The holiday has finally come. That was the first word I said as soon as the holiday came. It is a time of rest and when we take either a long or short leave from our daily routine or work. I was so happy for the completion of a successful session. I said goodbye to my friends and they were also glad that the holiday has come.
When I got home, I presented my report card to my parents, they were so happy with my result. They also congratulated and encouraged me to do better. Before the holiday, I had planned a visit to my aunt’s house in Mowe, Ogun State of Nigeria. I told my mum but she said that the permission for my plan could not be granted if my result was poor.
Two days before the journey, I had packed my clothes and books in a small and good-looking suitcase On D-day; I was the first person to wake up around 4.00p.m which had never happened in my life history. I bruised my teeth, took my bath, and dressed up waiting for Dad to take me to the park.
The next day, I traveled to Mowe. My aunt’s family was so delighted to receive me. She had three children who were so glad that I came to visit them. My aunt introduced me to their neighbors; the woman selling ‘recharge cards’, the man sewing her clothes, and the other woman sewing her children’s clothes. She also introduced the woman who grounds pepper and the woman who sells foodstuffs to her. My aunt told the gatekeeper that I was her niece who came from Ibadan. The man was surprised because I resembled her so much; even he thought I was her daughter. My aunt laughed and told me that he was a very funny man.
I also met Aunt Sarah. She was the lady that cleaned the house every weekend. My aunt was a teacher, so she took me to her school in Lagos almost every day to join the coaching classes as I was preparing for my General Certificate Examination (GCE). My aunt is teaching at Evergreen Memorial Baptist Girl’s School. The school had both Boarding and Day students. The school had many classrooms. I first attended an Economics class. I vividly remember the Economics teacher taught us the topic ‘Economic Growth and Development’ and I enjoyed the class by engaging students in the lesson. The class is interactive and interesting.
I proceeded with the coaching classes from Monday to Friday when my aunt had her class periods. On a Saturday, I went to Surulere Baptist Church. We attended the English service which commenced at 7: 30 p.m. The sermon was stimulating and the choir rendition had the inspiration to think about it. After the English service, proceeded to Sunday School Lesson (SSL) where people attended various classes. I found the teenager class and I joined them. I was warmly welcomed by all and I was impressed. I so much enjoyed how our teacher, I could still remember her name, Mrs. Joe wisely presented the lesson on the topic: ‘God’s Saving Love in Christ’. She took her memory verses from the book of John 3: 16 saying that ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’.
After the close of the lesson, my aunt drove me around Lagos and it was cool. She started driving to the new Tejuoso market, a wonderful sight. She told me about the new reformation Governor Baderiwa Badimus had brought to Lagos State, especially to improve the market. She drove to Lagos Island. The place was crowded and my aunt told me that things were sold at cheaper rates there. She drove to Ogundare’s restaurant where we bought some ‘cheese ball and poff-poff’ and beverages to cool off our thirst.
We continued our tour after we had finished what we bought because eating and drinking in the street is prohibited in Lagos. Then she moved to Oshodi and I saw Motor Park built for children and adults. The market had already closed for the day because it was a Sunday. I was told by my aunt that her husband usually brought her and their children there for shopping, even last year’s celebration.
My aunt turned to ‘Iyana Ipaja’ and pointed the way to my grandmother’s brother’s house. She drove down to Obanikoro and I was shown her son’s school.
He was attending Baptist Boys Academy and he was in JSS 3. He was happy that we drove by his school. My aunt also drove to Ikeja where I saw the Lagos secretariat. The street was well laid out with proper and modern street lights. She moved towards Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s shrine and finally went to Shoprite near the place.
My cousins were so happy. We parked the car. After a long queue, we went into the mall. She bought some provisions for their housemaids as well as soup spices and ingredients including bournvita tea, milk, meat, and juice.
We walked around the mall comparing the prices of items and we eventually bought ice cream, meat pie, sausages, and some wines. She told me to drink ice cream immediately so that it wouldn’t melt off. After we left the mall, she drove home immediately because it was almost dark. On our way home, she showed me the statue of the Abameta of Lagos situated outside Lagos. I was impressed and fascinated by the statue, so I took its picture. We finally got home around 3. 30p.m.
We all put off the clothes we wore to church, rested, and slept off. By the time we could wake up, it was around 6.00 p.m. It seemed as if I were sleeping again but my aunt cautioned me. She was already cooking. I joined her in the kitchen and we prepared pounded yam, one of my favorite foods.
I wrote down my experiences with her aunt. A week before the end of the holiday, I spoke to my aunt’s husband who had traveled on official duty to Canada. He told me he was happy that I visited them. I told him, ‘I was glad too’. I said ‘ I have learned a good lesson from his family; love, new cooking methods, missing with different people at coaching classes, etc.
The holiday had ended. It was as if I should have more time to spend with my aunt’s family. Well, my aunt had already packed my baggage and luggage. I left Lagos around 4.00 p.m. Before I opened my eyes, I had landed in Ibadan, my city.