I visited Nigeria for a period of 4 weeks and 5 days. Feels like it never existed, but it did and so I thought the best way to leave evidence I was there was to write down what happened in the form of a journal. I guess I'll be getting queries after this....
3-inches-shin-high boots was probably a bad idea but considering where I was coming from and knowing I'd be returning in the same condition, it was worth the 3 hours of heat my legs had to bear. Nothing had changed, well at least not for the better. Pity. At the Customs check point in the airport, the officer looked at me then asked "Where are you coming from?" "Cairo." "Are you with this lady?" (pointing to a lady that was in front of me with mountains of load, probably getting married) "No, I'm not." "What's in your bags?" "Oh this(pointing to the travelling bag) has my clothes in it and these (pointing to the wrapped sack bags aka Ghana-Must-Go has gifts for friends and family, some food stuff, and more clothes, for me. You know how we ladies carry unnecessary things when travelling." "Okay okay, ki wuce kawai (just get going already)". LOL I knew the long explanation would discourage him from making me have to unwrap and open my luggage's.
Evidently Kanawa's (people of Kano state) are not willing to evolve positively either. Why would you use a European or maybe a totally light skinned Arabian to advertise body products for a place with 90% dark skinned people? For the love of God Almighty, a wheatish dark or medium skinned person can be tolerated. But I wont waste my time on this issue. More important annoying things to experience.
February 12th - 14th
Bayero University, Kano hadn't changed either......yeah, yeah, new buildings rising from every corner but they are not impressive and will definitely not contain the students. Sad how when it comes to things that will/can live forever Nigerians become very miserly and myopic about the way it should be done. Good and wonderful news though, the lecturers that we addressed as "Mallam" (Hausa for learnered person, male. Mallama, female) are now Ph.D holders and the Dr's are now Professors. I am really honestly honored to have been lectured by them. In medical students' language "They know STUFFS". Before I set my foot into the Old Campus, I actually thought I wasn't going to be able to get through successfully, BUK holds so many sad memories for me. Subhan Allah I entered smiling at a point I even started laughing while looking around remembering things that happened at various grounds of the school.
Tuns out The Department of Biological Sciences no longer exists *sad face* It has been broken down to the 4 units, Department of Applied Zoology, Department of Plant Sciences, Department of Microbiology and Department of Applied Biology. *sad sigh* I don't really know why all the fuss then again I thought "Hey, wait, isn't Microbiology supposed to be under Zoology?" Maybe, maybe not. Whatever, it's their school. If they like, they can shut it down totally. You see that my attitude there, THAT is what has made Nigeria the way it is today. But maybe we'll chat about that later on, eih? *broad smile*
Oh but there is a lovely ending, the Heads of Department for Zoology and Plant Science are Prof. T. I. Oyeyi and Prof. F. B. Mukhtar respectively, BOTH FEMALES. How awesome is that?! I saw a few of my ex-course mates, as lecturers and as post-graduate students. How time flies but apparently I didn't change much, or so they say. Sitting at Mama Philo's Corner listening to students complain made me smile. If only they know how much time they have on their hands and how much freedom they have now they'd make use of it wisely.
22:36 hours Nigerian time and this is what I wrote down "I'm in Jaji. I'm so filled with happiness I have no idea how I'm going to sleep tonight. After 5 months of missing my Joy, my very Heart, Aisha, I got to see her earlier on in the evening. She has grown so big and beautiful and is doing very well Alhamdulillah. Their Mommy is treating them (Alhussain and Aisha) very well and kindly because they love her and like being around her. In all sincerity, a big part of of my fear has been extinguished. All thanks and praises belong to Allah. Anyways, right now, little Oosha is soundly asleep after all the excitement of new clothes, toys and sweets. It felt so good hearing her laughter once again. Couldn't stop kissing and hugging her which were also wonderful feelings. I missed her little sweetness all around me. I am extremely elated she is doing very well, Alhamdulillah.
