Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Define Your Relationships

Some months ago, I made a declaration of relationship with a friend and oh yea! There was visible growth in the relationship. We both knew our place in each other's heart and taking our seat in this place was so easy. In contrast to this, I recently met a good friend of mine who although without a defined relationship with, I missed while he was away.

Now that he's back, our crazy cycle is on it's spin again; over excitement for few days, a feeling of indifference catalyzed by ignorance of one's true stand in a relationship for the next couple of days, some weeks withdrawal from each other and eventually reconciliation. 

Comparing these two relationships and now being aware of how much definition and declaration of position goes in a relationship, I see the necessity for this to be done in every relationship. It helps control the crazy cycle; it helps both parties know that irrespective of what's going on in  the relationship, they can fight for their position and make things work.

The moment Jesus was baptized, there was a declaration of sonship, God said, "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased". Likewise, as Christians, we were declared children of God at the point of salvation.

      "Romans 8:14  For all who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. Vs. 16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children."

Therefore, it's very important that you define your relationship. Eighty percent of broken relationships happened basically because there was no initial clear definition. You see someone as your best friend but she sees you as just a friend who she understands and thus is able to help when needy times arise. Don't put someone as the overall of your life when they just want company.

It might sound awkward to do but trust me, you don't want to not do it cause you don't want to be zoned unaware!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

My Farm Diary: Week Three

Ring weeding of water melon

The third out of Eight scheduled weeks of farm for this semester is gone within the twinkle of an eye and seriously, I've been so favoured and I've learnt a lot. What happened in the third week?
My group was posted to the agro forestry and farm management unit. On Monday, we participated in the marketing of maize to market retailers and on the following days, we worked at the Agroforestry unit. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we were made to work on the watermelon farm where we did ring weeding I.e weeding about 2m round a plant. This is done when systemic herbicides are to be used for a farm with young plants. You weed a circle round the plant so that during the course of spraying, the sprayer doesn't have to go so close to the plant such that the herbicide might have contact with the plant and thus affect it.
On Tuesday, while others were weeding, Blessing(a group member) and I were scheduled to apply poultry manure on vegetables; Amaranthus and Cochorus olitorus locally known as ewedu. On Wednesday, we worked with the weeding team, on Thursday, we were allocated personal plots like the first week but this time around, we planted maize and joyfully, I can proudly say the maize I planted have emerged! And I know God will keep them till harvesting and I'm going to harvest a lot!

We planted using 3-4seeds per hole with a spacing of 75cm by 50cm which was the recommendation by our supervisors.
On Friday, we went back to our unit where we also planted maize but this time with the spacing of 75cm by 25cm and we applied NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer. Just when we finished and we were waiting for a lecture, the lecturer came only to inform us that she's not teaching us but we're having a demonstration on our tomatoes plot. At this juncture, we all looked at her shocked and jaw dropping.
See ya next week for a summary of this week's farm experience!  Love ya!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

My Farm Diary: Week Three: Day One

So  far so good, yesterday was so much fun compared to other days of duty on farm. We worked at the farm management unit where we acted in the capacity of farm managers and sold maize to women who were intend to further extend the sales to the final consumers. The day started with the unit head giving us an overview of what it involves to being a farm manager hence giving us a first hand practical experience on the field. Then, we waited for the women harvesting who happen to also be the retailers and when they were done, we charger each person per quantity and size of maize harvested.

The most fun part was how the women were negotiating the prices. We charged the third woman a sum of #1200, she insisted on paying #600 which looked like a ridiculous bargain to me. We left her to meet about 40 other women only to come back to collect #650. A woman was charged #500, she offered to pay #400 but eventually paid #320 and I was wowed but you know what? That's what a typical Nigerian looks like. Women bargain ridiculously even when they collected money worthwhile from their husbands.

Monday, 22 August 2016

My Farm Diary; Week Two

Beef and Turkey unit made sense. That's where I worked last week and I can't afford to not write about it.

I went to Turkey unit first and you need to come and see these turkeys. The male called Tom which is usually recognized by it's  longer wattle compared to the female, hen and then, the young ones, poult even though there weren't any in the pen. Categorizing the turkeys, we have the exotic and local types. The exotics are those whose breed origin is outside the walls of Africa while the local breeds are the African breeds.

