Posts Tagged ‘pinch of humor’

How’s everyone doing?

Good weekend? Ready for the week? This is going to be one of my busiest but I thought I’d take a few minutes and say a big hello to everyone, play catch up a bit.

So my niece and nephew were ill, one had malaria and a tummy bug, and the other one had a cold that stretched at least two weeks, and she still had it after she gave it to me. We spent small time in the hospital, and that’s where the story about blood donation came from (I published that recently).

I’ve also done a bit of local travel, looking forward to when I can take a proper holiday… I owe myself two – one for my birthday and the other because life is short and we should take time off to rest and be quiet when we can. Amen?

God dey.

Work is alright… Moved into a new office in June and we’re getting settled in really nicely. Really thankful to God for that, and the immediate possibilities I see for expansion.

Still on work, got two interesting referrals recently, a stark reminder that clients, no matter how little, matter and an excited client post your custom might make a difference as much as 24 months after. I’m really thankful for the referrals, and now just need God’s help to ensure that we beat the standards we’re being held to. Amen?

On Saturday I was privileged to speak at my church’s business/entrepreneur summit, and I drew my topic/talk from some work I’d done for a client recently. I spoke on minding the gaps and facing the direction of travel. Corny I know but it was a good opportunity to fuse my love for trains with my experiences as a student, an employee, and now an employer. It was interesting for me to talk about some of the lessons I’ve learned, and how each step leads to the next, and the next, and the next. It was also very instructive to talk about the place of God in business, and the mistakes I’ve made simply because I ignored the still small voice telling me no. I had a good time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

What else? I’m happy. Sweet baby Jesus this daughter of God is happy. I am joy-like-a-river, peace-like-a-fountain, love-like-an-ocean brand of happy. Such a beautiful feeling. Everything in my life; experiences, joy, sadness, mistakes, successes; everything that I have seen has prepared me for where I am now, and I am thankful to God for His many blessings and precious gifts. There’s a new mercy every single day! And I’m loving it!

Finally, I need to get back in the gym. Don’t know why I’m typing this instead of renewing my membership but yeah, this child needs to be back in that place where more calories are burnt than piled on. Yep. This week is out of the question sha, and I’m not bothered in the least what you think! *sticks tongue out*

Finally finally, lol. My nephew moves to reception next school session! Whoop! He’s officially a big boy now! Interestingly, he’s slowly outgrowing the millions of hugs and kisses I drown him in, and he’s only four! I thought they didn’t start all of that till much later? Arrrrrghhhh! Bring back my baby! *sad face*

Finally finally finally, I got a birthday gift yesterday… I know o, this is still for the birthday that passed in May. Is the Lord laying it on your heart to send me a pressie? Harden not your heart biko!

How have you been? Are you keeping okay? Are you doing well? Want to share? Please do!

Mwah!

PS: A song in the back of my mind for a few days now has been “we are h-a-p-p-y, we are h-a-p-p-y, we know we are we are sure we are, we are h-a-p-p-y!” (If you went to primary school in Nigeria this should ring a bell… or two… or three… or four… I’ll stop here)!

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Sorry for the break in transmission with this story, there were things like work and my birthday to get through!! Whoop!

Right! So part four now,  (because I know you’ve read one, two, and three), I’ll be reproducing the Roundtable proper. First off, there was so much knowledge in the room, and I know I asked myself more than once how I was that privileged to be in the room with the calibre of people there!

My amazement under control, there were quick introductions and a first word that elicited comments like “as we think of futures and foresight/fore sighting we must not forget where we are coming from and where we are now”.

Foresight is super important because it helps create policies that cater to eventualities; helps governments be better prepared to handle anything that comes their way and leave an easier tomorrow for the ones coming after them.

We talked about the key trends Africa should be focusing on and their potential effects on individual countries, and the continent. We also discussed the role of business, entrepreneurship, the potentials with industrialization, and what exactly we’re doing with donors and their monies.

Totally fascinating discussion, and for me was an eye-opener into the reason why we got some themes to write on that I thought weren’t for ‘today’. It was also really interesting listening to the different perspectives and how issues feed into each other, whether they be across countries, regions, or even the continent.

Here’s a video from the day that might help put things in perspective…

And there was this too!

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 17.29.29

There’s also a storify you can catch up with here as well – https://storify.com/FFDAfrica/foesight-for-development-round-table

There was a quick tea break and we were back discussing. Can I just say that the organization of the event was spot on? So down to the folders we received, you could see the painstaking effort that went into making everything look feel spotless.

