Life Unparalleled

Loving Life as a Foreign Service Family – Current Parallel 6° 27' North- Lagos, Nigeria

June 16, 2018
by Dy
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24 hours of the unique mundane

Living in Nigeria isn’t always easy. Some days it just feels like too much. To many people, too much pollution, too much noise, too much traffic, too much hassle. I am ready for a vacation, some time out of Africa with feelings of a more “normal life”. It has been a year since we have left the continent of Africa. We leave for 6 weeks of vacation later this week. But as I sit here today I have tears in my eyes over the truly unique experience my family has been blessed with. For an example of the unique mundane that saturates our every day life I would like to share some highlights from just the last 24 hours. There is nothing particularly unusual just life as it is.

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June 6, 2018
by Dy
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So you are moving to a developing country..be prepared for clutter

This post may seem pointless to many of my Foreign Service friends, but many people from the US have never lived over seas. Even fewer have lived in a developing country. I wasn’t prepared for how cluttered my house would feel because of gadgets, technology and other systems I would need to stay sane and healthy. These pictures show some of the small differences from life in the US.

Cooker(stove) on and off switch. There are many fires in developing countries. So the gas it turned off after cooking.

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May 23, 2018
by Dy
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Romeo and Juliet for Kids

The 5th grade classes put on the play Romeo and Juliet for Kids every year. Everett Roger got to participate. I was surprised when he announced he wanted a larger role and he has never shown any interest in being on stage. He got the role of Prince Escalus,Prince of Verona and Friar Laurence. He had a tremendous number of lines to memorize. His class did a great job.

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May 18, 2018
by Ben
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20 Questions: Second Post

We had been told by our Career Development Officer (the office that makes assignments for first and second tour Foreign Service Officers) that we would probably receive our assignments by email at about 3:00pm Washington time (8:00 pm our time) on Monday the 14th.  In anticipation of this, the 6 of us in Lagos who are bidding on the 2019 summer rotation cycle made arrangements to get together at that time to offer each other congratulations or condolences.  We also invited spouses and the remainder of the Lagos FAST (first and second tour) officers.  All of us were on edge in the days leading up to the announcement, hoping that we would end up somewhere high on each of our respective lists. Continue Reading →

May 16, 2018
by Dy
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Painting- Makes the Bidding Process Easier?

Paint!

What mixed emotions I have regarding choosing paint colors. When Ben and I bought our first house in 2004 in Denver Colorado I couldn’t wait to pick and paint the small rooms. Every room was a different color and I loved it! So much fun and energy for our small house. I had a red kitchen, Koala colored living room, yellow, dark green and robin egg blue bedrooms and a bright blue bathroom. When we built our home in Leeds Utah it was a much bigger project. After designing and building the custom home I had serious decision fatigue. So when it came to choosing paint colors for our large rooms, with high ceilings, on three stories I was out of ideas. And truthfully a bit afraid. Poor choices would be much bigger and more expensive mistakes. We ended up with white for almost everywhere, light green for the little boys room, yellow for Dannica’s room and Koala for the outside. Yep I still love that color and will use it again for sure. 10 years in that home and I never got around or had the courage and money to paint it all the vibrant colors I had in my mind. When we arrived in Lagos we were told that there was a $500 allowance to be used on items to make our home more usable to our custom needs. Some people put in shelving etc but most people use it to paint. While Ben and I were pouring over bid options for our second tour I used painting as a distraction. It sort of worked. 🙂 I am very happy with our choices. We could choose whatever we wanted but it needs to be able to be covered with 3 coats of paint, done by the Consulate maintenance, when we leave.

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May 11, 2018
by Dy
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How do I know when I am going to go into labor?

Volunteering at the medical clinic and providing classes for the nurses and midwives means I have birth on my mind much of the time. A three year break meant that I only thought about birth a couple of times a day, but once a midwife always a midwife. Thank heavens for Ben who listens to me often describe what I have observed about the birth culture here in Nigeria, how resourceful and ready to learn the doctors and midwives are that I work with, how frustrating the corruption is here, how I can’t wait to share a piece of knowledge with the midwives, but most of all he listens to how frustrating it is that I am only allowed to go once or twice a week on their busiest days so I almost never get to be there for births!!! Oh it is so hard for this midwife heart to not see a woman at next weeks antenatal clinic and know she had her baby and not know if I will see her again. I do feel like I am starting to figure out how to teach and talk and most importantly ask the right questions. I always have so many questions.
On that note this is a repost from 2013. It was posted on my old childbirth blog. I found myself giving this advice over and over yesterday at the clinic.

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May 6, 2018
by Ben
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Print Day in May

We are very lucky to have access to the diplomatic pouch, even to receive personal mail.  Many expats here essentially have no (practical) options for receiving mail.  We do have FexEx and DHL in Lagos, but it is fairly cost-prohibitive to use them for most things.  One downside to the diplomatic pouch, however, is that mail sent through it all goes to a warehouse in Virginia, and is then forwarded to us as space is available, which can take a long time.  I think the fastest we’ve ever received something sent from the states is about 3 weeks, and it is often 6 weeks.  My mom sent us invitations to participate in an event organized by someone she knows from a printmaking club she is part of, called Print Day in May.

She sent the mail with the invitation postcards at the end of march, and they arrived this week, only just in time.  There were participants in Print Day in May from all 50 states, and from dozens of countries.

Here is a list of participants and their locations around the world

Essentially, all participants were supposed to make some sort of print yesterday, and then share it.  Here is the blog post with our kids’ work.

Lifeunparalleled Printing in Lagos, Nigeria