While carrying Oosha to go pee, her head was resting on my shoulders and her feet were dangling right below my knees! The little lady is going to be tall, masha Allah. I can't stop bragging about my little miracle that is all grown up now. It seems like only yesterday when I set my eyes on her and held her in my arms for the very first time. Such a blissful feeling."
Maama's Birthday! I was going to pretend I didn't know it was her birthday, go about what I had to do then return home with a cake singing the Happy Birthday song. Surprise her! But NO! She had to start singing "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me .." I screamed "Mommy no! I just told Amina you forgot today is your birthday" She laughed and said "Impossible" (but in Arabic). Didn't mention the cake to her, I was determined to make her smile on this day.
Going to BUK New Campus has never been a journey I looked forward to, even in my undergraduate days but it was necessary because I was processing my papers for NYSC re-mobilization. Thing needs to be scrapped, honestly. So, my business was at the Students Affairs Division, to be precise, the Career Officer. Why people wont mind their business or just keep their opinions to themselves is just way beyond me especially strangers. After explaining how and why I missed my original mobilization to the Officer, two nosy gentlemen took it upon themselves to bombard me with "it's your fault" kind of interference. "Excuse me, you have no idea what I was going through or what my condition was. So please mind your business. Anyway sir, I'm sorry to disturb you but I am here to find out what the steps I should take are." I needed to get medical report, police report, court affidavit, JAMB admission letter and JAMB slip. The last two I had already ruled them out because my JAMB admission letter was for Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to study Biological Science. I wasn't very well going to tell them all the long story behind how I ended up with a B. Sc degree in Zoology from Bayero University, Kano. And don't get confused, my admission was and still is very legal.
First thing to do was call my very connected friend and adviser to tell me what to do. Next was go to the High Court and find out the requirements for obtaining a court affidavit then proceed to the teaching hospital to try my luck on getting a medical report. I met with my very first confusion (another word for teenage love) and of all the songs that rang in my head it had to be Usher/Alicia Keys' "My Boo" how very convenient, humming under my breath "I was in love with you when we were younger, you were my, my boo" just that line and I smiled because we all grown up and have kids, turns out his first daughter's name is AISHA. Beautiful name.
Happy Birthday Omotola Balogun aka @tolsbee. I am really sorry I didn't remember your birthday but I pray you had a wonderful day surrounded by what you love and people you love that love you back. I love you.
Second visit to Jaji. Another wonderful experience even though the kids stressed me out which made me take a nap something I hadn't done in ages! The warm, loving and happy scream of "Mama" from Aisha made me feel so alive, so loved, so special. She ran to me wearing only a little white under pant with blue flowers printed on it, hair in a messy bun at the center of her head. I lifted her off the ground and we hugged so tightly with me planting kisses wherever I could reach. They had just returned from Islamiyya which explained her state. Alhussain of course didn't like my mushiness cos when I tried kissing him he turned his head the other way so I just shook him. The normal giving of chocs was observed and Mommy entertained me kindly once again. Bless her soul.
Aisha is the center of my world and I made sure I told her even if she may not necessarily understand exactly what I meant. I kissed her every opportunity I got, rubbed her back and legs, stroked her hair, I even feigned to her I had eaten her ears and it was the most delicious and tastiest roasted ears I had ever had. She laughed heartily. Hearing her laugh makes me the happiest human being alive. May Allah keep her heart happy and pleased with Him always, Ameen. <3
I had my medical report, police report and court affidavit ready so I went to the Career Officer greeted him and told him how far I'd gone and what the next step should be. He looked at me closely, read the documents then said "Come back next week Monday and pay #4,600 at the bursary for a new JAMB number, make a photocopy of the receipt and bring all your papers to me." I was so happy he had made the JAMB issue an un-issue for me. God bless Nigeria, amen. I went back to Maama waiting in her friends office and told them what he said and they suggested I go and ask him if it was possible to pay the next day due to my travel back plans so I did, his reply "Okay if he accepts it you can try."
