Categories
lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Reflection: Respecting our Environment

Most of my quiet times are for self reflection. Each time I prepare to reflect, I take nothing along, invite no one and try to keep my brain free of thoughts. I assume that I’ve nothing save from myself and my environment.

During my stay in Workers Village, Tudun Amba in Lafia, Nigeria, I take long walks away from home. I pick a quiet place where I can enjoy uninterrupted connection with my environment. Luckily green fields surround my neighborhood. I only had to find a good spot, under some tree shade to reflect. Our environment returns whatever we give to it, respect is reciprocal.

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We won’t know the true extent of Providence if we continue to ignore the impact of our activities on the environment. We are tenants and the Environment our landlord. No good tenant treats her landlord wrong, vice versa.

I remind myself that peace and tranquility is an extraordinary mix gifted to man by his environment. This is the best time to reflect on ways to treat our environment better.

I speak for green things, the trees and wildlife, and everything that considers itself living. Happy World Environment Day.

Here, read ways we can keep the environment safe and clean.


The picture above was taken in my favourite hangout spot in Tudun Amba, Lafia, Northern Nigeria. I now travel and live both in urban or rural communities of Southern Nigeria.

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Categories
Africa folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry Series

Dream of Sunset

I dream of sailing with the sunset,
To listen while wild winds whistle,
And watch silver clouds gather over me

Start your blogging here.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Thoughts on Covid-19

Even with the breaking news of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Abia State, some still doubt the media and think that the news is a hoax. People can be stubborn you know, add ignorance and then you can imagine what it can birth.

The human nature is fraught to benefit at the expense of others. This pandemic has become a money spinner for some people. Now substandard products flood the market. Consumers will have to exercise extra care when selecting safety products (hand sanitizers and face masks).

Advice: Remember NOT to touch your face, especially the nostrils, eyes and mouth. Don’t touch walls, public railings, seats, generally things that are for public use or outside your home. This will include eating out, using public cutleries, handshakes, hugs, and other human intimacy. Use disinfectants and spirits always to clean surfaces, bought materials, and yourself.

I’m sure we will overcome this. We need to take care. Stay safe.

Categories
Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Poll

Please can you take this poll for me? It’s anonymous and I appreciate.

Categories
lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

My thoughts on Love

I love you and I want you to know.

We know that love is a feeling and a state of mind, desirous to be there for someone or see a person succeed or be better. This desire lead to kind acts and actions summarize it all. Yet love can be expressed verbally.

Who needs to know you care for them? Everyone! Family, friends, co-workers and neighbours. Acts of love are passed through our kindness and compassion for people and living things. How you treat people and your environment speaks volumes about yourself. Kindness, compassion and selflessness are loving virtues. Anyone who loves others loves himself. We are love creatures.

Loving someone means, “I love your life, your intentions, your interests, your aspirations, your hopes yet you’re not a threat to my life and aspirations.” So I enjoy loving you for you.

While we pray and work to cleanse our land of the virus, reminding someone of your love can bring hope. Drop a beautiful message to your loved ones today.

It’s a rainy morning. I’m grateful to love you another day 💛❤️💚😘

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 21: Faith 2

Believing is seeing, not the other way round.

Categories
Africa education lifestyle Nature Poetry

Discrimination: Who’s the enemy now?

I watch the news daily for updates on Covid-19. I’m glad to see heartwarming stories of our success in the fight against the global spread or containment of the virus. I read that Cuban doctors and nurses are in Italy to help out. Now, this is good news and I expect to see more.

The other side of the coin isn’t so bright. It’s sad to read of xenophobia in these trying times. How can we show love to people if we harbour mistrust, old grudges or plain hatred? My faith believes that to win means to love even your enemies. In Europe and America, cases of physical violence and abuse on people of Asian descent are reported. This is not humanity, this is not love.

There’s too much suffering and dying already, let’s not contribute to it. It’s unfair and not the best time to discriminate or segregate, but time to act together in love, commitment and kindness to one another as one human unit.

Stay safe everyone. My thoughts and prayers go to Italy.

Categories
Africa education lifestyle

Update on Covid19

The World Health Organisation (WHO) asked African leaders and health institutions to prepare for the worst. I’m afraid, African leaders are doing little or NOTHING to prevent the spread of the virus. Moreover, health institutions in Africa is in shambles, so I don’t know how we will be preparing to prevent the spread of Covid19 with all these drama. In Nigeria for instance, life goes on as usual. Public associations and places are not limited, restricted or isolated respectively. Markets, schools, and religious centers are still open. Morning news headlines read that there are 8 confirmed Covid19 cases in the country. The figures may be growing elsewhere in Africa! People make joke of the virus, thinking that the virus is ineffective in the tropics. But I’m not bothered about this goof, I think that more should be done on providing education on the virus.

