I apologize - I've kind of been slacking on my blog.  Our weekend was pretty uneventful so I really didn't have anything to write about and the last few days have actually been relatively busy so I haven't had a chance to write.  Such is life.

First of all Joey found another gecko in the house.  On the wall in the kitchen.  Lovely.  He also decided that it would be a fantastic idea to catch it to show me.  I'm sure you can imagine how well that went.  I do want to point out that he used a cutting board and cup to catch the gecko - which if you'll remember he laughed me out of the bedroom when I brought up a water bottle, cup and piece of paper to catch the first one.

On a completely unrelated note, I split my pants on Christmas.  While I was still enjoying my Christmas (before the travel disaster ensued), all of a sudden I felt my pants become slightly more comfortable.  This was certainly not attributable to the eighth or ninth sugar cookie that I was consuming at that point in time.  I reached to the back of my waistband and sure enough, there was a nice split.  Before Joey and I found out we were going to Nigeria, I was very conscientious about what I ate, we tried not to go out to eat too often and I was training for a marathon.  Well first we found out we were moving here for two years, and so watching my diet flew out the window, as well as any attempt to cook whatsoever, and then I ran the marathon which left me with about zero motivation to continue such a dedicated exercise routine.  Thus resulting in the eventual split of my pants.

I can happily say today that I do not regret a single calorie I consumed or a single workout I missed my last few months in the US of A.  Although my African weight loss has not been nearly as significant as my husband's (how I love that he stops working out and loses twenty pounds), it has been enough that I no longer have to shimmy into my skinny jeans.  Its amazing how eating three square meals a day coupled with moderate exercise (I've been running about three miles a day) works so well.  I am looking forward to the arrival of our protein powder and "Tower" resistance machine thingy (hangs on the door), but at least for now I'm no longer struggling to zip my pants.

One of the best surprises about Abuja had to be that my neighbor is a registered yoga teacher.  I've been lucky enough to take a few classes from her and they are awesome.  She and I have even talked about co-teaching a class and maybe me even someday teaching a class for her.  We'll see - I took that introductory yoga teacher training about a year and a half ago and never really did anything with it - I'm still pretty chicken-shit to get up in front of a class and talk - but it might be worth a try.  Yogis are supposed to be non-judgemental, right?

Really I can't believe today is the three-week anniversary of our arrival here.  It has gone so incredibly fast and we still don't even have any of our stuff.  We keep hearing its going to come soon but I've stopped holding my breath.  It'll get here eventually and in the meantime I've become really creative with my wardrobe.

We've already started planning our first R&R.  Is that bad?  We're trying to decide between a cruise in the Baltic (with an overnight in St. Petersburg) or the Greek Isles (with an overnight in Istanbul).  Also trying to decide just how much we want to spend, because Norwegian has a super cheap Baltic cruise (which got mixed reviews) and Celebrity has a not-so-super-cheap Baltic cruise (which got amazing reviews - and is a brand new ship).  We know for sure that our trip includes visiting our friends Sujata and Tex in Paris and what may be a mini-reunion of DC friends for a sojourn to Provence to see the lavender in bloom.  So excited!  Joey is even talking about spending a few days in Santa Margherita at the Imperial Palace - I'm not sure what's gotten into him but I'm in love with that idea.  He even has suggested staying in the same room we did on our wedding night - has Africa made my husband more romantic?  Or is getting away from the hustle and bustle of DC just bringing sexy back?  I don't know but I like it!  Bridget, your sister may have been on to something.

Joey and I attended an event last night.  In honor of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany this summer, FIFA embarked on a welcome tour to all the countries who qualified.  We got to meet Steffi Jones (who from what I understand is somewhat of the German equivalent to Mia Hamm), see the Women's World Cup trophy and the Nigerian womens team, the Super Falcons.  There was also a buffet at the Hilton, with wine and cheese and desserts galore.  Pants-splitting Melissa was in her fat girl heaven (to quote my friend Danya).  It was nice to dress up - plus I loved looking at all the Nigerian dress clothes.  There was even a brass band playing African music which was pretty cool.  I have to admit, the press conference we attended beforehand was slightly awkward - the press is significantly more direct - for example one journalist asked the Germans how they planned on controlling the skinheads from killing black people...?

Steffi Jones

Anyway, my job is getting a lot easier.  Still tedious but I feel like I'm getting a handle on things and actually pretty proud of myself for figuring it out.  (I say that now.  Don't quote me in May when financial statements are due.  Hopefully by then my accounting textbooks will have arrived for some remedial studying).  I also really enjoy the company of my manager.  He's British and has a great dry sense of humor.

Other than that, we're just settling into our routine here.  Lazy weekends are spent mostly by the pool.  I can't complain at all about that - or about the fact that my stewardess is amazing.   Yesterday I got home from work and had a panic attack because the dogs were gone.  After frantically running around the house I rushed to the front door to look outside and there she was, all three dogs with her  - they'd gone for a walk.  This morning she went to the market for me and picked up some fresh eggs and papaya - it really doesn't get much better than that, right?


How does this happen?  This is my first experience with ice trays.

This is called a "garden egg."  Much like an eggplant, not as bitter.  Nigerians eat it raw - our driver told us it works as a digestive.  I would recommend cooking it.  Quite good sauteed with peppe (spicy ground chili pepper here).

Giant leaf bug outside our house.  Shudder.

Giant lizard outside our house.  Shudder.
Here's the link for more lovely photos from Abuja:http://picasaweb.google.com/100586084762366858227/NigeriaSoFar?authkey=Gv1sRgCPq50_Td78nuUg&feat=directlink