Archive for October, 2008

October 31, 2008

Tags – More about Me


I got tagged some time ago by HisFirefly; I’ve been saving this post and I think today is just right! The rules are pretty straight forward; I have to list 5 things about me in 5 categories. So here goes!

10 Years Ago

  • I was a teenager
  • I had just finished Secondary School (High School)
  • I’d begun to be aware of myself as me
  • I was having issues with my mum
  • I was very involved in the Church Youth Group

Today’s To-Do List

  • Check my mails for instructions from a Client
  • Begin the preliminaries for the project
  • Call my brother (he’s graduating from the University tomorrow)
  • Get in touch with my dad
  • Spend time with my Sweetheart

Snacks I Enjoy

  • Cheese cake
  • Crackers
  • Kuli-Kuli (I dare you to guess what that one is! LOL)
  • Bole & Fish (OK, I’ll tell – roast plantain & barbecued fish with chili sauce)
  • Apples

Places I Have Lived

  • Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • Jos, Plateau, Nigeria
  • Gana Ropp, Plateau, Nigeria
  • Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria
  • Port Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria

Jobs I Have Had (Or Still Have)

  • Elementary School Teacher
  • General Cook
  • Personal Assistant
  • Lawyer
  • Manager & All Round Girl Friday at a Guest House

Phew! Surprisingly, that was fun. Alright I’m to tag 5 people. Hmmm

Rosheeda at Beauty For Ashes

Aisha from The Holley Herald

Patty at Patterings

Sincerae

Cheyenne

October 29, 2008

10 Things Tuesday on Wednesday


XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

I have not participated in a long while and I’ve really wanted to because I have so much to be thankful for. However, work has made my online life almost impossible.

Good health: Not too long ago, I struggled with asthma, but since I moved back home, I’ve not had even a semi attack. That is a miracle I thank God for every single day.

My Family: These are very special people to me and for some reason, after years of not being at home at the same time, this last month we’ve all been home together. It’s amazing and I’m grateful for this opportunity to spend time with the people I love the most in this world, with the exception of my sweetheart of course.

My Sweetheart: He completes me. I know it’s a strange thing to say of a man one is not yet even married to, but it is the honest truth. I came down to Port Harcourt so that we could spend some time together and it’s been wonderful. Imagine being able to pray with a guy and it’s not corny??? I know!

Fulfilling Work: The decision to return home and work on the mission field was not an easy one, but it was worth it. The work never seems to finish and it’s endless. As I said in a mail to a blogging friend, running the Mission Guest House, I am manager, house keeper, cook, chamber maid, whatever you can think of because I have only one other staff. But you know what? I am so fulfilled that I can’t wait to get back to work.

Old Friends: I have two BFFs. One spent a month with me and she’s coming back to volunteer for short term service on the Missions Base. We were room mates at the University and it would be fun seeing each other regularly. The second BFF is already married but we still quarrel and make up. I can’t imagine my life without my old friends…who would I carry out my mischief with??

New Friends: I caught up with a pretty young lady who had been commenting on this blog for some time. She spent time with me at my new apartment and has decided to come back for two months to teach at the Mission Primary School which caters to the local children around.

Air Conditioning: I’m in Port Harcourt and the weather is a dramatic contrast from that of Jos, where I have relocated to. While in Jos, I bundle up with 2 sweaters and a Jacket, underneath a blanket and a duvet, in Port Harcourt I’m mostly clad in denim shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. Quite dramatic I’ll tell you. So on this hot day in Port Harcourt, I’m particularly thankful for air conditioning.

The Internet: This goes without saying. I’m glad I can finally catch up with all my friends and spend hours on end on facebook, Yipee!

My Other Blog: Oh yes, I run a professional blog on wordpress. Or at least it was on wordpress until I finally acquired a domain name, hosted on bluehost. So feel free to check me out at http://www.thenigerianlawyer.com.

