Bucket List for Final Days in Nigeria

I’m making this list because spring break is here and our final day of departure from Nigeria will be here before we know it.

Go to The Shrine and watch Femi Kuti and his band Afro Beat


photo by Eman Passerella

I was this close to watching him perform last Saturday during the Music in the Air fundraising concert organized by the school. But my husband was out of town, and I didn’t have a babysitter available. Besides, I console myself, the concert was a black tie picnic at the residence of the US consul general — it would be better to appreciate Femi at The Shrine.

See the Zuma Rock in Abuja

My first and only chance might be next week, when I have to go to Abuja to renew my passport with the Philippine embassy. But it might be just a day trip or overnight visit. I don’t know if I will have a chance to do any sightseeing — but I hope a former colleague who works there will be available if there is time. My husband just got back from a two-week trip in the States, and the last thing he wants to do is fly somewhere again for spring break.

Canoeing Down Ibeju River


photo by Ryno Sauerman

Several teachers, and some of our own students, have done this already thru an NGO. Part of the half-day tour is a visit to a local school where they turned over donations like pencils and rice.

So those are the top three in my list. I also thought about going to these places:

Of course, I also have regrets for missed events and places that are no longer safe to visit. Fortunately, these regrets are few. My biggest one is this.

Durbar Festival in Kano

It was canceled for the first time in 200 years last year due to the fragile health of the emir of Kano, in whose honor the festival is held. Others believe it is also for security reasons due to the bombings and attacks by Boko Haram. Two of my students were able to attend the three-day festival in 2009. Their mother, understandably, sent an e-mail of apology to the teachers explaining they did not want to miss this “once in a lifetime opportunity.” How right she was. They brought me these photos (thanks Diane Lemieux).


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