There is a certain delusion that comes with writing, or having a blog that is read by people in different countries and continents, by different nationalities of different age ranges. More than that, there is a certain delusion that must come from the belief that one can change the world by what one writes. As far as that is concerned, I’ve been careful to be a very skeptical citizen, choosing instead to adopt a motto that reads: “I’m trying to change the world by not always trying to change the world.” This helps. The reason is that in the face of some physical realities, and consequences of human behaviour, I have often wondered if anything one says or does actually changes anything for good. Or if it does, whether it does as fast as one hopes. For the most part, having a pseudo-skeptical attitude to the power of words to effect fast positive change has helped to keep hope alive that even if the change doesn’t come as fast as one wants, one is not disappointed or disillusioned.

My journey around the country was a personal as well as a creative and spiritual endeavour, a need to connect with places that have meant much to me over time. By the time I arrived at my final place of visit, I felt a sense of completeness. But my host looked at me, glad to be seeing me after about one and a half years and gave me his plan: “Tomorrow, we’ll go to Ebonyi, then Aba, then maybe Owerri, and then Port Harcourt to see my folks. I haven’t seen them in years. You want to go around Nigeria, right?” It was a very good idea, and I said yes immediately. A few hours later, I got an email that I had to be in Lagos for an important event two days later, and the plan was botched. Who knows how much more fun I’d have had if I could visit the East for the very first time. It would certainly have been fun for this blog and its readers that have given me enormous pleasure over the past months. Next time, right?

Like everyone else, I’d love the situation in Jos to be quickly resolved. The same with the spate of kidnappings by restless and hopeless youths in the eastern part of the country. The country is rich with so much that one wonders why what we have is never sufficient  to ensure a peaceful and egalitarian society, and all we hear are the bad discouraging news. We build houses with high fences and spikes “to keep out unwanted intruders” and in the process imprison ourselves within its walls. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, as one president once said. Can we just step out of our comfort zones and enjoy the richness that the country offers? What’s more, can we make the country more conducive for living for ourselves and our future generation? I think we can, and every step counts, whether or not the solution comes as quick as we hope it does. Or maybe we’re just too deluded to think that man can change the course of history. Maybe everything is already predestined, and we’re just players in the hands of the invisible forces.

Well, well. I’ve been talking too much. Now let me share with you a few last pictures around the country, and then move to other (encouraging) matters. 🙂

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