Challenging Summer Trip to Nigeria Part 1
John Nwangwu of FaithCare and Fr. Tom Furrer of Trinity Church, Tariffville, Elaine’s home parish, headed up this trip. With Graceland International School on the verge of opening, Elaine’s plan was to spend most of the 20 days in Gusau, providing teacher training and helping the teachers organize classrooms.
Nigeria continues to be a country torn by strife due to a complex layer of circumstances. The poverty, caused in part by a lack of education, exacerbates the religious and tribal differences and intolerance. The northeast corner of the country continues to send out shockwaves from the group Boko Haram, whose intention is to make Nigeria a country totally under Sharia law. Due to the active fighting between the group and the Nigerian army, conditions throughout Nigeria continue to be under close supervision by the military and police. While in no immediate danger in Kaduna, security throughout the city was intense, with military roadblocks and checkpoints in front of government buildings, mosques churches, and bridges.
While Gusau continues to be a quiet corner of Nigeria, Elaine was informed when she got to Kaduna that the five-hour trip from the clinic site to Gusau was unsafe for white Westerners. Plans were changed quickly; instead, a few of the teachers would come to her. Unfortunately, this ended up greatly reducing the contact time.