God’s Provision: Like I said, I’m doing volunteer work and so I don’t get paid a salary per se. I do get paid an allowance every month, but that is barely enough to hold body and soul together. Or it would have been barely enough if not that for some reason, God always provides what I need, when I need it. It’s fantastic!
So that’s it for ‘Ten Things Tuesday’. It is kindly hosted by the lovely Mrs Brownstone. Thanks Jill for this opportunity.

October 25, 2008

Women On The Edge


I have been reading this book, Women on The Edge by Deborah Meroff. It was first published by Authentic Media, as True Grit: Women Taking On the World, for God’s Sake. It is the story of women who have braved the odds to take the love of God to the frontier… to places that are war torn, riddled with hunger and diseases.

I’m only half way through, but I am awed and humbled by stories of women like Tammy Koh, who came from a broken home but still used her business degree and courage to serve God in the Himalayas. Or Pam Olson who with her husband, gave up everything to set up a relief mission in war torn Tajikistan. She went through bouts of dysnetery, urinary tract infections, skin allergies, bronchitis, hepatitis, gall stones, pneumonia and food poisoning but she still did not give up. She saw all the challenges as opportunities to trust God for his purposes to be worked out.

As a child, I knew of the Operation Mobilization ministry and of their ships. We had some missionaries on secondment to one of the ships (I can’t remember which). When the second ship was acquired, it was like a personal triumph for my family because we prayed and prayed for these brave people who were obeying the call of the Lord on their lives. Logos and Doulos have been part of my growing up life, as familiar to me as the on and off friends I made. So it is a wonderful thing to read about people like Joy Yorba who worked on Logos II; what this means is that my family probably prayed for her! It is an awe inspiring thought.

Deborah Meroff tells the stories which would have gone untold. I am grateful to her that we have this examples of these women to follow. There are a great many others that we probably would never read about, not unless there are other Deborah Meroffs out there, who take it upon themselves to tell the stories.

Women On the Edge or True Grit: Women Taking On the World, for God’s Sake, is a beautifully written book, complete with Vital Statistics of the countries these women worked in. It is worth every drop of ink it is written in.

October 24, 2008

The Blogging Scholarship


I came across this and since I do not qualify (it’s for College students), I thought I’d share it here so that my blogging friends who are college students may take advantage of this.

The Prize? $10,000.00

The Requirements?

  • Your blog must contain unique and interesting information about you and/or things you are passionate about. No spam bloggers please!!!
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Currently attending full-time in post-secondary education in the United States; and
  • If you win, you must be willing to allow us to list your name and blog on this page. We want to be able to say we knew you before you became a well educated, rich, and famous blogging legend.

Deadlines:

  • Accepting Submissions: October 15th, 2008
  • Submission Deadline: October 30th, 2008

So if you are interested, or you know someone who is, or you even want to nominate somebody, check here.

October 17, 2008

Exploring Nigeria – He Took It On The Road…


“I felt like some National geographic correspondent on a fact-finding mission. We climbed rocks, crossed dangerous bridges, got chased by cattle, ran into goats and sank our feet in marshy soil.”

A few weeks ago, I hosted a friend who decided to take some time off and explore some tourist attractions in the Northern region of Nigeria. He started with my home area, Gana Ropp – a few kilometres away from Jos, the capital of Plateau State. I had another friend staying with me then, so the three of us took off on a hike. Below is his account of the experience, I just wanted to share with you. I live in a very beautiful place; it would be nice if any of you could come around but just in case you can’t, here are some pictures (word and visual) for you. (Forgive the lingua, it was written for a Nigerian audience).

* * *

Preceding the recent stretch of holidays in Nigeria – i.e the Sallah holidays (Sep 29,30) closely followed by Independence day (Oct.1), I was feeling really despondent. Under the burden of driving in serious traffic holdups, waking up at ungodly hours in other to get to work, I decided I had to skip town . There were some options on the table. I could have retired to the serenity of Ibadan or visited La Campaigne Tropicanna on the outskirts of Lagos. I decided on neither of those options.

