Happy New Year!!! Like play, like play, 2021 is here and we are two weeks in already.
Wow! How time flies? I hope the year brings you all your heart desires, is kind to you and your loved ones.
The New Year started with excitement for me, I took an unplanned solo trip to Mbaise, Imo State, my home town or if you like, my village.
Over the years, I have visited my village in Mbaise with my parents, but this time, it was different. I was traveling alone from Lagos to Mbaise, Imo state which is about 12 hours by road and 45 minutes by air. I traveled by road.
Why? I got a free ride!!! LOL..
There was that, but also, the idea of starting the New Year with a little adventure was trilling for me, not trying to be a soothsayer but it felt like that would set the overall feel of the year 2021 for me, adventurous, and exciting.
Plus I got a break from work, Dec 31st till the 11th of Jan, so why not?
Managed to make my hair on the eve of new year, went for a brief cross over service, got home somewhere past 10pm, slept, woke up by 5am on new year, packed my little bag with basic necessities for my trip, took my bathe and by 5:30am, I was out of the house and on the road.
For the record, this was my first time traveling to Mbaise during a festive period, hence I wasn’t expecting the traffic we experienced at Berger.
Bruh, it felt like everyone was leaving Lagos, but it was beautiful to see that it was mostly my Igbo brothers and sisters heading to the village to celebrate with their families too.
I was going to stay with my maternal grandma. Lost my paternal grandma a few years ago, sadly I do not have that many fond memories of her as we rarely spent time together but I always remember how she fondly called me “Nwanyi Eze”.
May her soul continue to rest in perfect… Amen!
Back on the road…
After about 2hrs, we successfully made it past the traffic and we experienced no delays there after. We made a few stops during our journey. First stop was at Ore to buy food, another stop to ease ourselves and then at Asaba to buy bread and banana for family members at home.
Not long after, we were at Onitsha, this was where my free ride ended, lolz. The car was heading to Awka, Anambra state so I needed to board another car going to Mbaise, Imo state.
Luckily, I got a bus going to Umuahia, Abia state, it was going to pass through Afor Ogbe, Mbaise so I entered, it cost 2,000naira from Onitsha.
The journey from here was more eventful as I experienced different groups of masquerades along the way. When I asked, apparently Mbaise was still celebrating their Christmas and New Year, so I watched with amazement as people sang, jumped and danced.
As we got closer to my destination, I had a little problem. I didn’t know the exact place to alight, my mum told me the nearest bus-stop, I told the driver but he didn’t know where it was. So I began the dreadful journey of asking fellow passengers if they knew afor ogbe, luckily two people did, they volunteered to show me my bus-stop.
They showed me Afor Ogbe, and I alighted, called my grandma who sent my cousin to pick me from there with a bike. I got in at about 6pm. Once in my grandma’s compound, I called my mum to inform her I was safe and home.
Got a room to myself, there I unpacked before proceeding to take my bathe and eat Apu with Oha soup my grandma served. I spent some time outside with my grandma catching up.
The calm and serenity I felt was enough reminder that I was no longer in Lagos. Everything was different, the environment, people, air, food, everything!
Food there was fresh, I remember my grandma mocking me and saying how long does your food stay in Lagos?
I replied 4-5 days and she laughed.
In the village, she cooked and ate fresh meals everyday. She had a garden in her compound, there she plucked greens for cooking.
Her food was fresh from nature, I was impressed and a little bit jealous, lolz. Fresh food in Lagos is a luxury, plus you would have to ask and plead with vendors to ensure the goods were fresh.
Not long after, I realized the network situation was bad. I couldn’t open Instagram, Twitter and Whatsapp messages took longer to deliver. For me who was always pressing my phone, I knew it was about to be a long night, lolz.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the break from social media caused by bad network. I had ample time to sleep, read, connect and relate with people around me. I doubt that would have been possible if the network situation was good.
Everyday in the East, I woke up somewhere around 10 am, even though I slept early. Most times my grandma woke me up to come and eat, I lived like a king there, please take me back, lolz.
I stayed in Mbaise, Imo state for 3 days, and I left on the 5th, I sincerely didn’t want to leave but the network situation was hindering me from working effectively.
Recap of my days in Mbaise, Imo state;
Day 1 in Mbaise, I attended my Uncle’s traditional marriage, I will tell you more about this in another post.
Day 2, I slept, woke, ate, read, worked on my goals for the year 2021 and slept again.
Day 3, as opposed to my regular sleeping, I spent more time hanging out with my grandma, listening to her stories, laughing and learning a thing or two about living in the village.
I didn’t think I would enjoy staying with my grandma, but I did! I became fond of her too and for the first time in forever, I actually missed her when I was leaving.
When it was time for me to leave Mbaise and head to Lagos, my gandma took me to the bus station, waited for me to buy my bus ticket to lagos which cost 12,000naira and watched me board the bus before she left.
I should mention how she prayed for me at different times and made me promise call her as my journey progressed.
My bus left at about 9:30am for Mbaise and I got to Lagos at 6pm. Once home, I called my grandma and again she prayed for me.
So I wouldn’t be lying when I tell you 2021 started for me with a renewed energy, excitement and prayers. I am geared to take on the year.
Experiencing new year outside Lagos was amazing and just what I needed to recuperate. Might just make this a new year ritual, who knows.
Happy New Year to you once again, I hope your year has been up to a great start!
Talk to you soon!