Friday, June 10, 2011

Bob's Thoughts: Nigeria Day 5

Bob is in Nigeria right now as part of a short term trip with Wycliffe Associates.  You can find out more HERE.  He is sending his journals back to me on email.  He has not been able to access the internet on his own computer.  This email came from the BGAN system he finished installing with the C'Lela language, in the far west of the country, near the Benin border.  You can read the previous journals here; Day 1Day 2Day 3, Day 4

We got in late last night to our first project, C'lela. They put us up for the night at a guest house (Nigerian word for hotel, although they also have “hotels”; I'm not sure what the distinction is). They had a wonderful feast prepared for us. Bob Bates and I had been snacking throughout the trip, and since it was 9:30 in the evening we didn't want to eat much, but our host insisted that we eat as much as possible. He was very nice. 

I noticed that our driver and Daniel, the NBTT guide, hadn't eaten hardly anything all day, and I learned why when they got to the food: they each ate a huge portion, probably three times what we Americans ate. I think Nigerians must just do one meal a day or something. Anyways, they had chicken, fish, rice and a potato stew, and all 4 were extremely tasty.

We finished the C'lela installation around noon. All I had to show the translator was Pidgin for IMing. He has a staff of about 10 full- or part-time workers, so he'll do the training for them. He was a very nice guy, and treated us very hospitably. We had a nice breakfast and lunch with him, and he even gave each of us a nice set of clothes. Apparently, a missionary came 30 years ago and began a translation, but he went a decade or more without really doing anything, still learning the language. 

Finally, NBTT started a project and they have managed to merge the two efforts into one project. I understand that the Roman Catholic bishop is the chairman of the translation committee, and there is strong Roman Catholic support for the effort, as well as the Protestants who do most of the work. The place we stayed at was actually owned by a Muslim, whom we met, and they mentioned how Muslims and Christians get on seamlessly here. He said that his own sister married a Christian and is now a Christian, so it's not a big deal to them.

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