We’ve been back in Nigeria for about a month and a half now, but boy does it feel like much longer! We are slowly – slowly, slowly, slowly! – getting settled into our new house after moving from a completely furnished home to an unfurnished one, and it’s finally beginning to feel more like a home. We haven’t seen any roaches in this house, which is great, but we do have other bugs that we never saw in our old place.

"Little" caterpillars, a frequent sight. When they crawl on you, their little hairs sting and leave this little burning trail....

I don't think the picture does it justice, but these are some big ol' ants! They are called stink ants, appropriately so because when you squash them (not that we advocate squashing God's creatures 😉 ), they SMELL. Every time Judah sees one, he says, "Mommy, that ant bite ME!" because one of them bit him once.

Judah has a new bed (now… if we could only get him to sleep in it by himself!), which was made by Sarah’s brother. (Pictures coming soon – they’re stuck on the camera right now.) He did a great job with it, especially since he had never built one with drawers underneath or a bookshelf behind it. We “bature” have interesting taste, we hear. 😉

Part of the slowness in getting settled is because we have had most of our furniture custom ordered and built. The process is actually not as complicated as one might think, though – typically we call a carpenter, the carpenter comes to the house and we sketch out what we would like. The furniture is usually ready in less than two weeks, which is quite surprising (especially since it’s often less than that. We had a shelf built for the kitchen, and the carpenter arrived with it the next afternoon.). Judah’s bed took a bit longer because we ordered it right before a major Muslim holiday that brought with it several days of violence, so the carpenter was not able to get the wood and other materials he needed since the “wood market” is in a part of town that was sort of “off limits.”

…But waiting for furniture to be built still seems like a better option than buying things “off the lot.” Decent furniture that’s already built tends to be quite expensive… and let’s be honest, the “decent” part is pretty limited. In general, the furniture is quite, well, interesting. When I drive by furniture shops, I’m always fascinated by the chairs that I see on display. They tend to be in the lime green category, the leopard print category, the incredibly large, overstuffed, furry category, or, best yet, a combination of those. Yikes.

Which is why we’ve had most of our stuff made. For the most part, I am quite impressed by how the carpenters here are able to create such nice furniture with a poorly drawn sketch from yours truly and a description of something I saw once and thought was pretty cool.

Of course, there’s always room for error when having furniture custom made. We had an “entertainment center” built to house our tv (a “dash” – the word used here when someone gives you something for free -from a friend), Wii (Yes, it’s true. We brought a Wii with us from the States, mainly to help us get more exercise since we find it somewhat hard to find places to do such here), DVD player (a recent casualty when someone plugged it into the wrong outlet. Poor little thing had 220 volts surging through its 110 volt body.) and our board games. The doors on it were really lopsided, though, so the carpenter came to fix it – by putting cardboard underneath two of the wheels.

Oh well, at least it’s straight now.


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