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Crossing the river

Nigeria Update

We have a lot of excited friends who want to know about where we stayed in Nigeria, and what it was like. I (Hugh) learned a lot. This was my first time to Nigeria and first time to Africa. So much of it was new-to-me, even if it was not new-to-Becky. Earlier this summer we said that we wanted to do two things when we were in Nigeria. We feel that we were successful on both accounts.

  1. Becky learned more about the language: how people tell stories (Narrative Discourse), tones on nouns, and verbs.
  2. Hugh met people that Becky knew previously, and we started relationships which we hope will last a long time. Relationships on which our future work with the community can be built.


Geographically, this trip had 4 major locations.

  • We flew into Abuja, Nigeria, the capital. Then, traveled by road to Tungan Magajiya. On the way home we rode in several taxis to Jos, a major city in the middle of the country; and then rode in another hired car to Abuja for the final road trip in Nigeria.
  • On the way home, Becky presented a paper in Split, Croatia, about u̱t-Maꞌin verbs in discourse narratives.

Tungan Magajiya is a town which lies between Rijau (15 min. by motorbike) to the south and Zuru (60 min. by motorbike) to the north. Locals call the place Magajiya, because Tungan is used for many town names in the area. To get email while we were there, Becky would ride into Rajau in order to get the cell tower signal with just enough bandwidth to download and send email. There are several languages spoken by residence of Tungan Magajiya, but the main two are Dukawa and Hausa. Tungan Magajiya lies in what might be considered traditionally Dukawa land. We were there to work with speakers of u̱t-Maꞌin, a closely related language to the north of the Dukawa. Some days we worked in Tungan Magajiya; other days we rode north and west to the u̱t-Maꞌin area.

The featured image above was taken as we looked for a way to cross the stream on the way home from Kukum. We will be telling more of the Kukum excursion story later. Below is a video take from the other direction. (I think next time I carry my Canon t3i, video camera and microphones, I will be carrying them in a waterproof bag.)