As much of Africa’s population live in remote/rural areas, disseminating relevant information may be difficult. The government, nay everyone can a role. While NGO’s can help educate the rural populace about the virus, teachers in schools can suspend some lessons to teach students about it too. Taking Covid29 lightly may bring unforeseen mayhem. I plead with bloggers to share information on the virus. Information is power. Let us help stem this scourge.

#coronakindness

Categories
Africa education lifestyle Nature

Thoughts on Africa and Covid19

I follow recent global events with keen interest. I’m worried and hope that this scourge end soon. I’m aware that the growing pandemic is leading lesser economic activities across the globe and this may cause hard times for African economies in particular.

Most African nations depend solely on exports for survival. Nigeria, like many other countries depend on crude oil, solid minerals and agro product export. Imagine what will happen when foreign borders, economic and physical are closed and there is no market. Now let me highlight Africa’s major problem as public resource mismanagement. When public resources are hijacked by bad leaders with no foresight and ineffective economic planning, growth is retarded. Corruption and political instability has led Africa down the wrong path and it has become the way of life in some nations. Now we face a bigger problem which our leaders may downplay as well.

If leaders utilized those plundered resources to create opportunities and diversify our economy, we may stand in a position to render help to other nations. But of course, we are always at the receiving end, receiving both mercy and pity. American, Chinese and European agencies are worried that Africa may not be able to contain Covid19 should it escalate. What can I say?

I write from my bed, these thoughts refused to let me be. Good night everyone.

#coronakindness

Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Pastoral Series

Thoughts: Friends Vs Foes 2

After watching this funny video I concluded that people are not always what they seem. Friends, colleagues and even family members may sabotage someone’s effort thereby becoming a hindrance to that person’s progress. Keep in mind that we can achieve progress when everyone in our boat is rowing with and not against us.

***

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 10: Don’t worry

Worry gives a small thing a bigger shadow. Feed your faith and don’t be anxious!

Categories
Africa Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry Uncategorized

Reflection: Sad Evening

I sit outside the house alone. It’s hot inside and few hours ago our house was filled with people who came to pay their last respect to my late sister. I’ve been busy, mentally and emotionally that I hardly had time for my physical self. People who knew me observed that I lost weight.

Three weeks and counting I’m still busy, on the road, to and fro the hospital she died in, paying medical bills, receiving visitors and other family errands, making arrangements for her burial which is fixed this Thursday, 20 February and my work. I recall my last discussions with my sister and how we all laughed over a joke. She is no more to share this life, no evening Bollywood or chats, no dinner or singing, no one to tease and no one to tell silly jokes. Indeed, life and its vain pursuits can be funny.

It’s human to feel pain, to feel sad and to be grateful for life. I’m consoled as a Christian and believe that my sister rests, perfectly in peace.

Good night everyone.

Categories
culture/tradition lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Thoughts on Love

We don’t know what we miss or get when we take decisions concerning relationships. Sometimes what we seek might come packaged in disguise. Love is dynamic and may come in different shades.

If you really love someone, do not hesitate to tell them.

Have a lovely night. Our love challenge continues tomorrow.

Categories
Africa Nature Pastoral Poetry

Reflection: Friendship

Friendship is a beautiful gift. True friendship drives away all sort of fear and loneliness.

It’s even said in myths that trees feed each other through their roots. So there are benefits to networking and keeping true friends.

Note that friendship is central to human survival and that humanity thrives better in community.

Categories
Poetry

Thoughts on Life 1

I believe that life goes beyond what we see and what we see teach us a lot about our existence.

I have met people with black, brown, yellow and white hair. I see blue clouds, sometimes gray, other times white. I have seen big oceans, small rivers and little rivulets, lived in big cities and enjoyed the small hamlet setting. Little things, big things, all add to life’s diverse meaning. Life’s diversity is an interesting one.

Life is colorful. Colorful things are usually beautiful. The color of life is being alive! Positive vibes begets happiness and joy. Now if everyone could take a moment to think about life’s many colors, we can agree that our existence and success is tied to others (including our environment) and not ourselves alone.

There are reasons our body system is different from other animals and there are more reasons why we are super intelligent.

Simple things not material things give life its true meaning. So life is to be enjoyed not endured. Walking through green parks and caring for people, loved ones, pets and our environment has proved that life’s most precious and important gifts are not material things.

