Q: When exactly in May do you leave for Nigeria, and what is your flight itinerary?
A: I don’t know. When that day comes, a helicopter from the White House is going to land near the KTravulake, commando style, and smuggle me out before anyone knows, and drop me right at the base of the Statue of Liberty in NY where a boat will ferry me to the JFK airport. From then the Air Force Ten will pick me up and drop me into France since all commercial airplanes are no longer flying in there because of the volcanic ash clouds. After a few hours in the streets of France speaking poor French and confirming to myself once and for all that all the French I claim to speak is nothing but trash African Vernacular French, I will hop onto the Air France Concorde plane brought back from retirement just for my sake, and fly home into Lagos’s unsuspecting but hot embrace. French expressions learnt so far: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?”, “Je t’aime”, “Tu est belle.” and “Merde!” Why none of these have to do with getting directions, finding the nearest restaurant, or getting out of trouble is beyond me. My French friends are the most mischievous kind. From the sound of them, I know I’ll be getting into trouble. Ah, wish me luck. I’m gonna need it. 🙂
Q: What is the ONE experience that you will miss the most about the United States. I’d like to know.
A: Beside access to fast and stable internet and electricity access, it must be the opportunity to ride my bike every day on the bike trails around Edwardsville. Somehow, I wish I could change that about Nigeria’s high dependence on fuel and motorized vehicles. If we could only develop the bicycle transport system and make laws to construct paths for bicycle users. The sad fact is that there are no good roads for vehicles either, so bicycles are not a priority. And that is sad, considering how much we pay for fuel, and how much of the environment is destroyed by continues gas emissions, and how more affordable, and more sustainable a bicycle is as a means of transportation. The groups http://www.bicycles-for-humanity.org and http://bikesfortheworld.org are currently involved in securing used and unused bikes from people in developed countries, and sending them to developing countries. How could one claim such for the many thousands of elderly, poor or simply interested people in Nigeria who could have otherwise benefited from the programme if the environment in which they live does not even support a safe use of such a simple and yet effective means of transportation? Sad.