On Saturday, the 26th, I decided that to take a trip to the North- Yankari Games Reserve to be precise. I did some online research and asked some knowledgeable folks. I discovered that I would need to get to Jos first, then to Bauchi, then to Yankari Games reserve. It seemed all easy on paper. I considered it a great opportunity to get to see the Northern part of Nigeria since my previous forays had been limited to Abuja.

On Sunday the 27th, I woke up, went to MMA2, got a mid-day flight ticket to Abuja and jumped aboard. That was the beginning of an intriguing and exciting experience. At the airport I ran into one of my closest associates and one of Nigeria’s most popular entertainment journalists – Ayeni Adekunle. Ayeni is an individual that I converse with regularly but have not had the opportunity to see physically since we left UI in 2004. Accompanying him on the flight to Abuja were Keke Ogungbe, D-One, Kelly Handsome of Primetime Africa. They were on their way to Abuja for Tee-A’s live and Naked show.

On landing in Abuja, I got a picture with Nigeria’s foremost Music Business Mogul- Kenny Ogungbe (love him or hate him). As I made my way out of the airport , I ran into my good friend and brother – Lamide Craig. I was really glad to see him for 2 reasons- Firstly, to express my sympathy over the passing of Nigeria’s own Yinka Craig (his father), Secondly, he gave me a free ride to Abuja township.

At this stage I had to set off for a 3.5hr ride to Jos. I had decided to spend a night in Jos with the family of a friend/ family friend (whichever one works)- The Famonures. They stay on the outskirts of Jos in an area called Ganarup . After much navigation, I was welcomed into their home at 9:30 pm. The moment I stepped into their house, it reminded me of the Ibadan house that I grew up in. I knew it had been built by Americans. The tall and thick walls gave it away. I got to discover that some foreign miners built the house in 1910. It was quite intriguing to note that a 98year old house was still standing while Nigerian houses collapse while undergoing construction. Anyway, I had a good night sleep under a double blanket and a cardigan. In the past, I have been known to insist on cold-water baths at all times. However, there was an exception to the rule this time. It made a lot of sense to have a hot shower in light of the threatening cold weather in Jos. Inspite of the harsh cold, a lot of J-town folks, get up in the morning to jog while wearing just tshirts/singlets. While some jog, others ride bicycles. These activities are said to be part of its colonial heritage.

Jos is a beautiful city that is surrounded by a lot of rocks, hills and mountains. Please banish all the thoughts of Oke Ado, Oke Bola and Oke Itunnu that you have in your head. “Oke yato si Oke”. When you get to Jos, you see the real “Okes”. The “Okes” are reminiscent of the ones I saw on my trip to Nsukka in 2001. It is sad to note that the only Hills/ Mountains we get to see in Lagos are mountains of refuse piling up at street corners.

After the hot shower on the morning of Monday the 29th, I “set forth at dawn”. My hosts live in a missionary settlement, which is surrounded by rock formations, and Fulani settlements. Unlike most parts of Lagos, there was no major demarcation of land spaces with fences. Everywhere led into everywhere. I was able to get a good look at the rock formations, which had probably lasted centuries. I got a good sighting of a lot of cactus plants growing in the semi-arid rock tops. After breakfast, I conferred with my hosts (Sharon and Buki) and we agreed on hiking around the compound and surrounding villages. Initially, I wasn’t blown over at the prospect of just walking around for the only day I had to spend in Jos. However, by the time the hike started, my spirits soared at the sights which I beheld.

As the hike started, we crossed a bridge which had been built in the colonial era to facilitate the movement of miners into the mining pits. In case you never knew, Jos was once known as Tin-city due to the abundance of tin deposits beneath the soils. I witnessed an indigenous tin-miner in action in one of the pits. I saw the effect of mining on the environment with small rivers being diverted in order to route them to the mining pits. It was not all environmental doom and gloom as I saw a miniature water fall alongside various lakes and mountains. At a point in time, I felt like some National geographic correspondent on a fact-finding mission.

We climbed rocks, crossed dangerous bridges, got chased by cattle, ran into goats and sank our feet in

A Fulani (Cattle Herder) Settlement

A Fulani (Cattle Herder) Settlement

marshy soil.

