Interviews, photos, donors and appreciation


We began our day at 8 a.m. with eggs, juice and bread. We wake up with instant Nescafe coffee and powdered cream. I have rediscovered sugar cubes and have gone to having a couple of lumps in my coffee.

Our first stop today was to visit Chris Adamu, a recently retired government worker who is passionate about the poor and vulnerable. He has just incorporated a non-profit called Fanta Adamu Biyam Memorial Foundation. Its motto is “Service to Humanity.” Benji explained to us that Adamu has been a stalwart supporter of the orphanage and understands his vision to empower underprivileged children. Adamu’s interests are wide-ranging, from Bible distribution to recent efforts to enhance educational opportunities for the deaf.

Our next stop was to visit another donor, Carl Akwarandu, who is the general manager of the Jalingo branch of Zenith Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank. Topics ranged from unemployment (60%) for the youth of Nigeria, to entrepreneurial ways to overcome it. He is an adamant supporter of the orphanage and we offered our appreciation for his ongoing commitment to the youth of Nigeria.

We arrived at the orphanage compound about 10 a.m. We were met by about a dozen members of the Taraba State Television press corps. All three of us were interviewed along with Benji. The press conference was to draw additional attention to the awards being given to community leaders from the orphanage this coming Saturday. The press corps included a man named Alliassan Abdullah Agyo, a journalist for Taraba State Television but also a person recently assigned to help Bishop Yohanna with matters of the press. He also makes himself available to the orphanage. He is a very bright guy and proceeded to hand out news releases to the other press members regarding the Saturday awards event. I wish a Great Plains United Methodist awards event would draw such attention.

After the press left we immediately began to set up for taking photos of the students. We found the best light and set another desk for Dottie to do interviews. We completed all the student photos by late-afternoon, with the exception of the government school students which we will take on Friday. We also took teacher photos and are working on short bios to help contributors further get to know the school-side of the orphanage.

While Dottie and I took photos, Jim went on additional visits to other donors and government offices. They paid a visit to the governor’s press secretary and had conversations with other government office holders. I took many photos of the grounds including the burned dormitory. Internet connections have not enabled me to send photos (the connections are too intermittent and files too large). The Rev. Rich Savage would be pleased to see the size of the trees he planted in 2007. Several are quite large and only a very few did not make it. We enjoyed dinner at Bishop Yohanna’s house where we were greeted by the Rev. Dr. Eunice and by Ronald Mangey who has helped with many a U.S. project in Jalingo and even studied at a community college in South Sioux City, Iowa, in 2011-12.

As I write, I’m determining how I can get my writings through to the U.S. and Dottie is editing her interviews with the students. Benji drove Jim all over God’s country in Nigeria and kept nodding off while reading his book, so we sent him to bed.

Se anjema (until later),