Tuesday, 7 February 2012


You may remember my post back in October when I briefly mentioned the security situation in Nigeria. Since then, tension in the north of Nigeria has heightened. Therefore, for the past month, I have been evacuated from Dutse to Abuja and I will continue to remain here for the meantime.

So I am making the most of the opportunity to get to know Abuja better and it is actually really refreshing to have the huge contrast from my rural placement in Dutse. I love to say that ‘I love Abuja.’ Here are some of the reasons why;

1. The numerous swimming pools available.
2. Different shopping experiences to tempt you: markets, bazaars, craft fairs, western supermarkets, restaurants.
3. Plenty of volunteer friends to hang out with as all northern VSOs are also evacuated to Aubja, in addition to the Abuja based VSOs.
4. A wide variety of gardens to relax in, from sitting in beautiful valleys under grass canopy’s to a dark, dingy car park at the end of the road.
5. Lots of invites to parties.
6. You are free to wear whatever you like. It makes me smile when I see my colleagues from the north experimenting with the traditional dress from the south.
7. Joining a running club and being free to run on the streets.

In addition to the Abuja lifestyle I was also given the opportunity to design and deliver a maths workshop for the SSIT. We were given skeleton objectives to work with: to improve understanding and skill in teaching maths and to promote interest and excitement in maths. So together with another VSO and an ESSPIN colleague, we really had fun Bringing Maths to Life.

For me, the highlights of the workshop were making play dough, playing connect four, investigating water, singing 10 Green Bottles and then ‘dashing’ (giving) green bottles of sprite to the participants, the same for the song 5 Long Yams, playing maths computer games and floor sized snakes and ladders. Best of all was the last day of the workshop when the participants shared their local, traditional songs and games with us and we discussed how they could be used for teaching and learning in the classroom.
The participants enjoy teaching Vonnie a local song and dance.
I was also very lucky to be taken to Usuma Dam, which is a short drive from Abuja city centre. The unexpected beauty took my breath away and we enjoyed a relaxing boat ride, scenic walk and refreshing swim.
Fisherman on Usuma Dam
So, I continue to enjoy my VSO placement in Nigeria, rising to the new work challenges presented to me, learning how to live and survive in Abuja and exploring a different part of the country.


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  3. Hi Lucy,

    I read this posting with great interest. I'm a Canadian and I may head to Abuja, Nigeria for a job soon. I would like to get in touch with you via e-mail for some advice. Thanks a lot. Hopefully you will see this.