Here’s the thing. Africa needs to look inwards, within its local spaces for answers to its problems rather than backing each other and looking to institutions they think care about them but in truth are just looking out for themselves. (An Igbo proverb says you cannot use someone else’s eyes to see).

There’s a lot about Foresight for Development that will interest you, and you, and you, and I encourage you to visit the website, and get an education. And thank me later!

And you can search our hashtag #SAMPNODE if you just want to catch up on the conversation for the day. I know I was tweeting a lot.

Long day over, we moved to a cocktail by the pool, and then on to dinner. Here’s what I had, and we got another helping of brownies and fresh custard. Bliss.

Next morning Ruth and I went to Sandton City Mall, and first off, we took pictures, which I suddenly cannot find. So annoying! Like I know they are in a folder on my computer but I can’t for the life of me remember what folder! Sigh…

Then we went in and bought a few things. We had to rush cos we both had flights to catch; she to Uganda, and I to Abuja via Addis Ababa. I’m keen to visit South Africa again, and this time go to Soweto; I hear there are stark disparities between the posh Morningside/Sandton areas and Soweto and the other inner communities. I’d also like to attend a concert, I’ve fallen in love with a number of South African gospel choirs and I can’t wait to hear them!

We made it to the airport just in time; Ruth had to run for her flight, and I had just enough time to decide I wasn’t going to waste my money on the overpriced items at the Duty Free stores or change the rands I had back to dollars because it just seemed like a proper rip off. I’ll spend it another time biko.

Was very unfortunate to sit beside a really smelly man, but he didn’t talk to me and I distracted myself sufficiently with all the movies I watched so that wasn’t too bad.

We got to Addis ok, and glory be to God I was put in another hotel! Panorama hotel was lovely! There was WIFI, the room was clean, smelling really nice (I really do have a thing for scents and smells), and I had a wonderful shower. I slept very well.

The food however, was still rubbish, leading me to think that what Ethiopians have in beauty/figures, they lack in foods and preparation of meals. But maybe it’s just me, and the places I’ve eaten/had to eat in so far.

I did something interesting while I was waiting for the flight, passport watching. I would look at passports of everyone who passed by me trying to figure out what their own ‘green’ was (there are apparently a lot of African countries with ‘green’ passports). That was fun to do.

Next morning, hopped back on a plane, and in a few hours, I was back in Nigeria. I think I was too tired on this flight to make any notes, so I just ate, and slept. And was grateful for the gift of writing, and the opportunity to write, and oh-so profitably.

That’s it, SA Chronicle done!

So, have you been following the story?

Part one is here,

and

Part two is here.

You’re welcome!! Now, let’s get on with part three!

Hello Johannesburg! Na wa… First thing? There was a certain coldness I saw with the officials at the airport, seriously. I can’t explain, and I don’t want to sound prejudiced to all the stories I’d heard about the place, but there was that coldness I noticed.

Anyway, so when it got to my turn I walked up to the officer and said why I was in the country and that I was leaving in 48 hours. He asked a few questions about my visa and while I was rolling my eyes (in my mind), I noticed some guy trying to explain away his life to another officer and the officer repeatedly saying, “ I don’ believe you, I don’t believe you will leave.” No the young man wasn’t Nigerian; his accent was from a region (in Africa) I won’t mention because I couldn’t see his passport so I’m not sure.

As I took my passport back and walked away, I wondered if they would bounce him, and what fine his country would have to pay. And then I thought about a world so equal (or close to equal) that people could come and go as they pleased. Sigh.

Got my suitcase and the driver was waiting. His name is/was Max, and he gave us quite the tour as we drove to 20 West, Morningside, somewhere in Sandton. Benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have changed so much money for a 48 hour trip; now I have to find/squeeze another trip to SA to spend it. I’ll explain this sentence later.

On the way, we listened to radio, and at some point a song came on which I heard for the first time in San Antonio last Christmas. Guess what I did? I rang my cousin Chuma so he could hear the song! Lol! Such a laugh.

20 West is beautiful. Repeat after me, 20 West is beautiful. It’s both a hotel and self-catered apartments, and somehow, because my room was given out by mistake, I was upgraded to a self-catered apartment. Thank Jesus for mistakes that turn out to be blessings. Somebody shout halleluyah!

I went upstairs, and after oohing and aahing over the place, I took pictures! Want to see? Of course you do!

