Eating My First Bowl of Amala and other things Returning To The West Has Brought Me

When I informed my family and friends that I was posted to Ondo State for my National Youth Service, after spending the last year in Ile-Ife, Osun State most were of the opinion that I held some kind of bond to the Southwestern part of Nigeria.

I have always loved the West as a child, without (good) reason, and even though I make frequent trips to Lagos, it was not until last year that I experienced the West for all that it embodies. I have never had to geniculate to greet an elder, attempt to eat amala with ewedu or say, ‘Mi o gbo Yoruba,’ when someone says something to me in Yoruba that I do not understand.

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The picturesque hills of Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State.

When fate had me returning to this part of the country, I decided it was either to learn something I missed out in the course of the last year, correct a misconception or understand better a few things that puzzle me.

For whatever reason I have to spend the next year in the West, I am open to the thrills, new experiences I will have and new persons I would meet. This time, in a largely different setting, a livelier city, and on much better terms – a Nigerian Corp Member with an abundance of time and goodwill.

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Behind the Lens: A story of Papa

Papa lives in Sothern Nigeria. Even though there are tales of its sojourn in the South-South region of Nigeria, it appears that Papa makes its home in South-West Nigeria – these people are more acquainted with Papa’s escapades.

I first heard and came into contact with Papa in November, when I was sent to the NYSC Orientation Camp, Ikare-Akoko, Ondo state.

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NYSC orientation camp, Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. Shot on Samsung Galaxy J6+ by yours truly.

Papa was in our vicinity, its presence felt in increasing measures as our days turned into weeks.

Being a corp doctor, I was mostly in the clinic, attending to sick corp members and other NYSC officials who were camped with us.

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Reviewing The Books I Read In The Second Quarter of 2019

At the beginning of the year, I set a reading goal to read two fictions and one non-fiction every month, to foster both my writing skills and mental wellbeing. Even though I was not meeting this goal, I became more intentional about my reading and talked about its benefits in this first quarter recap.

Shortly after that, two months went by without me reading any book. They almost went unnoticed but stemmed from me running out of books I was desirous of reading and lacking the time to source for new books.

Upon completing my housemanship, the gap in my reading became evident and an abundance of time was thrust back into my hands. Thankfully, this coincided with the time Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime and Okey Ndibe’s memoir, Never Look An American In The Eye found their ways into my hands.

The titles were promising and made me eager to delve back into reading. Following my appreciation for Okey Ndibe’s memoir, I picked up another of his book, Foreign Gods Inc, making it the third book I was reading in a space of three weeks.

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Reflections: The Past One Year – Gains, Losses, and Hopes

A little over a year ago, I packed my bags and relocated to the ancient city of Ile-Ife to begin what would be a one-year-long paid internship in the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Before arriving Ile-Ife, I am not sure if I knew about the hospital, but I was already on what my friends and I optimistically termed, Medical Tourism; traveling across the federation and visiting its various medical institutions in the search for placement for housemanship.

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My O&G Posting Experience x Completing Housemanship

Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) was one posting I did not look forward to in housemanship for varying reasons.

First, it was infamous for being the most stressful rotation in OAUTHC (with surgery contesting keenly) and as such, people would scare you with tales of it without meaning to.

I was excited, nonetheless, because it was my last posting in housemanship, which translated into three months until this phase of my life ended.

When I reached the six months mark, I could not muster a similar excitement, but this time? My excitement was irrepressible!

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Life Lessons From The Last Time I Fell Ill

If you follow me on any of my social media handles or view my status updates on WhatsApp, then you might have come across a photo I shared of myself in the clinic, attending to patients with an inflamed right lower eyelid – a condition I termed blepharitis, which seemed to have erupted out of nowhere.

I didn’t think I would seek specialist medical advice and care until a friend mentioned it. I saw more reasons to do so when he pointed out, ‘The eye clinic is just opposite your department. You can take a break from work to see them.’

What started as a barely perceptible swelling and discomfort around my right lower eyelid, transformed overnight into a more obvious swelling, and throbbing pain around the affected eye and the adjoining temple.

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Books I Read In the First Quarter of 2019

At the beginning of the year, I set a reading goal: To read two fictions and one nonfiction every month.

The journey to meeting my reading goal has been interesting, even though not completely successful.

It is in the bid to meet my monthly reading target that I have met both awesome authors and the beautiful characters they created.

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A Chat with Dental Surgeon, Dr Ogunye, and 5 (+1) Oral Health Questions Answered

Oral health is one aspect of health that I consider under-represented in the media and at the community level.

The overall health-seeking behaviour of Nigerians is poor, and even more so for oral health.

One time I mentioned to my sister that I was supposed to go to the dental clinic for a checkup, she scoffed, ‘Dental clinic? Who books an appointment with a dentist?

Doesn’t the pain go away after a while?‘ She added when I explained I was having a toothache and suspected I had a plague around the tooth.

Her response mirrors that of most persons which is a wrong one.

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My Paediatrics Posting Experience, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Three months ago, I was on the verge of completing my internal medicine rotation and proceeding on my one-week leave, with thoughts of my next rotation – Paediatrics, caressing itself on the surface of my mind.

As an eight-year-old, I sagely declared to my mum’s listening ears that I would specialize in Paediatrics if I wanted to do something out of passion or choose Surgery for the money.

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#10YearsChallenge: Beyond The Humor & Memories, Notes I am Taking

I do not know the origin of the trending #10YearsChallenge on social media and have not bothered to check, even though I have given thoughts to doing so.

What I do know is that it has been so widespread on social media; engaging virtually everyone even the least expected persons like myself who seldom get on a bandwagon.

I kept looking at the throwback photos of my friends and other persons I follow on social media, and the various captions they employed until I was forced to search for my own old photos.

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