24 June 2006

Possibility for a side trip

A little background
My peacebuilding course this week included a contingent of five people from Nigeria. Three of them work for Shell Nigeria (yes, the oil company) in their community development office, which apparently has a peacebuilding section (who knew?), one works for the Nigerian national oil company, and one is a government official in charge of community development in Rivers State, where they are all from. All of them knew each other from back home. Their state is in the Niger Delta, which has become increasingly tumultuous in recent months. They came to get some more training and new ideas about options for bringing peace to that area, since all of them have some sort of responsibility for that in their jobs. As part of the training this week, we divided into four teams to create peacebuilding projects that some participants could take back home with them. I was in a group with the government official, and we put together a plan for one of the crisis areas that he has decided to try to implement upon his return to Nigeria.

An unexpected invitation
As we were wrapping up the course today and discussing how we can use the skills we learned, the instructor revealed to the group that I am going to Ghana next week, and would be afforded the opportunity to develop my skills there. It was around this point that my groupmate/government official friend said to me "You will come to Nigeria." I expressed a little hesitance, and noted that it's hard to arrange travel and get visas, etc., to which he simply responded, "Remember, I work for the government. You let me know when you get to Ghana, and I will take care of all the details." He told me that he wanted me to see the area that we had been discussing all week. He assured me repeatedly that he was very sincere, and his friends encouraged the idea even more. I'm not sure if it will work out yet, but I'm definitely going to pursue this further.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

I hope you have a great time.
Your trip sounds very interesting.
I can't wait to hear all about it when you return.
Take care!
God Bless!