Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Word from Africa

nigeriaP9130061 Finally got some pictures of Chris at work in Nigeria earning our boat money for next year. I’m not sure who’s baby that is in the bottom left corner --- it ain’t mine --, but it seems to be getting ignored by the pretty lady to its left.
Kano-20110908-00753 The working team in Kano.
Chris is working with ACNM out of Washington DC (American College of Midwives) and a British based organization PATHS2 (Partnership for Transforming Health Systems Phase II). They are training midwives in Nigeria in methods to train rural, lesser trained, informal midwives in advanced life-saving techniques for maternal and child health.
Not sure where Nigeria is?  Center west of Africa. Chris is working in Kano for 11 weeks. Kano is above and to the right of Abuja, the capital, on the map. Abuja is where the PATHS2 main office is and where some of the work is done.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, can be a difficult place to work and live. From the CIA factbook:
British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa's most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country's history. In January 2010, Nigeria assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2010-11 term.
The country has a life expectancy of 48 years with 40% of the population under 15. There are a number of criminal and militant groups that wreak havoc with the locals and attack foreigners. Much of this is in the Nigeria Delta region, although the UN mission in Abuja was blown up by car bomb a few weeks ago.
Needless to say, Chris doesn’t get a lot of just walking around town and the country side time. So far she’s been working long hours, enjoying the challenge and, of course, missing me.


  1. Hey Chris, Looks like you got your assignment, I am still waiting for mine, may be a full time L&D here till we return. Waiting for baby, few more weeks yet I think. Enjoying the fall NW weather but now missing my cruising life and friends. Working on my list of things to do before we come back. Miss you guys and hope to see you in Jan! Vicki

  2. Paul we follow your blog and think of you and Chris often. We had a healthy baby boy on the 11th and we are now in newborn bliss, that is actually sleep deprivation. Cool stories of the trips through the canal-gives us lots to think about as we make our way down. Hi to Chris when you hear from her, miss you guys and hope to meet up with you in January. Vicki and Larry