Day 2: And we're off...

It's an early start: the alarm went off at 3am… to Manchester Airport for a 6am flight to Frankfurt to pick up the 11am flight to Abuja/ Port Harcourt. 

Cold again- temperatures at freezing so treated myself to a bowl of porridge to stick to my bones-yum!

There’s some compensation for a start that technically speaking is still the ‘night before’ as I witness a glorious sunrise over Manchester. Amazing to think that just an hour’s time difference away the same sun will give temperatures of close to 40c today and I can’t quite believe that I’ll be feeling that in just a few hours!

Enjoyed a lovely smooth flight. Too much excitement, so napped heavily on the plane! And then my destination got close… 

Couldn’t see a thing on the descent: far too hazy. But then we landed! As the doors open a wall of heat hit me.  It's a big change from the snow that’s falling at home.

Managed to get through immigration fairly easily, despite me forgetting to print of a letter I needed. Lots of smiling helped. Now where is my lift?

He’s here somewhere.

As we drive in to Abuja, there are such amazing sights and smells that remind me of my travels in South East Asia: a mix of wood smoke and sweetness released by the trees that just took me straight back. I can’t begin to describe just how evocative that is. Everyone says smells can evoke memories but this is the first time I’ve had such a powerful reaction. Just like coming home…. 

 

No time to explore just yet unfortunately. Need to get the practical stuff sorted such as our communications for here in Nigeria so we can report back to the team in Manchester quickly and efficiently if needed. Food is next on the list, followed with prep work for our meetings with UNICEF and Amnesty International.

As we drive round Abuja, I witness lots of children selling water, nuts and fruits by the side of the roads. Speaking with my driver he tells me we need to work more in the North of the country as there are many abandoned children living on the streets too.

Down to earth with a bump!

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After a long and busy day I return to my building and I am a greeted with a hazy evening sunset. Interested to see what tomorrow brings.