Far away from the grip of the evil Third Mainland bridge, evil LASTMA (traffic) officials and evil policemen, I had found a great deal of good in the arms of Mother Nature. Getting to see 7-10 year old Fulani kids controlling a 50 strong herd of cattle was a sight I would never forget. My tour guides (Sharon and Buki) gave me a lot of insight into the Fulani way of life. Despite the fact that Fulanis are nomads, they get the chance to go to school through the aid of nomadic schools. Some of them eventually get to go to Universities inspite of their humble backgrounds.

We settled in from the hike at about 7pm. Even though my body was weak, my spirit was lifted. I couldn’t have planned a better vacation. After a good night rest, I bade my hosts goodbye. My friends invited me to a cafe in Jos for breakfast before I departed to Yankari. We showed up at Afri One Cafe and I had a sumptuous English breakfast. After breakfast, I got a cab that took me straight to Yankari Games Reserve.

Written by Oluwole Leigh.

October 16, 2008

Giving in Return


Someone once told me, that there was always a bit of self interest in love. Everything in me rejected that… there was unconditional love! To further buttress his point, he pointed out that when love didn’t ‘feel good’, most people opted out. I didn’t believe him, but I could not argue with that. Over the years I have come to have the same opinion about giving.

When I was young, I was taught about sacrificial giving – giving even when it hurts to do so. But how many people practice that? I’ve discovered certain elements present when a lot of people give. They give:

  • Because they have something to gain in return;

– Monetary
– Material
– Regard
– Respect
– The list is endless

  • Because it makes them look good;
  • Because it makes them feel good.

How many people genuinely give, putting the other person’s need before theirs – even when it hurts to do so? I used to think I was one of those people, but now I’m not so sure. When I love someone, I like to believe I can sacrifice a great deal for that person. I have sacrificed dreams and aspirations… whims and desires because I wanted that person’s happiness. I thought it was all completely unselfish until I found myself expecting some sort of sacrifice which hurts (or even simply inconveniences) in return; and feeling hurt and disillusioned when I did not get it.

How unfair. The object (or subject? Not sure which) of my love did not ask me to make whatever sacrifices I feel I made. Nobody required it of me. So it was totally unfair to place the burden of my sole and unsolicited decision on another’s head. But don’t we all do that in one way or another? How many of us are willing to go to great lengths for a loved one and keep going those lengths even when they are extremely unappreciative? Still, I suppose that was what Jesus did.

When I started this post, I was thinking of MY grievances and my unreasonable expectations. But halfway into the post, I began to see how unlike Jesus I was being. If ever there was a bunch of die hard ungratefuls, that’s us. Yet knowing what he did about the sort of people we were (still are), he still went all out for us – giving EVERYTHING… see, nothing was too good to be spared. It all went! Was he expecting anything in return? I guess he could hope. Surely after everything he gave, our love and devotion was not too much to ask for was it? Yet even that, we withhold from him. But see the difference here: Even when loving me doesn’t “feel good”, Jesus is right there still loving me. He’s totally IN for the long haul. Thinking about it makes me feel warm inside me and a little ashamed too. Here I was getting upset because someone would not make a little sacrifice for me and meanwhile I’d been patting myself on the back because I ‘sacrificed’ a year of my whole life for the One who did not hold back his life for me…!

I don’t want to go through this year like that. I should know better; serving God is a rare privilege and not everyone gets that opportunity. I want to work with all my heart and all my soul and with everything in me and not expect anything in return – from man anyway. I can’t help expecting some encouragement from the Lord I mean, after all He called me; I didn’t call myself. Am I contradicting myself? I hope not. I’m trying to figure things out and I would appreciate any help (insights, advice, personal lessons) in the process. In this journey, there are five things I want to learn:

  • To be totally open to God – completely without reservation;
  • To work diligently with everything I’ve got;
  • To work without expecting praise from the people around me (that’s kind of hard);
  • To learn to trust God even when it seems crazy and
  • To learn how to love and consequently give, unconditionally.