Now we exist because there is an earth to take care of and that we all have roles to play. So we live to protect our environment and to add value to other people’s life and existence.

Categories
Poetry

Noisy Weekend

Ah. It’s a hot noon here. Dry harmattan wind made it even worse as it brought hot air. I’m back from work and quietly sitted, looking out the window. I could be less bored in a natural environment but all I see here are buildings, electricity poles and people. There are little or no trees in this vicinity. The skies are so unromantic here, they are not blue. I really miss the tranquil countryside. The memories of the last holiday spent in my village still warms my merry heart.

There’s books to read but I’ve put reading on hold for work demands much of my time. Children are playing outside and their noise bother me. That’s one reason I dislike slums and cities. I can’t wait for the evening to come so I can have some quietness and cool breeze.

This week was stressful. I introduced classes, revised past work and gave out tests. Also I welcomed new students and made lesson notes for classes. Teaching math is a tasking job. But as learning and life is a cycle, I enjoy giving out my knowledge to others.

I’m going to hang out this evening with colleagues and friends that live nearby. There’s a favorite restaurant where we enjoy drinks and discuss the week’s scores and events.

I wish everyone a lovely weekend. TGIF

Categories
culture/tradition education Lessons from Experiences

Happy Teacher’s Day, 2019 and Thoughts on Growing Up

Ututu oma, ach, that’s good morning in English. It’s a bright and sunny morning and I wish I was in Kenya, watching wildlife.

World Teacher’s Day.

Today is Teacher’s Day! I celebrate all who share their knowledge with others, cheers and thanks for being a teacher. To parents, guardians, school tutors, clergymen, imams and everyone who teach in any capacity, you are awesome! As a teacher you are a life changer, great influence and the society owe you a lot.

Growing up.

Growing up wasn’t easy for me. I recall my school days as a timid child, a prey for bullies. There was this boy who found joy in bullying others and unfortunately I was one of his candidates. To cut the story short, he always roughed me up and made me run. So one day I decided to fight my Goliath. The fight bought my freedom and respect from others. I became courageous and self confident, afterwards. To get over a challenge, you must face it.

Well growing up wasn’t rosy either, I trekked to school, borrowed books to supplement study materials and disturbed my elder brothers and busy mom to teach me extra lessons. In high school, I was afraid of some teachers. This affected my grades, negatively. If a student hates a teacher, chances are that such student won’t perform well in the subject.

Now why do students hate teachers? I don’t think students hate teachers naturally. Maybe the teaching style, the dress code, the language and composure or self confidence doesn’t work well with them. There are many reasons, but I don’t think anyone would hate an open, funny and friendly person.

As a math teacher, I think that coercion is not the best way to teach. Teaching quantitative subjects like math require softness, kindness, flexibility, patience, tolerance and creativity. I will add that a math teacher should have a big heart too. Accommodating slow students can be challenging and tasking. Teachers should consider every child’s learning abilities. Different looks doesn’t really equate to different IQs. But having in mind that people are different helps. So there are fast learners and slow learners, fast writers and slow writers. Note that we can force a camel to the stream but we can’t force it to drink.

I wish you all a lovely weekend.

***

Image from Indiatimes

Categories
Africa Nature Poetry Uncategorized

Thoughts on Contentment

Most vices become when there’s lack of contentment. Burglary, pilfering, all manner of stealing, falsehood and even hatred of oneself are all factors of discontentment. I asked some elders about their thoughts on contentment and they gladly led me though their wisdom. As we all know, contentment is a great virtue worth teaching our younger generation.

This rhyme may not be their exact words, but it captures the major theme: self discipline.

***

Do not seek extra gain
If to another it cause pain
Even as you gather wheats and profits
Remember the sick, weak and destitute
Be you; wherever you may find yourself
For in self discipline one makes a disciple of oneself
Finally, ultimate joy and peace is found in little things
You needn’t look far, for such things start from the family

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Uncategorized

Random Thought: Countryside Vs Cities

It’s Saturday evening in West Africa. I’m sitting outside peeling oranges. Apart from the dreamy breeze, this mouthful of oranges is the only comfort I’ve for being bored.

COUNTRYSIDE

My hometown is beautiful. There are breath taking hills masked in green matter. There are streams, ponds, rivulets and waterfalls, rocks and ancient caves. There are bamboo forests and great valleys and settlements surrounded by hills. Wild life is exotic, so are plants too. This place gives me unquantifiable joy and inspiration each time I visit. Here is to celebrate Isuikwuato, my home!

