My aspiration is to be one of the builders of a world of equality, a world where diversity is respected and value for people's lives is paramount. A world where religion and culture are not used as weapons of dispute and destruction, where leaders serve and not steal, where everyone does not pretend to love each other but does so straight from the heart.
Finally in Mali! I have not blogged for almost a Month not even when I was in Nigeria for a brief period of 14 days! It was good to be home. The only hitch was how to readjust to the heat. I did not for once feel bad that light was not constant. My UK stay for 6 Month did not influence that-lol. I didn't feel irritated that light was always rationed when I got back to Nigeria. The experience was already in the blood.
It was fantastic to see my hubby, cats and friends. It felt wonderful. I did not stay for long before hubby and I packed our luggage for Mali. The experience of seeing part of West Africa together by road was very strong, so we embarked on this "road trip to Mali" which ended yesterday after a week of journey! We left Nigeria on the 12th of April which happened to be Hubby's birthday. We chose ABC coach to Ghana even though we were delayed for a while which made the journey 12hrs, we did enjoy the ride. My 2nd time journeyed with ABC to Accra though. We got to Ghana and was able to check in into a 2 star hotel, not too costly with polite staff. We spent a day going through Accra and taking pictures. We met with a friend and colleague that I have not seeing in 2 yrs and had dinner with her. Hubby fell in love with Accra!
The Ghana journey had to end so we proceeded to Burkina Faso through STC transportation. The longest and challenging of all the trips! STC over packed loads, the coach was filled inside out with load. All the space in the coach was filled with loads. Lots of people screamed at each other but the most difficult part was how we went round round Ghana for 24 hrs in the bus! We were told the journey would take 24hrs in all but for 2t hours, we were still in Ghana - [Good thing though, we got to see Kumasi, Tamale and a few other towns in Ghana. With the vehicle breakdown of 5 hours which happened at 2.40am after the so called vehicle had been checked and fueled 2 hours before! The amazing part was getting stranded in the middle of no where and people getting down to sleep by the side of the road leaving all their stuff around! Can I ever feel this secured on Nigerian roads?
The whole journey to Burkina took 36 hours! We finally arrived and I got angry for the 3rd time since our journey. The first time I got upset was when a smart passenger which we didn't even find out who he or she was, took over our load space on the bus as we disembarked to urinate and stretched our legs. The second time was at Ghana border before Burkina where an immigration officer felt he had a right to be disrespectful. I put him in his place, trust me. The third and the most annoying was at the park where the taxi driver who I was politely telling that I have breakable items in my bag refused to listen but kept scream 'oh women'! I took my loads off his cab and asked him to get lost! Since he failed to listen but kept scream "oh, women" as if I have done something unforgivable to this guy.
We got another cab and had a very hot ride to the hotel despite the time being 9pm! It was damn hot! We eventually settled in in our minus 5 star [-5] hotel, where we got this horrible room that has not being swept in ages! If not for tiredness and the lateness of the time, we would have gone elsewhere. We discovered the following day that the "elsewhere" hotels were not even far of! This is what happened when you don't know your way around, when you don't get adequate information about where you are on the internet and when you don't speak the language of that country! People need to stop generalising that we, the people of Africa are all the same, that is an unfounded fallacy! I have seeing how amazingly different and diverse the people of Africa are, even our Okro grew differently-lol.
The women of Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali ride their motorcycles and bicycles with ease. With no crazy drivers chasing them off the road, with men conveniently sitting as their passengers even none is for commercial purpose. I must get my own motorcycle in Mali! we left Burkina with TCV coach which was very comfortable and timely. We had heavily armed military men that escorted us to Bobo for Ouaga, I was afraid because 2 of them sat next to hubby and I with their guns point up! No escort followed usa from Bobo to Bamako since we journeyed during the day. The language barrier did not help matter at all, so I must learn French at all cost. They even used french figures to tell their money which even got me confused the more. They have to show us the money to make payment easier-lol.
Finally, we reached Bamako after a week of travel!After a week of endless border stop, search, stamp and pass. After one week of my new bags passing through dirt, rough roads, rough and as well as neat upload and off load in da different buses! The risk was worth it as we have learned a thing or 2 about a few other countries in West Africa, we felt the heat of North Ghana, Burkina Faso and Bamako. We got to check in into a 3 star hotel with swimming pool and wireless Internet connection here in Bamako. We got to take a lot of pictures, all of which I will upload on my Facebook album and these pictures will serve as a memory of our Mali trip by road. I will get to live here in Bamako for 6 Months and this time around with intentions to blog regularly! Off I go to start searching for accommodation. Wish me luck everyone!