot, I discovered I’m not relaly allowed to take pictures in this zone…it’s a government building…but I had a friendly chat with the nice officer and he ended up wanting to pose for a picture with me instead. Kinda classic, that one. I hope I don’t get in trouble for posting this shot…I just thought the building was lovely, and I’d like for y’all to see some of the many things that make Nigeria fabulous, rather than just beset by myriad problems.

Me at Cercopan: more about Cercopan and primates in Calabar below.

Calabar really does public sculpture and other demonstratoins of public pride — the huge flag at the top is part of an independence monument in the center of town, and these hands are on a gorgeous bluff in the old district of town, overlooking the Cross River. It was delightful to wander and enjoy the green and relatively smog-free streets.

I sat at this little table by the river for a loonnng time enjoying the peace & quiet and writing in my journal. The walflower is hiding a lizard, but even I can’t really see him, I only know he’s there…and the wallflower is pretty on its own, isn’t it?

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