I belong to you, Ovim and your hills that stand before the sunrise,

With shades of green and gold, old as the ages you paint the land

I belong to the Native drums that play beyond the hills

Calling on great men and mighty warriors to dance

I belong to the green forest and all life that call it home;

The swift flowing streams, rushing upon fine pebbles

And the ponds that hide under the cool shed of trees and bushes

I belong… To the countryside, pure and unharmed by man’s greed

CITIES

I do not wish to discuss much about cities. Everybody knows that it’s a place full of people. Therefore noise, water and air pollution is common.

I think cities can be desirable to Nature lovers if every household own at least two trees. What if forests are embedded in city plans? BTW reforestation is a key ally in our fight against global warming and climate change.

That’s it for the day. Good night.

Categories
education Lessons from Experiences Series

Why I decided to let go

The title should have read “why it is necessary to let go“. I decided to use the title above because I’ve been betrayed, played and taken for granted by people I trusted and gave full loyalty to. So I’m a practical example and if you can relate, tag along.

Unfortunately, some people are good in playing with others’ feelings. They see nothing wrong with the way they treat others, so they don’t even know if they are hurting people or not.

I know there’s no perfection and we don’t always meet people’s expectations. But judging others too quickly, even before getting to know them will make you lose the vitality they might have given. Personally, I don’t judge people. I just feel that giving myself out to people may cause me hurt. This made it hard for me to trust even good people. But, I’m in process of change. Recently, I started spending more time with people, making new friends. I’ve met nice and wonderful people. My past hurts and betrayals slowly go away. Remember keeping people out of sympathy will continue to breed pain. So let go of anything or anyone that steals your joy or peace of mind.

If you love with no conditions, that’s beautiful and nice. You have a big heart. Don’t change it for the world. Don’t keep yourself away from loving. You can never know what waits for you in the next smile or hug you give. But you have to let go of the past and live in the present.

Categories
Lessons from Experiences Love and Christianity

Thoughts on Love

Love is an intense feeling of affection and care towards another person. The English dictionary defines it as deep or abiding liking for something. A profound and caring attraction towards someone. Note the appearance of care and affection in all the definitions.

Let’s read from the Bible to get a clearer picture of what love suggests. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Wow. That is self explained. What I can make of these verses is that love is selflessness. It is forgiveness in the greatest of wrongs (for instance, love from Mandela’s experience) and a gift which can turn situations around. Let’s assume, the whole world has this kind of love. How do you think the Earth will look like? When we forgive freely we love, when we are selfless in service we love. If you are selfless, then you are humble. A loving person prefers peace, because he won’t stand violence which may destroy that which he loves. Love perseveres, love is not proud. Kindness is one of the highest forms of Love. Same with compassion and diligence (lovingly working hard in the things you do). So you can see the connections between great virtues and love. Is it not said that Love is the greatest of all?

Let love flow like a stream. Let it feed, water, cloth and bless the land around you. Nothing matters more.

Tell someone you love him/her today. Prove it too by being kind and showing affection. Let me start from you; I love you!

Good morning from West Africa.

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Series Uncategorized

Thoughts on Depression

The English dictionary defined depression as a state of mind producing serious, long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future.

Many people experience this on a daily basis. Depression sucks out the joy and life from an individual even when the person is still living. Honestly, I think being sad is the youngest brother to depression. So we must watch it when we feel sad. For sadness may grow into greater grieve which is a doorway to depression. We must also watch what makes us sad. What we consume, people we let around us, and places we go to. Most times this depression is caused by the activities happening in our environment and other times it may be internal. One fact still remains glaring; it is not a good thing to be depressed. When someone is depressed he/she loses the vitality of life. The world becomes so blanked out from the person that he/she feels nothing. If care is not taken to remedy the situation it may lead to suicide.

I have few suggestions which I believe may help combat depression. These are my thoughts which had helped me overcome sadness.

First is talk to someone. If you ever feel overwhelmed or that the world is moving so fast. Hold your horses. Try to ride with someone else. Reach out to someone for help, for an advice or for companionship.

Avoid competition/toxic people. One of the ways to do this is reducing your time on social media. Social media has contributed to unhealthy competitions. You may think your peers are doing better and you are not doing well when you see people’s posts of vacation, marriages, career success etc

Be Kind: Do you ever feel good helping others? If so, this is a great sadness/depression killer. If you are compassionate to others, chances are slim that you will be sad.

Find a job you love: It is easier to get worked up, working in an environment that limits you. If you love what you do, at least you know something gives you joy. For instance, I write poems when I feel down. Then the poetry lights me up. Such a feeling, you must have something you do that gives you joy. Hold on to it.

