Monday, June 23, 2008

"What Did She Say?"

Last Saturday felt like a real, useful/meaningful, fun NYSC day for me.

We went deep into the interiors of Kotorkoshi, to a village called Chediya, in order to teach the women (young and old) to become more independent. In other words, my fellow Corper girls and I went on a Women Empowerment mission. We taught them the fine art of making buns, puffpuff, pancakes, cakes... Twas fun. My role as English-to-Hausa interpreter was scary but cool. I loved looking into their eyes and seeing them sparkle. I just pray that they take their time to really learn and become self-reliant (like me ;-))

Next week we'll be teaching them how to make soap and vaseline. Wow! I can hardly wait.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Dey!!

Governement Girls' Unity Secondary School, a large, spacious school with very friendly girls who love to rush the National Anthem no matter how many times you blast them or tell them to sing it again. GGUSS, the Corpers' favorite school in Kotorkoshi, Bungudu LGA.

The dust has settled between my Ex-Princi's last visit. It has settled very, very well. My life is taking on an easy, slow-paced beat (which I swore I'd prevent, tsk tsk) but the conclusion is this: I am happy. Swinging from one mood to the other as the dust storm blows, but happy. Focusing on good and bad things almost simultaneously, but happy.

It's good for me to stop here, as I have nothing further to add apart from this: God really dey, so I dey kampe! :-)

Howz YOUR own morale??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Good Afternoon, Malama!

The second day of teaching for me was scary.
Not only was I unprepared for the lesson that day, I was also very very unsettled by a visit from someone I never expected to see ( at least not for a long time, if I stayed undercover for long enough). This very hot-tempered man had practically sworn to make my life in Zamfara a living nightmare.
Am I being melodramatic? Erm... just a little.
Rewind to two weeks ago:
On seeing my place of primary assignment, I was devastated. I was thinking, 'So this is the place God had in mind for me? A far, remote, rural, terrible place? Now I KNOW I have offended Him. This one is a confirmation. What is left now is this: I am not going to serve again. I'm sure I'm just overreacting, because Daddy and Mummy will eat me alive if they see me coming home with my box, telling them I'm not interested in NYSC again, but right now... I'm-
Before I could finish the irrational thought, I was introduced to the principal of the school. I greeted him politely, and went over the conversation I was to have in my head:
Excuse me Sir, I was hoping you would, em... reject me. Please Sir
I considered this request from different angles, but every time I knew he was never going to agree to reject me. He had too many students and too few teachers. Female teachers all the more desirable. Connclusion: Acceptance.
I and an older corper begged hard for days. The man was still refusing to reject me. What made matters worse was that he had learnt that the other female that was posted there was trying to redeploy. (And there was one guy too, who was doing 'underground' runs to change his posting, but none of us were aware of this new wahala at that point).
So the LGOs came to my rescue. They agreed to repost me to another school, still within that local govt., and I was at peace because this new school was amazing. But there was one little problem: the acceptance letter from the principal of the school I was posted to. I had to retrieve it from him, and to cut the story short, he refused to give it to me, until I presented an official letter requesting for it. (Never mind the phone call the LGO had made to him). Fine, I thought. These office matters deal with paperwork, so he does have a point.
I got the letter, photocopied one for myself (to be safe), and showed him. I'm sure you can guess what happened, but I'll tell ya: He found another loophole. I was frustra-ted! I will now fast-forward to the day before I left ZM for my less than 2 week break:

"If they succeed in removing you from this school, I tell you I will reject all the corpers sent here. And I will report you and the LGOs to the State Coordinator, and you-will-see..."

Those were the parting words the princi gave me, and trust me, I was adequately scared. The State Coord. is known to be a.... em... how do I put it? let's go with no nonsense. He is a no-nonsense man that can repost an individual to a place worse off if he feels like, and Gummi (another local govt. in ZM which is FOUR hours away from the state capital and rumored to have camels as the dominant mode of transport, didn't sound too good to me). While I quaked, everyone assured me that the princi was just riding on hot air. He was jus' talking. Fashi him jare! So I cooled down and registered under the new school. I was adviced to keep a very low profile "till the wahala blows over", simple and short.
Well hahaha, surprise surprise. Not so simple and not so short.
I jammed him in the new school yesterday, and as our eyes jammed, his body was filled (filled to the brim) with r-a-g-e.
"You! You!! So you have resumed eh?! You!"
Jesus is my saviour. I was speechless. Other corpers around me advised me to come back and sit down (I didn't know when I had stood up and walked towards the man). They told me the man was just talking and all, and that I should cool down naaa, etc. This was 10 mins to my second class (my first class, the day before was quite cool, by the way. If you take away the initial fear I experienced when I realised that in 10mins I was through with what I had prepared for a 75 min lesson, it was cool. The girls are fun).
So, back to the issue at hand: He sent two 'delegates' from his school to the princi of my new school, and I am about to see something called trouble. But I'm not alone. The LGO is behind me. And maybe God, too.