Today, I attended a potluck lunch in my department to mark the end of the semester. It was a gathering of friends and colleagues most of who work in the foreign language teaching lab. On Saturday, I had attended a get-together of international students who had arranged to send us (Reham and I) forth from the US with a small get-together. Both events reminded me of the transience of time, the value of friendship, and the strength of communality. We ate, we chatted, and we exchanged ideas. A few of them, I might not see again in a long time. Many others, I would be seeing again soon. In short it has been a week of goodbyes.

A week ago, Reham and I were hosted in the house of Prof Schaefer the International Programmes Director for the first time. I met his wife, and another scholar from Ibadan who was just completing his PhD thesis. I also met their cats, and got a chance to admire the beauty of their well situated, and well decorated house with artworks from all over the world. He had collaborated with universities and communities in Nigeria for many decades. On Friday this week, there will be a final get-together with the staff of my department to celebrate one of us, and an informal send-forth for both Reham and I. I look forward to it.

Today, I will be visiting the University Centre in East St. Louis. Famous for many of its arts and culture events like poetry readings, spoken word performances, drama etc, the centre boasts of patrons like Eugene B. Redmond the publisher of the famous Drumvoices Revue, among many greats. I’ve never made it to that campus of the University, and I hope to rectify that today.

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