Talking about cattle, they can be categorized into three based on use; beef, diary and dual which can be used for both beef and diary production. We went to the beef unit where basically, cattle used for the production of beef are kept even though there were the muturu breed which is used for diary production in the ranch. We have the n'dama and sokoto gudali breeds for beef production.

At the turkey unit, the daily routine activities include, feeding and cleaning. Changing of litters is a routine activity done in like every two or three days depending on how messy the litter(wood shavings or other materials poured on the pen floor to absorb feacal wastes and to keep the environment quite warm).

The beef unit was quite stressful though fun even though I didn't participate in any activity there. The daily routine activity there also include cleaning of the pen where the workers packed cow dung and feeding. They are being fed with pastures which could be brought to them in the pen as 'hay' with high moisture content, 'silage' with low moisture content or they could be taken to the pasture where they free on the pastures on the field and this is kind of pasture is called 'soilage'.

On Thursday which was the slaughter day, we were taken to the slaughter slab where we witnessed the process of beef slaughter where the hairs were removed by scalding (use of hot water) and also shown the different parts of the animal.

That's the summary of all I did on the farm last week, I will do well to post this week's activities also.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

My Farm Diary, Day Two

Is it just me or everyone?
Why is this week seeming to be so long?
How can today just be Tuesday?
Shouldn't it be Thursday already?
This were my thoughts as I walked down the busy street of Ede road where my hostel is.

My dad has been trying to teach me the habit of waking up early that I usually get scolded for oversleeping almost everyday but with this farm year, I think I don't need a teacher or trainer before I get up early. I got up from bed today at 4: 30am. I washed the dishes used last night, prepared spaghetti, fried plantain and swept my room and I was done with my chores by 6:00am. Since the night was somewhat short, I laid back in bed till 6:40am after which I dressed up, ate and ran off to school.

Unlike yesterday, the bus arrived early and so, I got to farm 8:30am, went straight into the farm centre to take attendance. According to our coordinator, attendance is a major part of farm year and I do not wish to miss a day. From there I went to my allocated plot which I could bare identify. Someone had uprooted the injured cassava that was there. I was scared because if that person happen to be the supervisor, I'm in for it but then I'm really glad the person which wasn't the supervisor did, cause it would have caused him to either scold me or give me a low grade.

"Dami, come over here."
"Oh! Blessing, what's up? You have something for me?"
It was Blessing, the owner of the plot before mine. She was at the other end of the field so, I went to meet her. Come on! You need to see how neat this girl's work is. She had packed all the weeds on her ridge and neatly placed them in the middle. At that point, I knew that if I didn't get an A grade in that course, it's either the supervisor is a deliberately wicked being or 'that's how God planned it'. That's always my consolation whenever I get a result less than my expectation.

Since Blessing already set a cut off mark, I got on to clear my own ridge as neat as hers even though there eventually remained some little sprouts I overlooked because I cannot come and kill myself. The motivation to work increased whenever people pass by our plot and make comments like _"haha! These people are over efficient o. Do they want to sleep on it?"Someone even asked if it was broom we used to sweep it.

I finished my duty around 10:30am  and I must let you know that Blessing was still working at that time. In fact while she who got there before me was half way done, I was already through even though I returned twice to clean again. Whenever I go back to check how far she's gone and I realize my plot isn't neat enough, I pick my hoe and cutlass and set to work again.

"Hey Blessing! See I'm going jor."
Even though I've said that twice before, I meant in this time around and so, I went back to the farm centre where we take lectures and rest. I thought we would be allowed to leave since some of us were done but as it was, the supervisor said no one should leave until it's 1:30pm. Different aroma of food filled the room, people taking lunch while we waited for 1:30pm. As for me, I'm a really great cook, if i bring my own food, everyone will want to dine with me because the aroma is going to be so strongly sweet so, while I wait, I lent an earpiece and continued the movie I was seeing the night before.

