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Posts Tagged ‘cleanliness’


The Nigerian lawnmower is a machete. Men hunch over and chop at the grass. The University of Ibadan campus takes landscaping very seriously so you see grass cutters out all the time.

This man cuts the grass in the backyard of my house.

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Daily life is slowly expanding for us on the University of Ibadan campus. We actually went to the bookstore yesterday and out after dark last night.

In the University of Ibadan bookstore, without light. Abike found a poster of the Yoruba Alphabet.

Granted we were sitting in a packed theater watching a play, we were still technically not at home at 8 p.m. Going out after dark is not common in Nigeria. There are many proverbs that warn about the dangers of being out when you cannot see your hand in front of your face. Streets lights are not common and people would rather sit in their house and watch movies on the Africa Magic channel then go out for dinner. Lunch is the most common meal to eat out. But go out last night we did, and we had a great time.

We saw a play called ‘Moremi.’ Moremi is a Yoruba Queen from the city of Ife, the origin of the Yoruba people. At the time of her life, the Igbo’s invaded Ife and enslaved tons of its citizens. Moremi went to the extreme of sacrificing her son to the goddess of river Esimirin to protect her people. Moremi is a important woman in Yoruba history.

At a play Thursday night on UI campus, the king (seated) and Moremi talking to their subjects about the threat of the Igbo's.

The play, performed in English, with Yoruba songs, was excellent, but what excited me more was the audience. First of all, people kept streaming in, climbing over others to find seats up until 20 minutes before it ended. Cell phone use is apparently not prohibited because people all around me were having actual conversations during the play. Whenever something good happened on stage, everyone cheered and yelled praises. If something bad happened people shouted insults at the characters. The audience experience is much more involved compared to the U.S. The Yoruba will speak their mind and answer their phones no matter what the situation is.

After the excitement of the play, my host brothers and sister and I returned home to a lighted house thanks to the generator (our light has been our for almost a week and there is no telling when it will come back). Since our generator was on, I was able to take a regular shower, not a bucket shower. Something interesting happened during my shower. As I started to wash the conditioner out, I suddenly felt my hair feel really hard, like it was frozen. I looked up and low and behold, dirt brown water was pouring out of the shower head. Apparently I had gotten the end of the water tank. Gross. I immediately got out, vigorously tried to comb my hair (which wasn’t easy) and went to tell my host mom. She laughed at me because I spoke English, not Yoruba for the unfortunate situation. She let me take a bucket shower in her bathroom with water from a different tank. Finally clean, I sat in the dark with my host mom to do my Yoruba homework. Good day.

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