I feel guilty. I neglected this blog for much of the time this month, and that was because of two nagging issues: internet, and internet. I have concluded that Starcomms was actually a wrong choice of connection for me because I’ve been fond of using it at different places. Not having the connection spread of bigger networks like Multilinks and MTN, they charge more, and offer less. In my next life, or as soon as I find someone to buy this one off me, I will make a different choice. Starcomms is more expensive and offers less national coverage than the other connections. I’ve put this to test. In any case, there are still a few nagging things in my mind and I’ll try to say them before the month escapes from my grasp.

Just in case you haven’t noticed, July concludes my first twelve months of blogging on this portal. Alright, if blogs were babies, this one should by now have started mouthing “ba-ba-ba”. It is for this reason that I will also try to complete the pattern that has been the case since that auspicious night in Lagos in August last year when I made the silly decision to begin blogging :). It has been full of ups and downs. I’ve blogged sitting down on the dusty floor of a train station in St. Louis, on a delayed plane in New York, in a crowded bar watching the World Cup final in Ilorin, with a laptop battery on the verge of dying out in the absence of power, and even under the influence of several bottles of Satzenbrau in pleasant company. It’s been good. And let me confess, I have wanted to abandon it many times. But if I did, how would I survive it?

Now if this blog were a book, August 2009 would be the first chapter, titled THE ENTRANCE. The second month of September would be BLENDING IN. October would be IMMERSION while November would be DISCOVERIES. December was ADVENTURES WITH THE COLD and January SIGHTS. February would be tagged BREASTS & CHRIS, a whole dedication to the Mardi Gras in St. Louis and adventures with Chris, March would be CLASSROOMS, April would be LOSING RESISTANCES, May would be A FOOT IN TWO WORLDS, June would be BADAGRY, and July 2010 would be AROUND NIGERIA. Now that I think about it, it might make a thrilling read, if only a self-publication to distribute among friends, and not for the general public, just like that old one Drawing a Straight Line from Hamburng to Ibadan, never before seen by more than a handful of people.

I have not yet completely processed the lessons, the essence and the thrills of my short trip around Nigeria, perhaps particularly because it was so short and I’ve not yet giving myself the right reflecting space. No, no quasi-perfunctory visit would do next time. I may even need up to four to six months to have as much impact as I would have loved. Maybe volunteer in a local secondary school to teach the English language. Maybe teach them to act a play at their end of the year party. Maybe help construct a traffic sign of paint the zebra crossing at one of their community roads. I look forward in the nearest future to a longer immersion exercise in local communities in order to contribute in a more meaningful way to the lives of citizens. Jos is a special case, and as much as I tried, I was not able to reach the Red Cross officials this time. What have they been doing? How could one help?

All in all, it’s been a nice twelve months and I thank you for being there with me. I have just agreed to work with Nokia to promote their new product Nokia C3, so in the next couple of days, you will see Nokia related posts and quizzes one of which will earn one reader of this blog a Nokia C3 prototype to be presented at the launching in Lagos in August. (See this previous post.) From what I hear, this is open only to residents in Nigeria. So if you are interested, and/or you know anyone interested in winning the prototype, stay tuned to this page. All you would need to do is to be the first to answer a set of questions coming up in the next few days.

Well, happy end of month, when it comes. I am hoping that my last post for this month will be a poem rather than (or in addition to) the usual 10 reasons debate, but let’s see how that turns out. Let us look forward to August with peace. And who knows, maybe it will bring all required good.

PS: I’ve submitted two of my photos for a “Democracy Photo Challenge.” You may see them here and here. You may kindly leave a comment there too. Who knows what I may win for audience choice.

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