See ya tomorrow

Monday, 8 August 2016

Farm Dairy, Day One, Episode Two

After the bus paparazzi at the faculty this morning, we got to the farm centre few minutes to ten where we received a talk on safety from the deputy director. He spoke about ensuring to be in our farm suit and boot always. This will protect most of our body parts most especially the leg from being injured either by animals or our tools.
The professor ended his talk with a greeting from the director as he walked out of the room. Our farm coordinator came in with some A4 papers in which we've been grouped in a manner I can't fathom. Everyone listened attentively to the names of their group members while saying some sort of prayer in their subconscious like
"God please, let my group members be hardworking o"
"God please, let there be more guys in my group"
"God please, let my group members be better persons o"
I'm not a psychic or a kind of mind reader but I could tell from the countenance on people's faces and their reactions when they called each group out.
When names were called and people have a bad feeling about their members, they either stay silent or burst into a sarcastic laughter. As a person, immediately I heard Barry, Alfa Isiak and some other hardworking guys were in my group, I excitedly told Kemi, Olamide and Banke; my three friends "Babes, did you see that? My group is the best!" To myself, I said "JACKPOT!"
After grouping, we were led to the cassava field where we were allocated plots to work on. The plots were allocated by rows of heaps, one roll per person. We were to clear the weed in the cassava field.
"Excuse sir! Where are we to stop?" Someone asked and we got a heartbreaking reply, "Just keep going, you'd know where to stop, it's somewhere in the middle over there"
Hmmmmm, somewhere in the middle. Anyways, I started clearing at around 12:30pm and before I got to that middle, it was 2:30pm. Thanks to Barry and Alfa Isiak who helped me because at a point, my wrist was paining me from the swinging of cutlass, my palm too and I got blisters.

Farm Diary: Day One

"Farm is starting on Monday", I told my folks through the weekend.

In the dawn's tranquility while I was sleeping and dreaming of the movie I saw last night, I heard a voice "come and follow me to go and pee". I rolled in my bed with my eyes still very heavy; it's Ayoola, my bestie, she's been staying with me for a while cause there's no light in her hostel. I stay in a room where I have to share toilet and bathroom with my with my neighbors so, I have a potty substitute that I use in my room in the midnight rather than go all the way out. Ayoola doesn't like to use it so every night she's been waking me to follow her go pee outside.

As I roll in bed, I asked her what the time was, it was 4:00am Monday morning! I had set my alarm to 4:30am last night, with the hope of rising by 5:00am since I know I can't rise to the call of an alarm at exactly the time set. I'd still snooze it to like 20minutes before I finally get up. I got up to follow her and when we got back to the room I told her to snooze my alarm till 5:00am but to the shock of a Monday morning, I woke up to find out it was 6:12am.

I jumped up like WTF! I planned to leave home for farm as early as 7:00am of which by that time, I would have had my bath, cooked and eaten. What in heaven's name can I do with 48minutes? Well, Ayoola got up with me and went straight to cooking. We checked the keg for water but oops! There's none so I went round the hostel to tap some bowls of water. I took the water to her and tried to bath when I remembered we were going to eat just rice; No compliment? How awful!

I went out again, this time, in search for egg and yea! I came back with two eggs. I gave them to her and she made jollof rice and egg while I went to take my bath. I got back, dressed up without make up since we were told on the day of orientation that our make up and spray could be pheromones for some insects and if anyone does, I don't want to be a mating spot for some insects talkless of getting stung by bee.

Ayoola packed my food for me while I put some water in a bottle and set off to school. I got to the faculty to meet just a few mates at the park.
Where are they?
Where's the bus?
Did I just miss the farm bus? While I stood at the park with a blank face but a mind filled with panic, the other girls left for the Secretariat so, I picked my phone to make a call
"Hello Kemi, where are you?"
"Everyone's around the Secretariat, the bus hasn't arrived" said Kemi.
Oh! I sighed and headed towards them. Wait! I have my food in my bag but I forgot my spoon. Let me find a corner to work on this food before joining the crowd. Kemi is one of my closest friends in class. I don't do cliques but we are four ladies that move together almost every time.

Alright... I'll see you in the evening when I'm back so, anticipate.