Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gurara Falls

This weekend we went on a day trip to see the Gurara Falls. They are located in Niger State, about 2 hours Northwest from our home in Abuja. The suburbs of Abuja are crowded with people, motorcycles, markets, cheap housing, and small stores. Since Abuja is a new city, it was built only about 30 years ago, no one is really from Abuja. A majority of the people live 20-45 minutes outside of the city, in these small suburbs which offer lower cost housing and food. In the background is the famous Zuma Rock. There are many myths surrounding the rock which are encompassed by disappearing objects, ghosts, and death. A European climbing team has bolted the rock but few have climbed it since, because of these ju-ju (black magic) stories and the fact that one must obtain permission from the local chief before approaching the rock. The roads offer many challenges. You can be crusing along a perfectly good road in Nigeira, and then oops- a very large pothole is there, or a cow could be in the middle of the road, or a careless driver could be in your lane trying to pass another car on a blind corner. Surprises are abundant and one must drive with caution to avoid the many possibilities of chaos. Gurara Falls: they span 200 meters across with a sheer drop of 30 meters. A Nigeiran family. in traditional dress, who came to check out the falls. They were interested in the 'black sand' that had washed up on the beach. These aggresive ants were carrying a grasshopper up a treetrunk to their nest out on a distant branch, and one and two and heave and hoe... team work! Some fisher boys alongside the river. They were using a thin nylong rope, and then a string attached to this, with somewhat of a hook made from the equivalent of the sharpened end of a wire clothes hanger. The mighty power of the falling water was brewing up quite a misty shower as Gordon took this picture from below the falls. We stopped at a local Fulani Market near Suleja to check out the schene. At the booth shown above, you can see some items for sale; bird heads, turtle shells, bones? Hmmm... I bought some fabric to make another few outfits. Then after 30 minutes of being the biggest tourist attraction (for the locals) we decided to head back home. It was a nice Saturday outside of the city. We plan on going to Gurara Falls again to camp after the rainy season has ended, which should be within in the next month. During the dry season (November to March) it is possible to walk across the river on the rocks at the falls and take a leisurely swim in the river down below.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Summer Family Fun

Even though I am uploading these in October, it doesn't mean that these pictures are less important. Most of the pictures on this blog post are the casual ones that highlight some of the family events of the summer, and some of the most memorable. Eating pancakes with our niece and nephew the morning we left for the airport to return to Abuja, Nigeria for another 10 months. Ah, raspberry yogurt and homemade jam and fresh milk, and cute cuddly squeezable children! Last night of book reading, Dinosaurs and Scooby Doo! Eating corndogs at the Polk County Fair, watching Joe Shinkle play some country music. Zakary and Ashlynn's first tatoos, Aunt Dusty paid for them! Our friends, Willow and Oceana eating a fresh seaweed snack. Ashlynn loves her mommy! Zakary loves climbing rocks! A blueberry eating contest at the Gage Family Reunion in Idaho. A spray bottle fight with the second cousins. A nice afternoon nap in the shade. A little row boat ride in the pond. sisters Our cousins, Craig and Melisa with their two lovely girls. Grandma Becker and her sister Dad and his two twin cousins whom he played with while visiting their uncle in Idaho. A few of the Hanson Family members. Lisa and her family hosted a backyard get together at her home in McMinnville the week we returned to Oregon. Zakary was just waking up from his nap and coaxed his sister into rubbing his back gently as he came to. Abraham, Sarah, and Penelope- awaiting another cute one. Abraham, and who is that guy with the ridiculous mullet? Me and Penelope hanging out in our Subi. My dad and step mom playing some music in my sister's front yard.