Called to Witness Nigeria, Travelogue

Celebrating Community

It appears as though our amazing experience her Nigeria is quickly coming to an end, much to our dismay. This morning we had a debriefing meeting with three of the CRS Nigeria staff ; P.M Jose, the country representative, Darren Posse, the head of Programs and our guide and facilitator, John Pilaku. We were able to share with them our hearts on what this journey into Nigeria has meant for us and what it taught us about CRS.

Native Nigerian Attire

Sue Versluys and David Gallant pose in the native attire that was made for them during our visit and worn at the CRS Nigeria annual party.

Together we had a beautiful afternoon in retreat, reflecting and sharing our experiences of people and places over the last week. Each one of us has been touched by something or someone and we are not going home the same person. It may have been a conversation, a sight, an encounter or a gesture, but the people of Nigeria have given us new view on what it means to really embrace all of life.

In the evening we were invited to the CRS Annual Staff Party. We all had beautiful traditional Nigerian outfits made by Seun, the wife of our guide, Ayo. At the party 3 women who are HIV positive shared their testimonies with us on how CRS has helped them and the challenges they face. Awards were presented for outstanding CRS staff work, providing an even bigger picture of the scope of CRS’ work. Good food and conversation were shared; digital pictures became the amusement of children. We even were able to share our unique style of “American” dancing and learned some moves from the Nigerians as well. It was another day of celebrating community that the people here truly embrace. I hope to be able to pack that sense of community into my suitcase.

Written by Amy Bly, Lake City, MN

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