Posted by: Wasrag | September 9, 2011

Arriving in Nigeria

The PPP team has arrived in Nigeria. Lots of lessons learned on how to (and how not to!) prep:
– make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel
– leave LOTS of time to get VISAs arranged – sometimes the unexpected will pop up or things will simply go dark and you have no idea whether the application was processed or not. Of our 4 team members, 2 got their visas on Saturday before a Monday/Tuesday departure and 1 got his on Monday! Right down to the wire!
– ask lots of questions of locals BEFORE you leave regarding weather, dress codes, footwear, etc. etc.
– pack as little as you think you need, then take 1/3 of it out and pack the remaining 2/3rds. Somehow it seems we always end up taking way more than we ever use.
– think about cell phones ahead of time. Most North American cell phones don’t work in Africa. But you can buy some that do. If you have one of those you can just buy a sim card and then save a lot of money by paying local rates;
– check out the money situation in your destination country – we are so used to using credit cards and bank cards that many of us rarely carry cash. But that may not be the case where you are going. And in many rural areas, banks are few and far between. In Nigeria, one rarely uses a credit card and getting money changed is different that our normal experience.
– People are wonderful all over the world. Hosts on the ground are invaluable and make everything so much easier and more fun. Gotta love Rotary!

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