It feels like forever since I last wrote. Things here are going great, even better than I had hoped.
At work I'm settling in on the NIV line. The interviews are no longer the intimidating obstacle that they were on my first few days. I'm still the slowest on the line - by a long shot - but I'm getting the hang of the systems and the applicants and I hope to be up to speed soon.
One thing about NIV work is for sure - doing NIV in Lagos is definitely going to toughen me up. I'm one of those people that doesn't like to say no, but on the visa line there's no way around it. Not everyone gets a visa and every day I have to look people in the eye and tell them no. No apology, no excuse, just no. I guess that makes it that much sweeter when you get to say yes though, right?
At home I've been slowly settling in too. I moved into my permanent housing this weekend and it's gorgeous. I've got the best view in Lagos (at least I think it is) and I love the neighborhood. I'll post some pictures if/when I think of it, when I get them uploaded of course.
Speaking of uploading pictures... and blogging. I just got my internet set up. I'd like to humbly suggest to the department that some sort of basic internet would be really great for people arriving at post until they have a chance to set up something of their own. I'm sure that getting internet as a standardized utility in GSO housing would be difficult, but even having a basic USB-stick modem included in the welcome packet would be a really helpful step.
Lagos itself (at least the part I'm allowed to visit) is great. It seems like the kind of place where you can find everything if you know where to look. There are difficult things of course. It's hot and humid, it's crowded, it's noisy. The power goes out multiple times every day and the traffic is terrible. But there are also plenty of things that I love about it. I love the water and the palm trees. I love the music scene. I love that I can stand outside with my jacket that's missing a button and just wait for the man with the sewing machine on his shoulder to walk by and fix it for under a dollar.
It's a good life. Yes, I'm solidly in the honeymoon stage of culture shock, but I might as well enjoy it while it lasts, right?
Til next time.