Develop a skill/talent: I will tell you a story of my life soon. How this talent of writing has contributed to changes in the way I see life.

Keep close contact with Family and good friends: Is it not said, sometimes things change but we begin and end with the family? Come on, review your relationships and make them even sweeter. Drop toxic people. Be humble with life. Do not look down on anyone. Enjoy the love, people and resources Providence blessed you with.

Water, water, water/Stay fit: And food! Haha, my favorite part. Drink loads of water, eat good food. Exercise mentally, physically, spiritually. Take a walk by yourself or with someone special, enjoy Natural things. Watch birds sing, help the weak. Sometimes keep your phone off and sit in the garden or green park. Just make yourself happy and try to make others happy as well, if you can.

Love God: I know some people may not believe in an Almighty God but to be truthful having faith helps. If you are a Christian then you can relate more.

I hope this helps. If you have more suggestions please feel free. Drop in my comments section. Will be glad to read and learn from you. Thanks and remember to be kind today.

©Oke Iroegbu

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Uncategorized

Thoughts on Loneliness 3

Today I was in school (where I work) and really enjoyed the time I spent with my favorite students and friends. I had a lot of hugs especially from Helen, a primary school kid who took fancy of me. I teach the secondary section but my friends mostly are those little kids at the kindergaten and primary who run about and play every possible play they could around me. I enjoyed those smiling faces. Most times, during break time, I visit the primary section to see my friends. What a welcome I always get! It warms my heart to see such love, undiluted! I will love to feel that way again and again.Why did I start this post with that little story? Because I wanted to draw attention to the fact that even an introvert needs some air. You needn’t stay away from people (include kids and pets) even when your senses are beating drums to. When I open up to nice people, I feel better and I could get back to my thoughts feeling very great!Man is a social animal. Yes! So don’t keep yourself back to yourself. Sometimes reach out and when people reach out to you don’t always hold back. Bless people with your time, attention, love, smiles and hugs. 😊😊😊

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Uncategorized

Thoughts on Loneliness 2

Introverts do see themselves as threatened species. What I mean is that they feel overwhelmed in the crowd and most times misbehave in such environment. I, for instance can relate to this. I feel so consumed and inadequate when I’m in a place full of people. I won’t say this has to do with less self confidence but seeing a lot of people who share little or nothing with me turns me off.

I try to belong when I find myself in such environment. Act as a Roman when you are in Rome, right? At the end, I come back to myself and count my gains and losses of moments ‘wasted’ sitting with people. Understanding who yourself wants to spend time with is very important. Most times, you really need to spend more time with yourself. This is not being anti social. I believe we are not meant to force ourselves on people or to belong to a group. But, a little advice goes thus, try to belong sometimes not to displease yourself but to spend time with people who might be in dire need of your time and attention. You can always have yourself afterwards.

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Uncategorized

Beautiful

Beautiful are your smiles
The curves on your mouth are alluring
They pout as you stare at me
Your eyes say a lot to a thoughtful me

Beautiful are your eyes
The straight lines of your face are pretty
The thought of you are good dreams,
You are my inspiration!

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Uncategorized

Thoughts

Dear diary,
Night falls now…

The city is quiet
Save from toads
Out in the field
And wild crickets
Hiding on the walls

The distinct noises
Of a quarelling couple
Disturb my thoughts
Down on this bed,
I count the days work

There were strange clouds
Up the clouds today
There were tales in my mind
And a quiet time…
Each in different times

Brick walls of school
Playful kids all about
But hey, maths is important
So you must pay attention
Pythagoras, Guassian, Boyle

Books…
There’s a pile on my bed
ODM, Igbo bible, NIV, etc
Teachers Math guide, hmm
A feel of mental work

The streets…
And from the window
The bean-ball vendor
Hawk her products
Nothing really changed

The bank…
Fidelity, we keep our words
Okay oo, I heard you
Then: Have a nice day!
They shout after me

Okay, Teevee…
Flipping the channels
BBC, Brexit, Aljazeera, EU
Obama, Buhari, Ali, Trump
France, Syria, Biafra, Venezuela

Food…
Pick of cracker biscuits
Vit. C, Iodine, peppery soup
Some heavy carbohydrates
And a taste of garlic

The streets busybodies…
They stare always all times
Like very seriously?
You do see me pass
Thru here always, don’t ya?

And street again…
Went strolling and visiting,
Fascinated by the peace in me
Even though the world
Seem to fall slowly apart…

I wonder
What our world
Is fast becoming,
And why kids die in vain
While nations watch war films

But now I recall all
And hope for a better tomorrow
As I retire for the day!