Seriously, Nigeria

Before,  full of hope and promise
All of the flags to be handed out.  I didn't even know what the Nigerian flag looked like before Friday.  I also didn't know where the hell Abuja was, let alone Nigeria. 

I don't even know how to start this post.  Let me see if I can draw a picture in your mind.  Picture me, clad in a camel pencil skirt, silk blouse and 4 inch leopard-print platform pumps, sitting in a crowded room of people, and receiving the news that in less than three short months, I will be moving to Ni. Ger. I. A.

I just looked at this picture.  Could I look any fuglier?  My big zit on my forehead is even more excited than I am to go to Nigeria.  In case you can't tell from this picture, Joey is deer-in-headlights and I am trying not to cry.

Oookay so yes, when Joey passed the oral interview in March he signed several forms stating his "worldwide availability."  And then when he started work he signed several more and throughout the bidding process was continually reminded that you are "worldwide available."  And sure, I joked about going to Africa, but let's be serious.  Worldwide available meant Costa Rica.  Or Europe.  I mean my idea of camping is sleeping on the couch.  I don't do bugs and snakes and who the hell knows what's in Nigeria.  Actually, here's the thing.  We bid thirty posts high.  We didn't get a high post.  I had looked into the African posts that we bid high and they were cool.  On the beach, lots of culture - Nigeria?  Doesn't so much have that.  Nigeria is more of the car bomb and scam you out of your money realm.  Take for example, our cab driver Friday night.  He was from Ethiopia.  We told him we were moving to Nigeria and he told us to be careful.  He said it was rough.  The dude is from Ethiopia and he says Nigeria is rough.  I am from Iowa!  I think the East Side of Des Moines is rough! 

So after pouting Friday night, Saturday morning we decide to read some of the post reports - maybe it'll be cool.  Not so much.  Every post report written talks about how boring it is there, how even those with the best attitudes end up depressed and how it is corrupt and dangerous.  F***!  At this point I'm bawling and hiding under the covers and Joey doesn't even know what to do.  After laying in bed until 3 Saturday afternoon, Joey finally coaxed me out to do a little commisserating with some of his friends.  Turns out only one of them really got the post she wanted (bitch got Paris).  The rest all would prefer to be somewhere else - we joked before Flag Day that the placement officers played darts with the bid list and our names but it appears that is exactly how they choose where you're going.  Sure, this job is a great management opportunity for Joey but HELLO not a good living opportunity for his wife.  I know I shouldn't be this negative and get all of you worked up and I'm trying really hard to remind myself that we signed up for this and that it'll be okay and it's only two years and we get mega equity from this post so the next one we're virtually guaranteed to go where we want (WESTERN EUROPE) but its still a hard pill to swallow.  I think the part that makes it hardest is we move right after freakin Christmas.  We both really thought we'd be in DC through Spring and possibly into Summer and now that I finally feel comfortable here I have to leave.  TO GO TO NIGERIA.  Then Friday when we got home my box from Amazon had arrived with all the guidebooks and maps to DC that I ordered. 

Anyways, I'm going to make the most of it.  I think I'm going to try to get a part time job at the Embassy and look into some volunteer opportunities.  I guess since they speak English that's one less aspect of culture shock...and we have a lot to do in the meantime - figure out a car, figure out how to get the dogs there, figure out our consumables shipment (2500 lbs of dog food, shampoo, cleaner, etc. since its so hard to get there), and get immunized.  Apparently I have a lot of shots to look forward to.  Which just adds salt to the wound because I don't really want that shit put in my body, not to mention the malaria pills I'll have to take weekly but I'm trying really really really hard to be positive - at least I'm not bawling or catatonic anymore....

On a positive note, I had an amazing 20-mile run yesterday.  It took me 20 minutes less than the time before and I'm ready to kick ass at the marathon.  It must be an infusion from Nigeria....