April 16: House Move!
- We’re GO for completing buying our new flat moving in from tomorrow, Friday!
- The UK’s been in lockdown for about 3 weeks or so.
- We switched a little into home school mode before Easter, but having a garden would be nice.
- One of Julie’s elderly relatives (Ethel) is sick with Covid-19.
- We obviously have no idea when we’ll be able to return to Nigeria.
- No confirmed Covid-19 cases in Plateau state (where the city of Jos is).
- International and state borders have been sealed for over a week and total curfew enforced in Plateau to stop it coming in.
- We spoke with our friends and before the end of March sent a little financial help to ensure they could get hold of enough food.
- Some colleagues have been safely evacuated to the USA, but most are just staying where they are in Nigeria.
In more detail
We weren’t sure for a few weeks what would happen with the house move that we had agreed on 2 March, but last week we got the go-ahead. It’ll save us quite a lot in rent, and give us a garden and a park right opposite the flat which should be helpful for getting allowable exercise. And at the moment as we can’t see nearby friends anyway, it doesn’t make any difference where we live!
Obviously we can’t ask friends to help and man-with-van options look tricky so we’ll manage what we can on our own and then see what removal options there are for theist big things that we can’t move with our own car and hands. Not your normal house move.
So, from next week we’re going to be in 2/1 18 Gryffe Street, Glasgow G44 4BD.
Yesterday, Wed 15th, the 5-day 24 hour curfew (no leaving homes for ANYTHING at all) for Jos and Plateau State was to come to an end. It’s been extended for another week, but apparently relaxed till Sunday to allow people to go and buy food. Farmers are being allowed to tend to their farms, which is important as rains have now begun.
Julie called Sarah and Blessing and their families. (They usually work for us when we’re in Nigeria.) They are safe and well at home, but obviously with no work. We shared with them some stocks of food in our house too.
It’s spreading more slowly in Nigeria than in Europe, mostly amongst the high-fliers who picked it up from Europe. As of 16th April sadly 12 people have died from Covid-19 of 407 confirmed cases.
From almost no medical provision in Plateau they’re getting a little provision in place now – ventilators, PPE, testing capacity and extra beds.
Just as elsewhere in the world the protective measures are bringing real and serious hardship for many. We hear some news that attacks by Muslim raiders against villagers have continued, taking advantage of the current disruption; do pray for Christians.
As far as the translation work with the Ashe project is concerned, we just have to carry on what work we can from home in Glasgow. David spoke to translator Arams who is at home with his family in Kachia in Kaduna state. The whole family are now back at home and Arams is investigating all the options for internet connectivity there. It’s not worked so far. We haven’t been able to get through to Moses, who lives about 2 hours’ drive away in a more remote location. So it’s going to be very hard to do meaningful work together. David had left the team with some work to do, but it really relied on them being together to do it well. Having met online in mid March we had planned to work again from 30 March, but that was the day that our office in Nigeria closed and lots of state borders closed, so we had to cancel those plans.
David can keep going with some research and writing up findings and planning training resources for the translators, so he’s not in danger of running out of work too soon, but until we find a way to communicate more effectively than a variable-quality phone call to Arams, it’s going to be hard to keep the team doing the most fruitful and productive work. So it seems inevitable we will lose some of the helpful momentum we had been building up.
Finally, our church in Jos has made valiant efforts to livestream at least the sermon each week. You might be interested to watch or listen here.