Posted in Gombe Tales

The First time I traveled to Gombe State.

I used to pride myself on being someone that liked to travel until the journey to Gombe State changed my life forever. There’s no way you’d spend two days on the road like I did and your life will remain the same. I’ve made this two-day trip two more times but the memory of the first trip is still very fresh.

Gombe State is located in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria and there’s nothing that could have prepared me, a girl that has only ever known the South and some parts of the West for this trip. My mental preparation for this journey began when I received my call-up letter and found out that I had been posted to the North. What do you do when you find out that you’ve been posted to Gombe State and there’s nothing you can do about it? You cry. I cried till the day I was to leave.

We hear a lot of stories about the North so you have an idea about why I was crying.

Gombe State? Where is Gombe?” I asked myself. I had to Google it because Gombe State is one of those states in Nigeria that we rarely hear about in the news. We began to make travel plans and we discovered that I had a long journey ahead of me, two days from Port Harcourt. To make matters worse, there was some sort of crisis with bandits in Jos, which is closer to Gombe. We considered flight but it was out of the question because the price was crazy expensive and we couldn’t afford it at the time. We made inquiries and we were told that the only option I had was passing through Kano.

Imagine this scenario: You’re supposed to take a straight route to see someone but there’s another person on that route that you’ve been avoiding. What do you do? You either decide not to go or pass through another route.

Detailed description with a pen and paper.
Don’t forget to hype my artistic skills in the comments section.

If we had done proper research, we would have known that there’s a park for direct vehicles to Gombe at Oil Mill in Port Harcourt but the thing with going to a strange place is that there’s usually nobody to ask. I didn’t even want to bother anyone so we went to Waterlines and we found “Cross Country” vehicles going to the North. Their transport services are quite affordable in my opinion. They’ve probably increased their prices from September last year till now but I remember that Port Harcourt to Abuja was 10k Naira then. Affordable. Again, if I had done proper research, I’d have known that there’s no way I would have arrived in Kano that same day, lodged in a hotel, and continued my journey the next day. You can guess where I spent the night but that was even the least of my problems.

Around 5 am when I left home – was still maintaining beauty.

I commenced my journey from Port Harcourt on the 31st of August and arrived at the NYSC camp in Gombe on the 2nd of September by 1 am.

We had not even left Port Harcourt when motion sickness kicked in. I’ve been battling motion sickness since I was little and I always prepare my stash of mint sweets, gum, and water. I also never eat before I travel. Never. That day, however, Lauren brought rice and chicken ‘cos somehow, she forgot and I set myself up by taking one bite of chicken (maybe it was two, I can’t remember). I had vomited three times in the vehicle before we got to Enugu. Mind you, Kano is 13 hours from Enugu so we hadn’t even gotten far. I remember thinking to myself “big girl like you still dey vomit for bus”. It was embarrassing but it’s one of those things. One of the passengers bought bitter kola for me and asked me to try it. I don’t know if I stopped vomiting because the bitter kola worked or because I had already emptied the contents of my stomach. I chewed bitter kola and drank water for the rest of the journey.

Did I mention that I was also on my period and I was battling serious cramps?

From Port Harcourt, you’ll pass through Imo, Abia, Enugu, Benue (Makurdi road), Kogi (Lokoja road), (all the other roads between them), before you get to Abuja. We got to Abuja around 12:55 am and the driver drove us to the park and said that he couldn’t continue the journey and we’ll have to sleep at the park. I started crying because I had been looking forward to a nice bath and some food. I went straight to the driver and asked him why we stopped. This was not the plan! We were supposed to arrive at Kano that day! He simply looked at me and told me that Kano was six hours away from Abuja. Six hours?! I started crying again. I had to use the toilet/bathroom reserved for drivers and I finally put bread and tea in my stomach. Thank God for people that make Mishai. I charged my phone a bit, let my parents know where I was, and slept in the vehicle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story so far. I don’t want it to be too long so I’m dividing it into two parts. I’ll try to publish the second part ASAP.

Love,

‘Ruona ❤️

P.S:

I’ve added a new category to this blog, titled “Gombe Tales”. I can’t wait to share my experiences in Gombe with you!

Have you been on a long journey before? Please share your experience.

Have you heard about motion sickness? Do you have motion sickness? What works for you?

When should I publish part 2?

Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. You know how much I love reading from you. Thank you! 💜

Posted in Random

Christmas, Chicken, and Vibes!

Crown me “Best in Multitasking” because I’m frying chicken, singing, dancing, and writing this. No, I’m not lying.

Currently listening to The Spirituals.

Merry Christmas, loves!! 🎉 It is with joy and gladness in my heart that I announce that today is my daddy’s birthday and I’m his favorite child so I’m receiving gifts 😌.

For the record, Dr. Asak’s birthday is in April. It’s Jesus, my sky daddy we’re celebrating today.

I didn’t think that I’d be happy today, considering the fact that I’m alone in Gombe and I miss my family. My friends traveled and I’ve just been chilling on my own. I’m even going to the radio station later today for a programme. Who works on Christmas day?

Chicken stew don ready.

Anyway, I woke up happy and so far, the highlight of my day is that my Muslim neighbour bought a lot of chicken for us to celebrate with. I got drinks so we’re just going to have a feast. I’m not expecting visitors and I don’t think he is either. We move! 😂

So, quick one yeah? This isn’t supposed to be a motivational speech. We’re just talking okay? Some of us have a lot of reasons to be angry, sad or frustrated this period and it’s easy to allow all the negativity consume you but the truth is, no matter how frustrated you are or how much you frown or complain, whatever issues you have will not magically disappear.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with optimism. Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t be realistic but what use is anger and complaints when it won’t change anything? You’re just wasting your time. Instead, lets take one day at a time. This is what I’ve slowly begun to learn and tbh, there’s a lot to be grateful for. Anytime I start thinking that I’m broke or stressed, I remember that there are hungry children on the street but I have a roof over my head, I have an education and I can give to people. That’s a lot to be grateful for.

I almost burned the rice.

So, in our festivities, let’s remember to be happy because problem no dey finish. Let’s also give back to people if we can. We’ll be fine eventually.

Time to gbedu. Ed Sheeran made this song his own!

I’m almost done cooking. I still don’t get the concept of cooking for over 2 hours just to eat for 10-20 minutes. Come on! Anyway, it’s Christmas.

Merry Christmas, again. Don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Love,

‘Ruona ❤️

P.S:

The featured image above is of my beautiful friend Lauren, captured by my other friend, Dennis (Dennography).

How are you spending Christmassss?

What do you think of this Peru remix with Ed Sheeran?

What music are you currently listening to?

Please leave a comment in the comments box below. You know how much I love reading from you. Have a great day! 💜