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Sunday – Night of the living ex-pats

January 29, 2006

We’ve been asked to give a talk about our trip at the staff meeting tomorrow morning, so I spend a good chunk of the day putting the photos we have into a Power Point presentation. Have discovered that the only plug in my room which will actually power the computer is the one for the fridge, so have to keep swapping them back and forth.

The big news on CNN (between interminable reports on Davos) is the victory of Hamas in Palestinian elections. The Yanks are appalled. Democracy is all very well and good, but not when you don’t like the outcome.

Dinner at Jonathan’s tonight. A very pleasant, but for me somewhat disturbing evening.

The guests are all white ex-pats, mostly colleagues of Selma’s from the UN. Ron is there, as is a delightful man named Edmund who had worked as a country programme auditor for WaterAid for some years but is now working with the UN Development Programme in Abuja.

I discover that UN staff aren’t allowed to go to some of the areas I’ve just visited. Again, glad to find this out after the fact. As they sit on the terrace discussing tennis games and other ex-pat activities it all seems just a tab too cosy and colonial for me, especially when Paul, Jonathan and Selma’s black factotum, serves dinner. (I know he’s doing a job and getting paid for it, but still…) I’m not sure what it says about me, but I know I felt more comfortable and enjoyed myself more at Blake’s last night with Sam and Dan or hanging out in the Peace Guest House garden with Godwin and Gimba.

I cannot believe that after a fortnight of slathering mozzie repellent all over myself, successfully avoiding getting bitten once, having taken Jonathan at his word that there is no problem in Abuja, I got bitten seven times this evening, sitting on his terrace. Let’s hope they weren’t malarial mosquitoes and that the Malarone is working.

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