Friday, 27 December 2019

Rounding up 2019

My biggest lesson in 2019 has been that it is not and should not be all about you!
It's not like I have not always known this but it has hit home so much harder through the year.

I lived in Central African Republic all of 2019 where the country has been totally run down by selfishness. I cannot and may not have accurate analysis so I'm stating very clearly that this opinion is personal.
The sun setting over Bangui

When people speak of the good old days...(I wrote a little about that here), I always ask what changed. When you dig deep, it boils down to selfishness; the need for power and control, people thinking only of themselves and what benefit they can get. I'm sticking to the everyday little things that have led to me draw this conclusion.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Visiting Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire

I visited the biggest Basilica in the world! Basilica of our Lady of Peace (Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix), Yamoussoukro. It is modelled based on the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican but is the tallest and biggest in surface area in the world.
It took three years to build, between 1986 and 1989 and was consecrated by Pope John Paul II.
36 companies were involved in building it, while the architecture and design was done by a Lebanese architect called Pierre Fakhoury.


The structure might not look so impressive from outside...

Friday, 29 November 2019

A sound mind


Oyine’s head had been throbbing and continually got worse. She didn’t know what a migraine felt like but if this was not one, she didn’t know how else to describe it. She dragged herself out of bed to take some paracetamol and hoped it would calm down, then she could finally get some sleep. She has had these headaches for the last few days and was afraid she was getting dependent on pain killers. At first, she thought it was lack of sleep as she had not been sleeping well.
She lay in bed waiting for sleep, insomnia had become her new reality, which was worrying. She searched her mind for what the problem could be. The only thing that constantly came up was work. She had been over worked, her efforts seemed to be appreciated but that did not change the situation.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Quinoa and vegetable mix

I hadn't cooked in a while but I've been able to change that recently. I made of mix of quinoa and vegetables. It is so simple to make and you can find all the ingredients easily.
Good food, a book and some juice make up a good weekend ;)

Cooking time : 40 minutes
A lot of this time would go into cleaning and chopping the vegetables.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Visiting San Francisco


I flew into Oakland, it is a small airport, although bigger and better functioning than the Abuja airport...I digress! Getting through was super fast especially as things are automated, the immigration process was DIY on a machine, then you get stamped in by an officer. He only asked how long I was staying for, then I was on my way. From the minute I landed to getting through, it probably took 20 minutes as the queue was not long. I picked up my luggage, then got on the Bart (metro) to meet my friend, Manuela, somewhere close to the Embacadero station.

We spent the night then headed off to the National Parks the next day. I wrote about that in my previous post. After we got back, I had 3 more days before my departure and I made good use of them.

We got back to San Francisco on a Saturday. On Sunday, there was an Opera show at golden gate park organised by San Francisco Opera, and it was free of charge. Everyone seemed pleased to be out in the sun. A few of Manuela's friends joined us and it was generally a relaxing day.


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Yosemite, Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks


I visited California in September. Before getting there, my friend Manuela, who knows some of the kind of activities I would like, planned things. We visited three national parks – Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. We started with Yosemite.

If nature, outdoors and hiking interest you, this would be something to do in California.
Yosemite National Park is known for its granite rocks, cliffs and waterfalls. The half dome and the El Capitan are two that were referred to frequently. To climb the half dome, a permit is required. That was not on our list, so we did not find out how to get the permit.
The park has a few vista points where everyone could get great views of things from.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Abuja - Kaduna Express way

Get a driver if you don't want to drive. You have a car so why do you keep travelling by public transport?
"You don't get it", she replied, "you don't seem to understand the situation. When these guys see people in private cars on the road, they make them easy targets to kidnap. They kidnap people in public cars as well, but people feel safer to travel in a group".

The state of the road makes things so much easier for these guys. There have been constant speculations that Julius Berger stopped work as necessary payments have not been made. I do not understand why the government awarded a contract for the road to be fixed without making the necessary payments. Part of the express way is closed, forcing cars to drive on the one way double lanes in both directions. The tar got peeled off so the road is in an awful state. The time to make this trip can no longer be estimated especially if one happens to be on the road on a day when there is an accident or incident.
One side of the road is not functional at the moment

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Anyway...

I have no need to care about how I look; how rough my cornrows are, or how oily my face is. There are no mirrors here anyway.

I should not be bothered much about the unsanitary conditions in which I have to live in certain villages, how I dread going around toilets or bathrooms. Who cares about cleanliness anyway.

I am probably worrying too much about a balanced diet looking for fruits and vegetables, when the only thing I find to eat here is meat and carbs. How many can afford to eat anyway.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The journey to motherhood 2

If you missed the first part last week, please have a look here

Mrs B.
I am, or should I say, used to be one of those who desired to get pregnant on the wedding night. So two months into my marriage, I was already getting paranoid; sounds funny to me now, as I didn't know I had a bit of a long wait ahead. Six months into my marriage I discovered I was pregnant! You can imagine how ecstatic I was. There was nothing wrong with me after all, my husband was so happy too.
I kept telling myself I'd always heard that you didn't have to see a doctor until you are 3 months pregnant, and so I did not take any form of medication, not even folic acid! Two months into my miracle, I started seeing little stains of blood, I told myself not to worry as I'd also heard that spotting could be normal. However, a sixth sense pestered till I asked a close friend who had had a baby before, she asked what colour the stains were, I said dark red, and she got alarmed and told me not to waste any more time but to see a doctor! I had two scans from two different hospitals. The first said there was no fetal heartbeat. The second said there was after I asked. The doctor was more concerned with showing us the spot that signifies a baby and putting our minds to rest instead of telling us if all was actually well.