The next time I saw anything beach-like was in my 3rd year in the university, when I chaperoned a group of 3 Asians on a trip to the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking: Bauchi does not have a beach! No it doesn’t.However it does have a warm spring and this my friends, falls into the beach category! 😀
So anyways, the Asians were international students who had come to Nigeria to run an internship with AIESEC, which I was a part of during my uni days.
AIESEC is an international platform which helps youth to identify and develop their potentials. One of the tools it uses is international internships. Because of this we had lots of students leaving and arriving our university and indeed other federal universities where AIESEC existed. Apart from our local, national and international conferences, lots of activities were being held for these interns to help them integrate and blend with our way of life, and some of those activities included tours, parties and other cool stuff :). We worked hard, but we also played harder, phew!
One faithful day I was home and bored with nothing to do. I can’t remember now if it was a weekend, a school break or staff strike 😐 Anyways I got a call from a colleague asking me if I was willing to tag along with 3 interns who wanted to go visit the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi. Two of the interns were running their program at Enugu (University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN), had heard about the tourist site, and wanted to go visit. The 3rd was an intern with our local committee (university).
There was an apology about interrupting my schedule (what schedule?) but the interns would take care of my fare since theirs was a special request and all… but please could I volunteer?
😀 😀 😀
Why the grin?
Well about two weeks prior to this day a similar trip was planned for our members. interns and friends, and for some reason
which I think had to do with being at home and not having a good enough excuse to give daddy to go, since it was not directly connected to my academic career I couldn’t be a part of the trip. So when this offer came, it sounded more of a “Call to Duty” than a leisure trip, and by all means I had to go.
Lesson: When you can’t have something, let it go. There’s a huge chance that it’ll come in a much better package than you expected!
The one-day trip was quite eventful, from the moment we took off to Bauchi to the moment we got back. To tell you all about it would take another post! In summary we had a tour of the museum, took a safari ride through the game reserve and then spent the rest of the day in the Wikki warm spring, which was actually the highlight of the trip.
As usual I began to search for a souvenir. No, not shells, silly, haha! I noticed that beneath the spring were cool pebbles, and so I decided I would pick a few to take back with me. When my friends found out what I wanted to do with them they helped me search for unique ones. Since they were better swimmers than myself they could stay longer beneath the surface and see better too! It was soon time to go and we all were sorry to leave.
Don’t ask me how, but I was able to get some of the soft sand to carry along 🙂
Safely at home and about to fall asleep my new friends gave me their own souvenir: a small grey stone, four-cornered and slightly rough to the touch. They had all scribbled their names on it and added a “thank you” on the fourth surface. It was a little but highly appreciated gesture.
One of my odd collections also included unique wine bottles, and so my eldest brother helped me select a bottle with a wide enough opening to pour in the sand and push in the pebbles!
That was how I bottled up my second experience. The “journal” is still at home in Jos, on top of our wardrobe. The stone too. I just hope my cousin hasn’t thrown it out like the first… I think I’d better give her a ring right away!