Post 82 / The Next Language
March 22, 2022
From the Land of Nod
The book of Genesis reports that Cain dwelt in the land of Nod. He was a fugitive.
Last week, for the first time in my life I found myself without a passport and without legal status. My sin was that I had arrived in Nigeria without a visa. Here’s how it happened: with all the covid complications you must have proof of a negative covid test to enter Nigeria, and after arriving you also have to show proof of having prepaid and preregistered for tests on days two and seven. With that payment confirmation from Nigeria’s department of health and the assurance on the Nigerian web site that I could “get a visa on arrival,” I set off a week ago. In hindsight, that may sound stupid, but it also fooled the Royal Morocco Airline that took me there.
So on arrival my passport was seized and I was detained in immigration over 24 hours until the next Royal Air Morocco flight out. When necessary I was escorted to the toilet and for food. I was escorted onto the return flight to Morocco where my passport was held by the steward. After 30 hours in Morocco I was again escorted onto a flight to Geneva – so I ended up where I had started. At Geneva the passport was returned to me and I was once again a man with a passport and a country.
Today I try again to get a new covid test and registration with the department of health and an official invitation from the department of immigration in Nigeria.
The quest of course is 458 unrecorded languages in Nigeria. I will meet with center leader Kish and his staff to work on a plan to record many of those languages. Kish has been very supportive through this process and promises that according to a Nigerian proverb, “the most patient dog will get the fattest bone.”
One of my guards in Lagos where I had first arrived was a young Muslim from the northern city of Kano. He shared with me what life was like in the North where there is a lot of violence. He assured me that he did not agree with the Boko Haram Muslims who were killing innocent people. But he did indicate that at least in the city of Kano, it was safe to live and work with languages.
God willing, I will spend a couple of weeks with Kish in the city of Jos which is further south in the northern region and therefore less violent than Kano. Pray that God will guide us into His plan for reaching every language. You can also pray that I will get a flight from Lagos to Jos because that is impossible until you actually get to the country.
One Nigerian told me proudly that Nigeria was the largest and blackest country in all of Africa. Total population is pretty close to that of the United States.
It might be of interest who my travel companions have been on this journey. On the leg from US to Europe the seats were filled with young men going to war in Ukraine. That was on Feb. 27. With me to Africa were nearly zero tourists and the majority of non blacks were Chinese. These observations form a significant commentary on what is going on in the world.
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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