Monday, August 30, 2010

The Painful Prolonged Distraction

What I should be screaming here is DISASTER, CRISIS, PROBLEMS, PALAVA! But I chose to call this a painful and prolonged distraction. May be I am viewing this occurence as such considering the fact that my crisis managment "skill' was put to test. On my way back to Mali, I met two Nigeria men that were left by their bus to Mali at the same hurt locker Porga border that I blogged about a while ago. These two young men were trying to negotiate their ways out of the exhorbitant charges by the immigration officers when their bus driver zoomed off! They were to travel for 3 days to get to Mali and the wicked driver left them behind on day one while taking their luggage with him!

I was touched by this story, we journeyed together to Mali in another vehicle from Burkina and we were able to cope with the vehicle incessant break down. Thank God the journey was over. We all sighed and parted in Bamako. I had to brace myself for the days ahead with the research work I am planning to do. I promised to devote my time to the research and another essay that needs editing. That was my plan. I could only accommodate a little distraction of watching TV, Movies or playing music ocassionally. That again was my plan...

I remember how Murphy's law was put in a clearer perpspective in one WAEC text of English years ago. The passage read 'when problems come, they come not in singles but battalions'. I was fascinated by this and thought deeply on the possibilities of things going extremely wrong. And yes, over the years, I have seen things going extremely wrong. Some I worried sick or depressed over them. My crisis managment instinct was never a skill then. So, as I was saying, all I bargained for was to plung myself into work after resting the night away. Friday came and I was working out my plan gradually then I realised I needed to get some money, pay my rent, buy grocery, buy phone cards etc. That should not be a problem, I mused. Afterall, I was armed with my HSBC visa card and GTB Master card. All I needed to do was go get the money!

That was when everything started going wrong. My nephew sent me a text that he was sick and dying- I had to think of how to get a doctor to treat him back in Nigeria. I hit the city to get money but all the ATM machines I tried rejected my two cards. I was stuck. I then placed a call to GTB that very night and they told me after being on hold for a long time that the problem was not from their end. I called HSBC London, the following day and this time I was put on hold for longer, money wasted and no solution found. What happened? HSBC has blocked my card because I reported a transaction I did not carry out on my account and they are investigating! Who did they tell before blocking my card? I was not happy with this. What next, I thought to myself as I have CHOSEN not to let this situation ruin my mood. I used mastercard again on Saturday using different ATM machines to no avail. I eventually got a bank that worked on Saturdays having being told by GTB when I called again that they seemed not to know what the problem was. The bank visited in Mali told me, master card services had been stopped for the past 6 Months in Mali!

There we go, two debit cards and I could not get any money. I have no cash on me and found it difficult to get a loan at that short period with the few people I know in Mali. Yet, I paused to think, I read a book or continue reading one. A thought came to me to find an account to transfer my money to in Mali. I could not find one willing to do this immediately. I then called hubby in Nigeria to help me send money through Western Union or Money Gram. I had to wait till Monday (today) to have a feedback on that. Hubby got back to me with yet a sad news ' Money Gram and Western Union don't send out money from Nigeria'! Since when? Bloody hell! Did I mention how constantly my phone was going off by itself or refuse to call or text? This is the price I have to pay for buying a bloody (excuse my French) touched screen LG phone! In fact, the battery went flat when it was needed the most.

Still thinking ahead, I got in touch with a co- peace and security fellow and a friend in London, to let me please transfer my money into her account and she can withdraw and send via Western Union. She agreed. I will lose money through this process but I will be saved from hunger and disgrace and of course the PAINFUL AND PROLONGED DISTRACTION. I have since suspended my research concept paper! While this was going on, I mentioned to my supervisor when I resumed in the office today all that I have being going through and vuala he loaned me some money! I never expected him to do so as we have this understandable acrimony between us ( or so I thought).

I was distracted big time but I have learnt a lot through these four days of thinking, analysing, thinking, rethinking and wondering where else within my brain to tap into for a solution. This has taught me that no matter how tall the mountain to climb is, you have got to have some climbing faith, and you have got to have confidence and perseverance... I thought I would be a wreck by now but I never stopped thinking and looking at all worst scenerios and all best strategies. I want this lesson to stay with me in my affairs and dealings from now on. And yes, that you may never know who is trully an enemy or a friend until they are put to test...


Myne Whitman said...

Wow I can only imagine your frustration. And this has probably put you back on your work. Pele least it is partly sorted.

Jaycee said...

"No matter how tall the mountain to climb is, you have got to have some climbing faith..."

Love that line. Keep climbing, despite the odds. I don't believe in Murphy's law sha, but however problems come, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Kafo said...

Wow, you are blessed ooo.
the fact that you can blog about this and remain sane is a gift.

hang in there
pele oo

SHE said...

Some experience!

I hope, in all the search for money, you remembered to find someone to treat your nephew?


wow, how is your nephew, sweetie? What is wrong with him? I hope he gets well and soon.


Olufunke said...

I can imagine all you went through!
I hope things are getting better with your sick relative, and I'm sure some money has gotten to you.

I really like the have got to have some climbing faith.
How are you doing?


Tisha said...

There is always a way.

Hmmm! Possibilities
(Don't mind me, i had a smashing night yesterday so i just feel good inside)

I hope your nephew is fine. I will do anything for family.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Thanks you all for your concern, I am always happy to know that I have got a family in you all.

My nephew was taking care by his area brother - or should I say his God-sent angel before my friends and hubby could get a doctor to him. Thank God for that.

On the money matter, I eventually received the western union and HSBC would not be sending me a new debit card in Africa. The only pick up avenue is UK!

Afronuts said...

Glad you were able to get over this frustrating experience and think of a way out.

Other people may panic or just loose it.

And theres valuable lesson to be learnt from it too.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Hey Afronut, thanks a bunch. How are you and family?

LusciousRon said...

I admire your strength through this and can only wish for same if I am ever faced with a barrage of problems.

I learnt from this, never stop pushing ahead. Hope things are back to normal now.

Ms. Catwalq said...

My dear, when it seems like Trouble is actively looking for my home address so it can move in, I just start singing HU to myself. Cos, it is not wahala that will kill me...lai lai

Ginger said...

That mustav been some frustrating experience. Thank God its over and for the opportunity to discover angels in disguise!

As for that money matter, abeg my sister, ATM and ATM cards are not yet trustworthy liquid cash in my dictionary; esp here in our side of the world!

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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