I finally did it


Click on any of these for a larger version…


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I’d never been rappelling before and was pretty freaked out beforehand, but it wasn’t so bad going down, and I even made it a second time! 


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Here in Plateau State, the terrain is characterized by hills with countless volcanic boulders of all sizes.  This is the rock face we go rappelling down. 




Here’s a video of my bro going down Aussie style and stopping to do a handstand for us.  I honestly can’t remember him ever being afraid of trying anything. 




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Here’s the spot my brother landed at the end of his 80-foot freefall in May 2001.  He’d gone Aussie style (face forward) numerous times and was one of Coach Tolar’s most trained boys, but there was confusion on the ground and the guy didn’t belay John in time on his handsfree monster jump.  He doesn’t really remember that jump, but everyone else does and is glad he’s alive!  Nigerian Danny from my previous post is from the nearby town of Miango and says that the locals still talk about how some passersby saw men in white flying next to the bature boy on his way down.  Notice that with a rock behind John and Laura, the strip of dirt he managed to land on is pretty narrow amongst all those hard rocks!   




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It’ll be green as far as the eye can see in the rainy season!  Right now, the Harmattan makes the horizon hazy and our bodies pretty dusty. 



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Plenty of children from the tiny village nearby stopped on the path down below to watch for hours, and the more adventurous ones came up for a closer view. 



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Here’s the main mosque in Abuja (where we flew into a couple of nights ago).  While there, I got to meet up with a Nigerian classmate of mine who’s working at the Ministry of Defence (she’d kill me if I posted the photo of us on here), and John got to see one of his old Lebanese classmates. 




The Lebanese family has a concrete airplane constructed on top of their house in Abuja.  Here’s a Washington Post article with another photo of the house. 



Merry Christmas from Nigeria!




14 Responses to “I finally did it”

  1. wow. that’s amazing.merry christmas!

  2. wow!!! so cool! merry christmas stephen!!!

  3. cool pictures! hope you’re having fun

  4. Great fun! I love rock climbing, but you were rappelling… havent done too much of that.. but it looks like a lot of fun!

  5. i’m so jealous…..someday, someday i’ll go back. anywho, i’m glad you’re having fun! merry christmas stephen!

  6. the children are precious..looks like you’re having a lovely adventure thus far – thanks for updating! Merry Christmas!!

  7. there’s something i’d like to do again. merry merry!!

  8. I went rappelling once.. I know, hard to believe . I was scared and pulled toward to rock too much so my hair kept getting caught in the rope. Good thing you don’t have long hair!
    RYC: I might take naming suggestions… but no Javier. She’s way too pretty!
    Merry Christmas to you… since it is Christmas day there right now.

  9. haha well not quite graduated but when i do graduate, i will hopefully write for a newspaper 🙂

  10. great photos man i love the plane building. oh yeah rappeling is a whole lot of fun … one of teh “funner” things i did was i was in the army. the helicoptor insertion exercise was the other one.

  11. Merry day after Christmas (I think I’m on time) to you!  Your brother is pretty brave to go down Aussie style!
    Do you have any videos of yourself rappelling?

  12. Hi Stephen, what fantastic photos. Congratulations – we can always rely on you to do these stunts! Hope you are having a great trip and that you were no where near the oil pipe explosion!Look forward to seeing you soon.BTW, thanks for your comment. The magic in Christmas is still there, but for me there is just so much magic in cold weather. It adds to the whole experience!

  13. Oh dear.  Rapelling huh?  I did that once off of a waterfall in Costa Rica.  It was only about 160ft though.  The wall you went down looks much higher.  Pretty impressive. 

  14. I love rapelling… but I really like climbing more… it hurts my left knee though b/c I have some kind of junior arthritis from too much tree climbing or something… so I have to take it easy. 
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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