My life in Nigeria as of late has been quite tumultuous to say the least. I am having serious issues with my employer, there's been almost no electricity in the past few weeks, being pregnant and my husband is not around, and storms with rain which is not supposed to be happening at this time of the year. Each one of these things comes with its own problems in Nigeria and is special to Nigeria…
Working environments in Nigeria are so different than those in the US. The way you interact with your boss or your employees is very different than in the US. Also, the expectations your employees have on you as a boss are very different as well. They put their burdens (especially financial) onto their bosses and as a boss you are expected to assist them. As far as my challenges with my employer are concerned, they are typical of Nigeria and one of the problems of being under someone in Nigeria. Respect is something most people are very obsessed with, micromanagement is very normal, and lack of appreciation is common. These are all very difficult issues to deal with. But I know that with time, patience and God, all things will work themselves out.
Since, President Goodluck Jonathan's interview on Amanpour on CNN a few weeks back, the electricity situation has gotten incredibly bad. I mean, incredibly bad. One of my blessings has been the area of which we live in Abuja, Wuse II, typically you get 24 hours of electricity provided by the Nigerian Power Company and not by generator. However, after the interview, literally within hours, the electricity disappeared and was gone for over 36 hours, then was restored for a few hours and then another 24 hours, and again about 12 hours and then it went again. These long lapses are very common now. In fact, I am running my generator at this very moment. In fact, I had to have my generator serviced, after I did this, it stopped working. It's become quite 'moody' since I've had it serviced. This has been another problem. In Nigeria, when someone comes to fix something, you have to be watching over them and actually know a little bit about what they are doing to know what to watch out for, or they will likely screw you over. Anyways, not having electricity causes so many problems. You cannot sleep at night because it gets too hot or the mosquitoes disturb you, your food in your fridge/freezer spoil, you cannot charge your phone or other electronics, like your laptop. It makes life generally annoying and miserable. Even when you have a generator, lately we have still been having issues getting fuel, so no matter what, you still have challenges. And with a generator you have the noise and the smell to deal with. It's definitely making my life harder day-by-day.
I have finally found my partner in life, and thank God for him. However, with him not being around, it makes my life here much harder. I am lonely and dealing with the daily stress without him and a man it makes things harder. Plus, the challenges of being pregnant, being ill occasionally, without his support of just being there to hug would make a huge difference. I cannot wait for him to return. Plus, it makes me sad knowing he's missing out of the different stages of our growing baby.
In Nigeria, we have two seasons, hot and dry and rainy. Currently, it's the hot and dry season. It generally runs from November through mid-March in Abuja. However, in January we had three thunder storms with serious amounts of rain, thunder, lightning and wind. This is highly unusual and so not normal. Yes, I believe significantly in climate change, however, this is more than climate change to me. In Nigeria, people believe in holding the rain or bringing the rain, juju/voodoo, and other things. I have never seen anyone 'hold the rain' or 'make rain.' But… these storms that just occurred in January are making me see and believe things I have never seen before. However, I still do not know the significance yet, but I do know there is some and I know that there is some sort of 'battle' or 'fight' occurring through this unusual weather we are having. Yet, this past week, the harmattan has returned in full force and is causing my respiratory system great distress.
Even considering all these things, I consider myself lucky and blessed anyways. My pregnancy has been quite easy so far and the challenges have been few. However, I cannot wait to meet the addition to our family…
However, I must say that my love affair that has lasted quite a few years with Nigeria has slowly come to an end. Nigeria and I have broken up. It's official. I need a break from him. Lol.
Nonetheless, welcome to 2013! The year of unusual blessings and surprises!