First, let's take care of some common mistakes/misconceptions:
Africa is a continent, not a country.
Nigeria is a country in Africa.
There is no such language as "African".
Ok, now we have the basics covered. If you're surprised that I'm stating some seemingly obvious facts, than you would also be surprised at some of the questions/statements I've heard;)

There are 57 countries that make up Africa.
Nigeria is considered West Africa.
Within the country of Nigeria, there are 36 states.
There are actually over 2100 languages spoken within Africa-over 500 in Nigeria alone!

Here is a closer look at the country. I will be in the South East, in a village just about a 20 minute drive South of Nsukka, in the state of Enugu. 
The official language is English--it was a British colony until gaining independence in 1960. 
The national languages are: Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Fulani (along with an additional 500 or so).

Ethnic groups:
There are more than 250 but here are the most populous/politically influential: 
Hausa/Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%
Hausa girl
Fulani girl
It is estimated that the main religions are:
Muslim 50%
Christian 40%
Indigenous beliefs 10%

Population: over 150 million
It is the 7th most populous country in the world.
It is about twice the size of California.
Life expectancy:
Male 48
Female 55

There are approximately 3.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS
One source estimates that there are 17.5 million orphans and vulnerable children living in Nigeria and that 7.3 million are orphaned by HIV/AIDS

Here is a very brief summary of Nigeria's government, economy, and recent violence with the Boko Haram. 
Here is an excerpt from that article-
"The persistent violence has been attributed to ethnic and religious tensions, discrimination by southerners against immigrants from the north, and frustration over corruption in a country where most subsist on less than $2 a day while top officials have access to billions in oil revenues.
Overall, some 50 million youths in Nigeria are unemployed, the World Bank says, in a country of 154 million. Despite abundant oil revenues, incomes have barely budged in 30 years, life expectancy is only 48 and the country remains one of the most economically unequal in the world, according to the United Nations."

Nigeria's most populated city, Lagos
A little info on the area where I will be living-
-It is populated predominantly by the Igbo ethnic group
-You will hear mostly Igbo and pidgin English. Igbo is a tonal language and has over 
20 different dialects(here is a link if you are interested in learning about the language and customs when it comes to elders and greeting people)
-It is hot year round and sees two seasons: rainy and dry
-Clothes are washed by hand(and yes that includes the orphanage where there
are approx.40 people that live there)
-There is never a lack of singing and dancing
-My feet are permanently stained red from the dirt, regardless of taking 2 baths a day.
-The people are so friendly and a word you constantly hear is "welcome!"
-Electricity is never ever guaranteed, regardless if you've payed your fees or not.
You'll here the gleeful cries of "nepa!", when it comes.
-There is a some violence and kidnappings that you will hear about North and
South of us, but I feel safe where we are.
-We eat a lot of beans, rice, and local yam--their food is spicy and very flavorful
-I'm pretty sure that the children there would play football(soccer) 24/7 if you'd let them:)
-A phrase you often hear is "That is Nigeria for you"..basically the
same concept as"TIA" (This Is Africa)
-My very favorite thing to eat there and the only thing I could handle when recovering
from malaria, is fried plantain..mmmm!
-There is a huge variety of fruits and veggies but eating meat is rare
-It is really beautiful and colorful!
there are small farms all over that look like this
this is about a 15 min. walk from the house
a typical home in the area
some traditional dancing at a school ceremony
a popular dish called, Okpa (this is before it's cooked)
This is the town of Nsukka where we go to market, hospital visits, the post office, and can connect
 to internet at the University.
transportation consists mostly of motorcycle taxis(Okadas) and buses
market-always a crazy and exhausting experience

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