Monday, January 7, 2008

Memories of excursions....

It was unusually quiet in my neighborhood, our area people had gone for thanks giving at the nearby church, it was rare for us to have light for two days straight, hence, the thanks- giving service. They have taken the goat that was being fed for Christmas to be slaughtered. We have had light for two days, we must celebrate. It was unfortunate that as soon as they left, the light disappeared with them. I was contemplating how to break the news to them when I saw Layabout with a “Ghana must go”, coming towards me.
“Sista, na go be this oh”
“Where to?”
“ehhh, dem say dem dey share rice and ram for Abuja, so I wan carry my leg reach there small, Rukevwe say I fit follow am for “agofure motors”.
“What do you mean they are sharing rice and ram? You have started with your stories again, abi?”
“No oh, dem say, person go do just one round of boxing match, after that, na rice and ram”
I have never heard of such a thing. Sharing rice and ram after boxing matches? Is that possible? He must have got his facts wrong again, as usual. Rice and Ram indeed! I have never heard of any country sharing rice. Perhaps it was for Independence Day? Could it be that the government has decided to give every household a bag of rice? That seems more feasible to me. We all deserve bags of rice in this country, even if it is “ekpoma rice”, we all deserve it. I remember all those “match pasts” and flag waving under the hot sun as a child, I was never paid anything for my troubles, yes, a bag of rice I will happily collect. In fact if possible, they should add a bag of groundnut as well, which reminds me, whatever happened to those pyramids of groundnuts we used to have? Somewhere in the north? Was it not a tourist attraction at one point in time? I have always been meaning to go there, the pyramids of ground nut. However we did visit “obasanjo farms”, I remember it was hot and dusty, poultry; it was nothing to write home about. We all thought we would be given chickens on our way out. It never happened. Our school took us once on an excursion to a cement factory in Ughelli, but our bus broke down, so we never got to see how cement was made. I wonder if they would have shared free bags of cement? Those are days long gone, the children here don’t even know how palm oil is made and we eat banga soup everyday. It’s a pity, making palm oil is not hard, in fact I am considering using it now instead of Vaseline. I saw so much as a child, as an adult, not so much. I remember as a teenager, my rebellious spirit had set in and I decided to go to Benin to see all those wonderful artifacts I kept seeing in art books. I found my way alright, the museum was not hard to find, unfortunately it was closed. An old man, sat sleeping on a bench by the gate. I asked him when the museum opened, he started laughing. He refused to co operate with me, in fact when I told him the particular artifacts I wanted to see, his laughter turned into hysteria. That was the end of my adventure. I never went back to that museum, which is a shame. There are so many things I would like to show layabout for example, whose existence is limited to sitting on fences waiting for free rice and ram. But how can I? Every suggestion I make here is met with laughter.

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