I've Arrived in Lagos
Trip Start Apr 03, 2017
7Trip End Apr 23, 2017
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My travels to Nigeria started off in good fashion. Shortly before my departure from Spokane, WA
on Monday April 3, I received a notice from Delta Airlines stating that I had
been bumped up to the first class cabin on the first leg of my journey from
Spokane to Salt Lake City
the extra leg room, which I enjoyed greatly, this upgrade provided for an added
bonus. Extra luggage!
Whenever I travel to West Africa, my luggage allotment is
always maxed out… and then some. Most of
the gear I haul is comprised of camp supplies, Bible reference books, as well
as useful supplies for the Church leadership.
This trip was no exception. Before my travels, I requested an additional luggage allotment
from Delta as a charitable donation. This
is something they are willing to do for me once a year. My request was denied because I would not be
on Delta flights all the way into Nigeria.
My connection through Paris would put me on an Air France flight. Delta could not grant the waiver because it
would not apply to the Air France leg of the trip
In spite of the denial, I went ahead and packed one
overweight suitcase (75lbs. of camp related gear) in excess of my regular
baggage allotment. I expected the total
additional charge from Delta for checking such a suitcase to be $275. Two hundred dollars for the extra bag, plus
seventy-five dollars for the overweight fee.
When I approached the check in counter with my luggage, I was informed
that there would be no additional charge for the heavy piece of luggage. The first class upgrade had given me an additional
free bag, plus a weight restriction of 70lbs. as opposed to the normal 50lbs.
weight restriction I would have had in coach class. In the end, I incurred no additional fees from
the extra luggage. The first class check
in on the originating flight ensured all my luggage would travel at that status
throughout the whole journey
that bonus to clearly be God’s blessing.
All in all, my air travels were quite uneventful. My journey took just over 25 hours, routing
me through a Paris, France connection. This
was the first time I had ever stopped over in France. Even though it was only for two and a half
hours, I enjoyed seeing a new airport and viewing a new city from the air. I’m thinking I must return sometime for an
extended layover, which will allow me more time to see a few of the sights
along the way. Perhaps a future trip
with my friend Tim Pebworth, Senior Pastor for France and French speaking West
Africa, will provide that opportunity. I
really must speak with him about that.
Whenever I’m not sitting on the plane, I like to walk
the other 2-3 times on an extended layover.
This might wear out the wheels on my roller bag faster, but it keeps me
from getting too restless during the long hours of sitting in flight.
Upon landing in Lagos, Nigeria, I made my way through
immigration and to the baggage claim without incident. I noticed the new signs that have been posted
throughout the airport encouraging passengers to report any harassment and
corruption which might take place. The
signs read, “Record it and report it.” Everyone
has a smart phone in their hands these days which makes surveillance available everywhere. Just don’t get caught filming the police in
It is nice to see the steps that have been taken in recent
years to improve the experience that foreigners have as they enter
well as the reputation of the country. I
was only stopped by two officials who asked me for money as I made my way
through the airport. They let me go
quickly when I told them the only thing they would receive from me was my
gratitude for letting me pass.
I was met at the terminal exit by Tohun Akinbo. Her smiling face was a warm welcome to me. Her first words were, “Hello. You look tired!” Maybe so.
I still haven’t figured out how to sleep on a plane.
We proceeded a half mile down the crowded sidewalk, full of
individuals hoping to pick up a taxi fare, to meet Dare who was driving the van
around the loop. There were no spaces available
in the parking lot, so Dare just kept driving around until I emerged
on our way.
The streets were relatively quiet for a city of over 20
million people. The neighborhoods were generally
dark, as there has been no power for three days. Fortunately, Dare has a generator and solar
panels with batteries. This keeps the
lights on and the beloved ceiling fan turning.
Sitting on the couch under the fan is my favorite part of the
house. The temperature here is in the 90’s. It’s a bit of an adjustment for someone from
Spokane, WA who’s just coming off of winter.
It just means I will sweat it out for a few days. But, no sweat… In spite of the warm temperatures, West
Africa has become my home away from home.
I love the people and environment.
After a nice Akinbo family dinner of fish and rice with red sauce, I
turned into bed around midnight.
As I write this blog on Wednesday morning, eight-year old Bobby
Akinbo is keeping me company and helping me take pictures. She is on break from school this month. Dare is also working from home today. We plan to go out later to begin making
visits to member’s homes around Lagos.
We will do so for the next couple of days before flying to Benin City on
Thank you for following along on the adventure. There are many individuals traveling around
the world, making visits at this time.
Let us remember one another in our prayers as God opens doors and
provides opportunities to serve and encourage his people wherever they may be.