I’ve been in Nigeria for two and a half weeks now, consulting on a language project. I came here from Israel, so I have been out of the States since New Year’s Eve. My more precise location is in Jos, capital of the Plateau State, in the central part of the country. We’ve been to Guinea-Bissau to consult quite a few times in the past several years, but this is my first visit to Nigeria. I am being asked to come back again. It has been a privilege to work with a language called Bwatiye, with two speakers of that language who came to work with me from east of here, closer to the Cameroon border.
I am working at a busy translation center where people are coming and going all the time for a few weeks at a time. Some of us come from overseas to do consulting, and national translators also leave their homes to come here for a couple of weeks at a time to take a workshop or work with a consultant. The weather is pleasant, ranging from chilly sometimes at night to warm sometimes during the day. This isn’t the rainy season, and it is very dry and dusty here. The availability of electricity is sporadic, but the translation center here uses a generator to supplement the state-supplied electricity to try to make sure we have electricity 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday and every evening from 7:00 to 10:00. The availability of water has not been a problem, fortunately, though not any hot and not drinkable. (We drink bottled water.)
It is a privilege to be able to come here to help as a consultant. I will write again shortly to say more about the translation project and the mother tongue translators that I’m working with.