If you want something done, you better do it yourself! What a terrible concluding day it was. After much back and forth with an assigned BUK staff trying to help me, I decided to give it one last try but by myself. I hate the idea of "go with this person and tell them such person sent you" so I went back to the bursar and told him my story up till the point then he told me "Go back to mallam H. and tell him I said your name is not on my list but is it okay to pay the fee without any problem?" I can tell you that the new location of the Academic Office/ Student Affairs Division building was purposely built at the near end of New site just to make students hate their lives and ever wanting to have anything to do with any of those disciplines of the school. Mallam H said "Yes. Tell him you are an old student which is why your name is not on the list but you CAN pay up." The most motivating words I heard that day.
Heamatology appointment at the teaching hospital. Last week I had carried out medical tests, blood specimen for full blood count, genotype and chemical pathology (I know it sounds like I'm bragging. I am.) alright to be specific for Liver Function Test, urine specimen for urinalysis, then I had to do abdominal ultra sound scan. By this time I had a nasty cough which I told the doctor about and she prescribed more tests, sputum mcs and a chest X-Ray and to return next Wednesday. Results of tests to be collected the following Tuesday.
Sometimes I wonder why I bother to go and see any doctor for any reason then I tell myself "It is always better to get it at the initial stage." I have allergy to all metals except gold (I haven't tried silver) and my FAVOURITE bra has little circular metal joints that connect the straps to the cups. The adjusting something (dunno what its called) is also of the same metal. Here's the thing, it was hot so naturally I did sweat and the sweat reacted with these metals which was rubbing happily away on my skin and created very disgusting circular patches. The doctor called it "A classic case of contact dermatitis" Good to know it has a name. What followed wasn't that good, his prescription; Get rid of all your bra's!
I'll be seeing you soon, doc. Nice to have met you.
Last visit to Jaji before I returned to Egypt, March 12th. Arrived in the morning hours so the kids were at Islamiyya. I kept myself busy till they returned and when they did I got the sweetest "oyoyo" ever and my little sunshine was stretching to kiss me, how adorable. After the normal chocolate rituals, actually this time I got them Doritos and there was Skittles too. Baby girl had to loosen her hair and wash it. Mommy suggested I make it for her, I already had that in mind. Semi war was what we had. Funny enough she only enjoyed the hair washing bit of the whole deal. My girl had forgotten how soft and gentle my hands are when I plait her hair. She cried so much when she saw the comb and hair oil but I coaxed, hugged then placed her head on the pillow (she also had a bath and had eaten so sleep was next). Immediately I started she fell instantly asleep. I didn't make the lines straight but it was tidy and shiny. I love my daughter to bits.
X-Ray clear. Sputum mcs; cultivation yielded, Streptococcus pneumonia . Take Levofloxacin. "Thank you, Dr. Gwarzo." "Allah kiyaye hanya, Fatima." Back home to Abuja by 6pm roughly. Sickle crises starts later at night. Mommy calls doctor he lives far so tells her to give me pentazocine/promethazine intramuscular. This is the confirmation of my flat butt; she says "lie down flat so I can give it to you."
March 6th - March 9th
I had a cannula fixed on my left hand somewhere around the wrist area. Pretty inconveniencing made me think on which hand I really prefer my cannulas to be fixed. Then I came to the conclusion it made no difference because I had no say, my veins determined it by themselves without consulting me! But I would love it any place between my wrist and elbow the non-move-able part of my arm it doesn't matter left or right, yes it hurts while being pricked but it becomes worth it later.
Doctor's, I love them, most times. They make me laugh while 'searching' for veins they talk to themselves, all of them I tell you. They mutter to themselves things like "this vein looks like it could collapse" "this one is vibrant but not straight" "okay this is a good one I pray/hope it picks up at once" and things like that. Well in the evening I had such a terrible pain again another doctor was called. After injecting me intravenous with pentazocine, he started telling me "When you stop the flow to go and pee, how fast do you make it flow when you return?" Blank "40 drops per minute which is 3 drops every 2 seconds ......" See the thing is I was feeling too good and just wanted to sleep but he kept calculating and telling what to do and how to do it. Funny set of human beings.
Egypt wasn't as cold as I expected it to be. But it's good to be back home.