Monday, April 13, 2015


This week on "my experience series" I have a very interesting story
from a lady;kofo by name,who shares her experience visiting the
riverine parts of Ondo state,enjoy her story as I serve it to you as
hot as always,lols.

So I embarked on this trip to Ondo State (the sunshine state) for a
job. It wasn't my first visit to Ondo State as I had been there the
previous year and had traversed almost the entire length and breath of
Ondo State.

Let me share a bit of my experience on my first and second visits to
the sunshine state. My first visit to Ondo was an eye-opener for me.
By the way, I had
been warned before embarking on that journey to be cautious of where I
eat meat and the kind of meat I eat. The reason is not far-fetched. It
is believed that dog meat is a delicacy for Ondo people, so you might
have purchased dog meat and eaten it before it dawns on you. Thank God
I'm not a 'meat-lover' so it wasn't hard for me to avoid eating meat
on some occasions. However, those that have eaten this special type of
meat testify that it is indeed delicious. I still wouldn't want to
taste it, I'm not that adventurous or curious enough to want to
confirm that. Meanwhile,pounded yam was one meal I enjoyed there quite
a number of times. In as much as I like pounded yam, it's not a meal I
get to eat often in Lagos.

One of the communities we visited was Okeluse, and we had to go and
pay homage to their traditional ruler upon our arrival. After we had
all been introduced, that was how the oba jokingly said he would
"gbese le mi". That's saying literally that he wouldn't mind marrying
me. Those who are familiar with the yoruba culture from way back would
have heard that when a king sees a woman that he likes, he can decide
to "gbese le" to show that he's going to marry this woman. My oga
(jokingly) replied that if he was ready to part with a million naira
for each member of the team,in addition to the Toyota Sequoia parked
in his garage, they would give him my hand. I just looked at them and
thanked God it was all a big joke.

Meanwhile,it was in this same community that I saw pigs at such a
close range. Not like I hadn't seen pigs before but not for them to be
strolling round a community like they were shareholders there. My
first reaction when I saw one big one walking towards me,I practically
ran back. Couldn't say whether it was more of being scared or
irritated. I'm still wondering how people manage to eat pork meat.

The nature of the job took us to different communities. At some point
in time,I got bitten so much by sandflies that my body got designed
with several small swellings. Infact,it got to a point where they had
to mix palmoil and kerosene for me to be rubbing all over my body.
Even I myself didn't know I could withstand such harsh conditions, I
had become so rugged over night.

After working on land for awhile, it was time to visit the riverine
areas. Most of us are probably aware that Ondo State has some riverine
areas. Meaning that to get to these areas, you need to make use of
means of transportation such as speed boats or canoes. We had to visit
some of these riverine areas and were left with no choice than to
'travel' with these means of transportation. I used the word "travel"
because it took us over an hour to get to some of those areas.
Life in these riverine areas is another story on its own. The rides on
the speedboat were quite enjoyable but I think it requires some kind
of extra liver to embark on such, particularly if you're not used to
it. Meanwhile these boats are just like their own BMW, Toyota, Honda
or any other brand of car you can think of.

So after visiting some riverine areas, we still had one more
community(Ogokiri) to visit and were told that speedboats hardly ply
that route. Hence we were left with no other option than to use the
engine-run canoe. We had been to that area the previous year, the
canoe that conveyed us can make a person have a heart attack. Imagine
a canoe stopping every now and then and wouldn't start until the
driver cleared the seeweed that clogged the engine area. I started
feeling seasick at some point, at another point I was feeling sleepy.
The journey took almost two hours and thirty minutes, it was long and
tiring. That was how we had to embark on another long journey to this
area again. This time around, I was beyond glad when our destination
came into sight.

We finally approached the house of the community head where we wanted
to register our presence. While others in the canoe were trying to
disembark, someone staggered a bit, the canoe shook and tilted to one
side, lo and behold I found myself inside water struggling to stay
afloat(poor me, I couldn't swim). Thank God for the driver of the boat
who made a quick dive and rescued me from what may have become
disastrous. All I could mutter when I was out of harm's way was "thank
you Jesus". I never imagined having that kind of experience.

When it was time to embark on the return journey, I became a bit
scared(understandbly­ so) but had to subdue my fear because the
journey ahead was still a bit far. I was more than excited when we
came ashore, even though I couldn't really show my excitement as I was
still shaken by my experience. Thank God for that experience and thank
God it didn't end in a disaster, moreso that it happened in the month
of my birth. Perhaps you're thinking "if I were her I'll stay away
from anything water-related" I may still embark on another journey to
the riverine areas if need be. However this will be after ensuring
that necessary safety measures have been put in place this time

All in all,it was a good experience. I had the privilege of
interacting with so many people and realized again that Nigerians are
not so difficult to please;all they ask for is access to basic
amenities. For someone who had lived the "city-life" for the major
part of her life, it was good to have a feel of the rural life. It was
amazing to see these people,happy and getting on with their lives
despite the fact that they don't have all the luxuries that some
people in the city enjoy. They were accomodating to a large extent and
still willing to share the little they have; to think that they don't
complain like we easily do. Despite the fact that we enjoy certain
things, we still get to complain about other things that we don't
have. It just made me appreciate God the more for every privilege He
has given me in life.

Wherever you find yourself in life, learn to be thankful to God, some
people would give anything to trade places with you