2015-03-22 15.02.08

All of this and I’m just here for two days? Please, amen to another trip already!!

2015-03-22 14.58.36

I gushed about the view so much I forgot to take a picture! Lol…

2015-03-22 15.01.29

Err, my photography skills were not up to the point of getting everything in this room. I missed the shower (left the toilet bowl out intentionally though, nothing special there biko)

2015-03-22 14.58.24

Then I hid my #FitFam uniform in a closet and ordered the juiciest burger I’ve had in a bit, complete with an extra helping of avocado. And a hot chocolate ( I know, I can’t be helped). And then I went to sleep. Peaceful sleep.

2015-03-22 15.45.21

Look at all that cheese… get in there!!

 

Woke up a couple hours later, caught up with Ruth Aine (who I first met in Germany in july 0f 2014), and after I spoke to friends and family, had a shower, watched a bit of TV, it was dinner time.

All about the Braai

Truth is, I would have passed up on dinner if Ruth didn’t mention we were having a “braai”which is the local name for a barbecue of sorts of different types of meats. So if I said, ‘I want to braai it’, I could easily have said ‘I want to barbecue it’.

Unfortunately, we were a bit disappointed. The meats weren’t super tender/exciting, and there weren’t enough options for it to really qualify.

Even the potatoes weren't all that...

Even the potatoes weren’t all that… Ah. Sausage was lovely…

But, the corn was super tasty ( we had a lot of corn), and Benjamin Mipanghi, the Food and Bar Supervisor said yes to our request for fresh custard for our brownies. That was lovely!!

You can never go wrong with fresh custard!

You can never go wrong with fresh custard!

He also told me about a local dish I know I’m going to try when next I’m in South Africa; it’s called papa and mogudu, which is a maize meal and beef/tripe/offals stew. Even though I’m not one for offals (you’ll never find me in line for ‘assorted’ meat), I’m looking forward to trying this one. Really looking forward.

Dinner over, it was back in the room for a bit more work, a bit more TV, and then bed. Not before I took this incredible picture (if I must say so myself) of the view of the pool from my floor. Incredible.

Incredible.

Incredible.

Good night everyone, come back for part four soon!!

Right! So two days ago we started on the prep and the trip to South Africa via Addis Ababa for Foresight for Development’s Africa Roundtable. Of the options I was given for travel, I chose Ethiopian Airlines because I wanted the stopover story…

Good idea or not? We’re about to find out!

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We got into Addis about 8pm, and I was starving! We had to fill out forms with our seat numbers, country of departure, etc. thanks to Ebola, and then it was time to retrieve my luggage and find the bus which would take me to the hotel I’d been allocated.

Apparently, the name of the hotel was, ‘Ethiopia’. Turned out to be horrible. Jesus Christ! The WIFI only worked in the reception, the porter was rude, the food was (I cannot explain), and the room? On and on and on, I could complain for days, and you know I’m not exactly finicky. Kai.

Looks lovely, but believe me, this explains the 'not all that glitters is gold' saying perfectly!

Looks lovely, but believe me, this explains the ‘not all that glitters is gold’ saying perfectly!

Kai. I’m just upset. However, I bought a really lovely satchel I want to use as a laptop bag. Paid $10 for it, and the strap cut before I left the country. Tourist behaviour I know.

Next morning I got dressed and went down for breakfast before the ride to the airport. Note that I slept hungry (two bottles of coke helped, but only a bit), so I was looking forward to a good meal.

The 'orange juice' tasted like all those concentrates we used to dilute in secondary school, only that this one had been diluted waaaaaaaay too much! Ended up eating only the bread roll (with their sexy butter).

The ‘orange juice’ tasted like all those concentrates we used to dilute in secondary school, only that this one had been diluted waaaaaaaay too much! Ended up eating only the bread roll (with their sexy butter)… The other things I didn’t understand.

Left for the airport and the entire stretch there was a heavily armed policeman (more like army if you asked me) every block or so. Seemed weird, too much policing biko. Also seemed like everyone was running in one direction or the other (in the name of #FitFam), sometimes completely unconcerned by oncoming cars or bikes. I asked someone and she said the punishment for a driver knocking anyone down (especially if the person dies) is life imprisonment. Wow. Premium placed on the lives of their citizens as far as I am concerned; don’t know that it means people shouldn’t have common sense sha.

I was also told that you’re encouraged not to invest in the country if you’re not Ethiopian. Like, it doesn’t profit you and the government will work to frustrate you out. So much for foreign investment that Nigerian leaders are always junketing about for.

