Jessica Sewall (Nigeria)

Jessica Sewall (The Women’s Consortium of Nigeria - WOCON): Jessica completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied abroad in both Ecuador and Chile. In Ecuador, she was a part of a team that conducted a needs assessment and census survey of a small village outside of Quito, with a focus on potable water and sanitation and infrastructure. Jessica worked for the City of Milwaukee on an outreach campaign for work support benefits for low-income families. She then returned to university. At the time of her fellowship, Jessica was studying for a Master’s degree in International Policy and Development at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, and a Certificate in Humanitarian and Refugee Emergencies.

Pre-Arrival Perceptions of Lagos

25 May

My guidebook on Lagos, Nigeria has left me with expectations and perceptions of the culture and city that I am sure just scratches the surface of actually breathing it and living it. Nigerians are apparently “snappy dressers,” and I recently bought some new clothes to prepare for hot weather yet modest attire so as not to show my knees and that will be washable by hand.

The streets I expect to be crowded with buses and taxis moving at a turtle’s pace in one of the largest cities in Africa. As I will be arriving June 1st at 5am from my connecting flight through London, I wonder if the city will be more quiet than usual or still bustling.

In casual conversation with two separate taxi drivers (one from Ethiopia and one from Somalia) here in Washington, DC, I was told by both that Nigeria is the worst country in the world. When I went to get my visa at the Nigerian embassy this past week the gentleman assisting me looked at me skeptically, laughed, asked me if I was really gong to Nigeria, and responded with more laughter when I told him indeed I was. This all leaves me more intrigued and curious than I had been before, and more determined to share the inspiring work that is being done and hopefully contribute to a more positive perception of the country.

Posted By Jessica Sewall (Nigeria)

Posted May 25th, 2006

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