AEP Board member Elaine Chagnon made her eighth trip to Nigeria from July 7-21. Accompanied by her husband, Bob, she was able to spend a week in Gusau, with daily visits to Graceland International. It was an excellent opportunity to gain valuable information through face-to-face meetings with teachers, students, administration, and school board members.
Day 1 was spent surveying the grounds and physical plant. Construction on the boundary security wall was in the final stages – the last two rows of blocks were being added. The final step would be to fill in sections of the wall with concrete for extra stability and then cap it off. The two openings for the gates were framed, one at the front and a second at the rear near the hospital site. The field inside the wall had been planted with rice, to be harvested in late fall, in an effort to raise a cash crop for an additional source of revenue.
A solar company has established itself in Gusau, and a request was made for pricing. Solar panels, installed on the roof of the computer lab at the very least, would greatly improve productivity for all.
Travel from Kaduna to Gusau
We are picked up in Kaduna mid-morning by our friend George and the our driver Adam. Husband Bob and I settle in to the school van along with our armed guards and head north. It is a four hour drive to Gusau, depending on traffic and road conditions.
The roads are generally in fair condition and we dodge the roadblocks set out by residents of small villages to slow down traffic so people and livestock can safely pass. The roadblocks consist of logs or large rocks set out each morning and pulled in at dusk, as there is no lighting on the roads. We continue on and pass through the southwest corner of Katsina State where the roads deteriorate rapidly. The roads have potholes large enough to swallow small cars!
We continue on to Zamfara State and up to Gusau where we see camels used to carry goods and plow fields. We are dropped off at our hotel- it is good to get out and stretch! We get to freshen up and then go to dinner with George, Bishop John, and his wife Helen- so good to see our dear friends!