Ah! Before I forget, the sun rises very early in Addis! Like really early! About 5am it felt like noon… and there were a lot of people playing footie when we went outside. Looks like a lot of interest in fitness if you asked me!

I was excited to be back at the airport and away from that horrible, horrible hotel. Please don’t ever go there if you want a good night’s rest. The plane to Johannesburg was a lot better (did I mention in the first post that my seat was dodgy) and the food was lovely. Sexy butter anyone?

2015-03-22 11.21.40

On this flight I watched Penguins of Madagascar (love it), and B is for Boy, a film in Igbo. B is for Boy was incredible, and even though I didn’t like the way it ended (felt like the writer got tired and just wrote ‘the end’ in the middle of the story), it was a good film, telling the struggles of women trying for male kids because of tradition. It was very touching, the tribulation she suffered, and reinforced for me that in a marriage, the strongest tag team is between the man and wife. Not the man and his mother. Meaning that we (myself included) have nothing (or should have nothing) to do with grown ass men who great and intelligent and gorgeous and everything else that are, still work around connected to their moms via an umbilical cord made of heavy metal. Know any such people? Sigh. Back to the movie, it was really good, I remember tearing up at some point.

We touched down, and people started clapping. I was confused. No turbulence, no incident, nothing. Why clap? I mean I’ve heard tales of people clapping on the Dubai to Lagos route but I didn’t understand this one at all! Na wa.

By the way, Ethiopian ladies are beautiful. And their hips don’t lie! Gentle reminder for me to pick up on my squats, not about to ‘carry last’ biko.

Also seems like everyone is married. I don’t think I saw any lady without a ring on her ‘wedding finger’ Not one. Hian. Pressure us small small biko; there’s already so much pressure at home. Sigh.

Part three’s up in a few days, and it’s all about Johannesburg! Don’t miss it!

 

 

Whoop!!!!

It’s my sister’s birthday today!! Whoop!! My darling big sister is a year older today (in case the ‘it’s my sister’s birthday’ didn’t get you jumping with glee, lol) and I’m so excited she’s alive and well, and happy, and a mother to the cutest baby in the world, my darling nephew Boo Boo!!

My darling sister and my boy!!!

My darling sister and my boy!!!

Happy birthday big sister, welcome to a new year full of God’s blessings and favor and love and grace and peace and happiness and plenty money and good health and joy and promotions and fulfilment and more children (remember Momma wants five from you)!

We love you loads. We do. Now rock out!!! Whoop!!

 

 

My people!!

Long time!

Forgive me jor, I didn’t plan to just stay away like that. I’ve had a lot on my plate though, new roles, courses, etc. Not an excuse though, and I’m going to shush and get to the reason why you’re here!

 

Lol!!

Lol!!

Yes o! Proper 'resemble'

Yes o! Proper ‘resemble’

Seriously! SMH.

Seriously! SMH.

Lol!! Wicked man!

Lol!! Wicked man!

Ask me o!

Ask me o!

Six pictures today (the extra is cos I want you to see how sorry I am)!

Classic!!!

Classic!!!

Have a good rest of the day, and a fabulous, extra-productive week ahead!

 

I decided to pop to Etisalat’s friendship center to renew my data plan and so I got in a taxi, and we headed for the office around Omega Plaza. Got out of the cab, and dongle in hand I walked up to the security guards only for one of them to ask me, “madam did you come to pay for your internet”? Before I could roll off a ‘no I came to confirm the color of your hair and uniform’ answer, I saw a sign saying that branch was shut down temporarily for renovation and to visit the branches at Ceddi, Silverbird or at the Hilton. To think I left the Hilton less than an hour before. *Sigh*

I turned and walked back to the road to stop a cab, only for a car to pull up and two guys asked me to ride with them. In my early 20’s I would have been flattered, but now? Naaaah! Let’s not even talk about security…

Now I decided to head to Ceddi Plaza because I haven’t been in about three years. On the drive there I noticed a new Sahad Stores; really tall building – obviously the one in Area 11 has really been profitable…

Then there used to be (because I don’t know if it is still there) a joint I knew as ‘under the mango tree’, to the left of Ceddi. Affordable, really tasty food, and back in the day there was literally no one you wouldn’t meet there! I remember driving there with a friend once during the Ramadan fast; the normally bustling, ‘ants-to-sugar’ type place was deserted!  How did we forget the people who ran the place are Muslim?

