So, I’m particularly happy today because I get to go back to my country. Use my currency, eat my food, see old faces, friends and family and the list is long. Well, no place like home they say. On the other hand, I don’t think I can start recalling all the experiences I’ve gotten in the course of this trip, all the posts I’ve written but I guess I’m just going to try and see what I can come up with.
Well, for starters, this isn’t my first year here so everything wasn’t so strange to me and I could pick up a few things. Initially, it was all smiles, spending, viewing the city in its entirety, making friends communicating and all of that. As time went on, things began to take a new turn and life started happening. Not that I didn’t expect life to happen but then you get this feeling when you’re on a learning trip/ mini holiday and you SOMEHOW expect everything to go rosy, always having something planned out to do.
It wasn’t always like that, although not to my disappointment. There were off moments, times I wanted to eat the whole house down, times were my lecturer would make checking up on me and my work a personal priority, times were I made new friends, times were my French could not pull through and I had to employ hand gestures, times were the bike drivers could be unnecessarily crazy, times were I saw children looking tattered and un-kept but I couldn’t just transform their whole lives, although a little penny to them did I give and times were I just wanted to be left alone to think about my life.
Everything was in check until I realized I was overspending 2weeks before my departure and that was the most humbling experience of my trip. To everyone out there, sometimes we need to discipline ourselves, to test our limits, to see how good our survival skills are and how well we can further adjust when life decides to put us in temporary ugly situations. Back to my experience.
I made sure I had raw food at bay and of course cooked food in the refrigerator. Every night before I slept, I planned my meal or the next day and I was running on two square meals per day because if I go for three, the food I had wasn’t going to sustain me and then my water game was on the increase. The problem here was not money because there was money looking straight at me in my purse to get all I wanted, I just had to change it to the currency here.
I wanted to discipline myself, teach myself and I told some of my friends that if the process breaks me and I can’t cope, I was going to change the money but at least let me give it a shot. I eventually did and it didn’t break me. That was the climax of adapting in a foreign land and the peak of my journey.
The summary of it all is that, I got to learn different things in diverse ways and understanding, I got exposed to society, some cultural views and background beliefs and above all I got to expand my French vocabulary and understanding. A huge SHOUTOUT!!! to all my friends that made my stay worthwhile [ ONYERIONWU PRECIOUS, OYAWOYE SEMILORE, OGUMADE FEYISAYO, ODUNTAN FUNMI, BAKARE KOREDE, ELIKE JOSHUA, MICHEAL, AYO AND ELIJAH]. REPUBLIC OF BENIN WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT, I COULDN’T HAVE WISHED FOR SOMETHING BETTER.