If you read this post or follow me on Instagram, then you would know that I am currently living and working in Agbor, Delta State. It has been exactly six months since I came here, and… It. Has. Been. Real! I still do not understand where the time went, but here we are.
I wasn’t quite sure what format to utilize in explaining how life has been so far, so I decided to wing it.
I came here on August 2, 2017. It was a Tuesday. Mummy was here with me for a couple of days to help me set up my…life. Honestly, there was just so much to deal with, and I am super glad that she helped me through it.
After she left, I cried. I cried hard!
I know absolutely no one and nowhere here. What exactly was my plan when I decided to come here? kept running through my mind.
Work started in earnest. My co-workers were very nice, and they were really helpful. I was happy…or at least trying to be. I was mentally still in Lagos, but to fully thrive in Delta, I needed to move here emotionally.
August was a bit of a blur and I cannot really how it went down. It just took a lot of trying to pronounce patients’ names properly and just trying to understand how things work here.
I was shocked, though. Things here are… different.
The mechanism is just different. In Lagos, you have all tribes, colours, shapes and sizes. I mean, I lived somewhere for four years and I literally didn’t know the people in the next plot of land.
Here, however, it seems pretty closely knit. I mean, everyone seems to know everyone and most people speak Ika (the native language of the people of Agbor, which sounds quite similar to the Igbo Language), Pidgin and English.
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If you’re good, they know. If your grandfather was a thief, they also know. There are a lot of people here, so I don’t know how this happens. It’s rather interesting to watch.
One thing that really ticks me off is the fact that all the banks and ATMs are so far away from me, and are clustered in one place. I have to mentally prepare myself to go to the bank because I have to take an okada every single time, and I don’t particularly enjoy that.
Why okada, you wonder?
Well, that is literally the only means of transportation here. I kid you not.
No Uber, okay? No yellow (or any other colour) cabs, no Keke either. As far as buses are concerned, there are only interstate and inter-town buses.
If you want to move around Agbor, motorcycles (aka okada) it is for you and your family members…well, except you have your own car. It is always interesting to watch women wearing their gele and two wrappers riding their motorcycles as they go for events.
It is a relatively small town though, so it actually works pretty fine.
September came along and I felt better. I was gradually getting used to living here and talking to more people. I have met a good number of nice people here.
I attended my first Deltan traditional marriage, and it was pretty fun to witness. Coincidentally, it was on my birthday so I spent my day doing that.
I also finally went out of Agbor to Warri which was over two hours away (with no form of traffic) and where I finally found my favourite affordable skin care products after searching Lagos to no avail. Ooh, I was able to watch the latest instalment my favourite franchise; Kingsman: The Golden Circle (which I really loved. Eggsy is the best! And that orange suit, priceless!!)
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This was the month that I truly started understanding what life really is. I started to see the extreme differences in people.
We might all be human, Nigerian and Christian, but somehow, just somehow, we are all just super, duper dissimilar.
We differ thoroughly in our thoughts about right and wrong.
We differ thoroughly in thoughts about marriage.
We differ thoroughly in our thoughts about women and their role in the world.
I finally consciously realized that I had been living in a cocoon…a deep-seated one.
I have parents who believe in their three female children being all they ever wanted and believe in us, allowing us to become whoever we want to be. I have only had female friends who are big dreamers and bigger achievers, and my male friends never ever looked at us and treated us different because we have larger mammary glands.
Unfortunately, I also realized that some people just don’t feel this way and I have become very grateful for this gift.
Someone actually seriously told me how she put on her engagement ring because some people were not listening to her concerning an actual work issue, and she truly felt that wearing the ring would give her the respect she felt she deserved. What makes this sadder is that she was okay with, even somewhat proud, of this occurrence.
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Recently, for the first time in my life, someone actually looked at my family picture in my room and asked me whether my father was not really bothered by his name dying. I asked her how my father’s name would die.
She went on to ask me how my dad feels having no son and to tell me about how since there is no son, my father’s name would die.
I turned to her, told her that my parents have three whole daughters whom they have catered for with all they can, so no, their name will not die, thank you very much.
I had heard about things like this, but prior to this experience, I had never quite believed such things happen.
I have, in fact, enjoyed the openness of the people here. I don’t know if it is the same in every workplace (considering my limited experience), but the populace seems to be very in tune with each other despite their work positions, most of the time. There is a level of mutual respect and care which I truly appreciate, among the workers in my hospital.
I have absolutely loved loving myself.
I look at myself in the mirror and I actually feel beautiful. Like, I see me and I tell myself, ‘Desire, you are beautiful’ and I truly believe it.
I write an article, I read it, and then I smile at myself because I know I have done a good job.
For the first time in life, I don’t tell myself that it’s too much, nope! I do what I want to do.
I give ample space for the potatoes potate! That is their business, really.
I know I still need to improve on every aspect of my life, and I am very fine with that. As a matter of fact, I look forward to that, even though I know it would be challenging.
Being alone has had a positive effect on me. Being forced to be with yourself can make you do things, good things for yourself or otherwise. Please pick the former, you actually can.
I have had to take care of myself 100%. In the midst of all of this, honestly, I miss my family and friends, painfully so. I still frequently go through bouts of anger and loneliness considering the fact that this life is so different from all I have known and I am literally all alone.
Then, I remember, it is just for a year, and somehow 6 months have flown by. Surely, the remainder will surely develop wings too!
Work has been alright. Honestly, my favourite part has been seeing the children (partial to twins though, can’t lie) as I do every day. I just love children! Another source of joy has been seeing patients who come back to tell how the drugs have been effective.
The worst part is definitely the watching-people-die-every-day part. As in, every day. It particularly irks me when the death is due to lack. Of facilities, manpower, drugs and the worst, Oxygen. These are things that should be available, for the love of God! I have been scared though, I keep thinking, Is this it? Wake up every day to do this?
I am going to keep searching for better till I find it. This mediocrity is simply not fine by me. Hospital Pharmacy is just not for me, I don’t enjoy it, not in this system currently in this our Nigeria, biko.
Coming to Delta is one of the top three best decisions I have made in this my 23-year-old life. Staying in Lagos would actually have been comfortable, but it is good to leave that zone sometimes. It has been a very positive, life-changing experience these few months.
Lagos will always have my heart, but Delta has a special spot now too.
You made it to the end!
Congratulations!! Please let me know if you did make it to this point in the comments.
Have you had to leave home for a long period of time? What major life lessons did you learn? Any Deltans here?
Have you had any major life change thrust on you? Tips on how to survive?
Thank you so very much for reading. I really enjoyed writing this, so I am really hoping you liked reading it.
VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.
Let’s play catch up;