Anyway, I got into the Etisalat friendship center, and told one of the staff what I wanted to do. I was getting two plans that would cost N16, 000. When he finished activating them and I paid, he said, ‘next customer’ and I asked if they didn’t give receipts for payment. He said I didn’t ask. Really? I have to ask? What if I got home and instead of the 12GB of data I paid for I saw 6GB? How would I prove that I paid for 12? He said ‘madam I don’t forget faces’. I wasn’t impressed at all. Suffice to say I collected a proper receipt and ensured there were duplicates too.

I decided to just look around Ceddi, see what stores were still there from my last visit, and what new ones had cropped up. Entered one lingerie store with absolutely ridiculous prices. There were items from La Senza that cost more than double the original price (not forgetting that La Senza has one sale or the other on at least nine out of the twelve months of the year), and more befuddling, items from Primark for the same price! Haba!!

Reminds me of a particular Zara bag retailing for £80 and daughters of Eve sold the same bag for N60, 000, that’s double and some! A friend of mine had made a part payment, had cause to visit, saw the original price of the bag, and bought two! Still makes me laugh till today, but I digress.

Back to Ceddi. I left that store, and walked past two ladies glaring at me (this unmerited ‘beef’ we females have for each other will only be explained in heaven) and walking towards Bon Café, I looked in at the restaurant on the right and saw a man eating what appeared to be semo/rice flour/eba/whatever. I had to take a call so I stopped walking. Next thing he sipped from a teacup and from his mannerisms, whatever he was drinking was hot! I quickly moved on.

Last stop was Spar, where I got a small pack of cherry tomatoes for N1, 014. They were juicy and very sweet though, so I guess I’ll ignore the price.

I had to go home afterwards, and that’s where this post ends!

First Saturday in the third month of the year!!

We’re going straight into the pictures for the day, enjoy!! And share with a friend!

Picture of the day for me!

Picture of the day for me!

*sigh*

*sigh*

Zing!!

Zing!!

Lmao!!!! Life isn't this serious!

Lmao!!!! Life isn’t this serious!

I normally don't do religion but I couldn't pass up on this one!

I normally don’t do religion but I couldn’t pass up on this one!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a fabulous week ahead!

Hello!!!

Valentine’s come and gone; what did you do? Where did you go? What did you give, and what did you get? I could totally make a song out of this, check my rhyme scheme out! While I sort out the rest of the lyrics, you better start talking!!

Really though, did you have fun? Go somewhere nice? Did he put a ring on it? What!! He didn’t? He’s waiting for you to grow old first? Or in the words of my dear friend, he’s waiting for all your eggs to boil first? Lmao!!

I had a swell Valentine’s Day. Full stop o!!  I can see you settled in nicely, waiting to hear what I did on the day…. Tatafo United! I caught you! And I’m not telling cos I asked first. *tongue out*

While you type, here are the pictures for this week’s Pinch of Humor!

Cutcy: the Groom's family. OK.

Cutcy: the Groom’s family. OK.

 

Imagine

Lmao!! Having a mistake on your back forever! *sigh*

 

LOL(1)

Don’t you just love family? My ‘knees’!

 

Funny bt true!

Did you die? Dead!!!!!

 

True....

Really? Really really?

 

This is February, the month of looooooove!!! Whoop!!! Of course, the Valentine adverts and decorations have been up around these parts since the last week in January, *sigh*

You know here yeah, we move from Christmas decorations to Valentine, to Mother’s Day, then to Easter, and then to Father’s Day before there’s a break. I like it though, everyone claims to have one sale or the other in the name of these Celebrations. And just so you know, £3 to £2.10 doesn’t qualify as sales in my books!!

On to the pictures for the day, let’s see if we can throw in any love related ones!

Ever been in this position before?

Ever been in this position before? Lol!

 

@Oche big boy. You no talk say you be doctor

You won’t catch me dead here!

 

Lucy see your Ex.

Please don’t drink and drive this year, totally not worth it!

 

Imagine =))

The blind attempting to correct one with 20/20 vision! Lol!

 

Lol.....

Four tries and he didn’t get ‘Porsche’? Ok!!

And yes, because it’s the month of loooooove (lol…. I have one precious friend like that who pronounces ‘love’ in such a hilarious way it cracks me up every single time) we have an extra picture!! This one hopefully will help your relationship! Look, and learn! Lol!

Lol

Ha! Ha! Ha!

That’s all folks! Have a good one! Hugs!