Me at Lucy's Wedding. The sun does shine in England!

Me at Lucy's Wedding. The sun does shine in England!
Me still in England!

Monday, 31 October 2011

VSO in Nigeria

Being aa VSO  in Nigeria
The Balancing Act
Lonely                                  Self-reliant
Scared                                   Excited
Frustrated                              Patient
No NEPPA                            Romantic candles
No running water                  Friendly neighbours with jerry cans
Long bumpy journeys           Warm welcome in isolated villages
Falling in ditches                Helped up, given a clean handkerchief
Walking in dusty                Greeted by everyone
smelly streets
No supermarkets           No processed fruit, haggling in markets
Strange language            Locals delight at attempts at basic phrases
Mozzie bites                  Under the net safe from all flying creatures
Long hours preparing    Children's faces playing matching games
What tips the balance?
Nigerian people:
Children in our street, ‘Auntie Caroline! Auntie Caroline! Just hold my hand!’
The waving, the smiling,
The drivers who takes me to amazing places and keep me safe,
The State team who always ask about my family,
Funmi, who makes me laugh and invited me to his house,
The babies and children in the orphanage who want a hug more than any toys I take,
Buki, the young girl, who teaches me a new phrase of Yoruba every week,
Uzzar, my neighbour, who talks to me and gets me good deals,
Gbenga, who checks we have Neppa,
Taybah who gives us an extra egg,
Our guards who look after us without a grumble,
Ayo who got my watch fixed
The people in the office who always greet-
Sharing food with them, ‘washing’ new items,
The teachers who only need a word of praise to beam with delight,
The pupils in the dark dismal rooms smiling as I shake their hand,
Singing, dancing, praying, laughing that touches the soul.

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