Abuja, Nigeria, in May 2004

The humble Roesing abode Here is our humble-yet-happy home for our 2004-2006 tour in Abuja. It's a two-story home with about five bedrooms and 4-1/2 baths. We live on a compound of identical homes like this one.

at the zoo, in the shadow of Aso Rock The expat community is very friendly and welcoming. It was barely a week after we arrived that neighbors took us to the Abuja Zoo, where we had a family picnic. The zoo has an excellent playground (even if the animal exhibits aren't exactly world-class), making it a great place to spend an afternoon with the kids. It's located very close to Aso Rock, the enormous granite outcropping overlooking the city.

Rali and Kelvin at the zoo Here's another shot from the zoo, with Rali and Kelvin.

Beware of 419 men This is in our neighborhood, about ten minutes' walk from our house. Nigeria is notorious for its advance fee frauds (who among us has NOT received an email from a Nigerian scammer?), known as "419" schemes for the section of the Nigerian Penal Code that deals with financial fraud. On many properties, usually unoccupied ones, you'll see "This land is not for sale" painted on walls outside, in order to prevent a fraudster from claiming he owns the land, selling it, pocketing the cash, and disappearing, leaving the current owner to fight it out with the new buyer.

our first Abuja birthday party Not long after we arrived, the lovely Alyssa (with black hair, her back to the camera) turned three years old, and many of the neighborhood children came over for a birthday party.

When it rains, it pours. In Abuja, when it rains, it pours. Even in rainy season, it's not a constant rain, but a driving, ferocious rain that lasts maybe an hour or two before the sun comes out again. About a month after we arrived, tents were set up in the central yard of our compound for a birthday party, but the rain and wind came during the night. It was so driving and ferocious that it tore the tents apart. Since this party, we've all become more careful at tent maintenance, unstrapping the tents from the metal frames when the party's over.

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