4 Lessons From My Road Trip to Bauchi + Swearing In Photos!

So, some of you know that I really, really wanted to get deployed to Lagos for my NYSC. My reasons were very genuine and viable, plus I registered really early (which I heard is supposed to be a bonus for a favorable posting). When the call-up letter however came out, guess where I got?

Yeah, {you guys already know anyway} Bauchi!

Like I was shocked! Bauchi! That was the last place on my list and immediately I saw it, a part of me just wanted to stay back and not go.

Trust me now, fast fast, I had goggled how close Bauchi was to Borno and if it was one of the states affected by Boko Haram.

My findings didn’t even help matters, for Bauchi really is close to Borno and had once been affected by Boko Haram.

Honestly, left to me, I was just going to stay back.

But after all my back and forth, a couple of things changed my mind:

1. My parents, who I thought would be paranoid were surprisingly and thankfully calm.
2. A certain special someone told me that travelling to Bauchi was me expanding my horizon, since the farthest I’ve travelled in my 21 years was from Lagos to Ekiti and…
3. I knew that God was with me.

So, on these basis, a few days after I got the letter, I started my almost 2-day journey to the north.

Seriously guys, Bauchi is far o, just in case any of you is planning to come visit me here 😀.

Of course, you could travel by plane. It’s faster but then in my case, if I had done that, I’d only have ended up missing out on the road adventures – like watching the transition from the west to the north (you know, one minute, I was seeing Yorubas and the next minute, I was on strange lands with Hausas all around me); or watching the masquerade festival in a certain place called Okene; or having to pass through 10 states and being consciously aware of it or meeting a certain guy in the bus called Windibiziri who made me eat dates for the very first time or seeing beautiful landscapes like the River Niger, the Zuma Rock and the Riyom rock formations in the Plateau.

Riyom rock | Tirzah's blog
Riyom rock formation in Plateau

Gosh! I enjoyed the journey. I mean it wasn’t all smooth and easy but I’m glad I could savour in every moment and pick out a couple of lessons on the way, some of which I’m sharing with you guys today:

  • #1. There really is so much we don’t know about this world until we step out of our confines.

I realized this when I started seeing different people and their different ways of life on my trip.

It felt like I had been boxed up in the south west for so long, so my perspective about things, especially in Nigeria had become sort of ‘western’ and that’s the thing with boxes. When you keep yourself in a box, you tend to think that everything there ever is, is limited to what you can see within those confines.

Wait till you just step out and then you’ll see how much there is to this world than what we’ve been limiting our knowledge to.

So, if you can travel, travel. If you can read, read. If you can browse, browse. Just step out.

  • #2. We are all different. we have different lives, and it’s these peculiarities that come together to form our unique stories:

I learnt this lesson while travelling through Nassarawa. There, I saw in a certain place a woman farming. She had this really big hoe she was using to build her ridges and she was doing the work so intently, I couldn’t help but think ‘what if this was me?’, ‘what if I had been born here?’

The answer is simple. If I had been born there, that too would have been my life. I too would be waking up early in the morning to build ridges and get my hands dirty.

I learnt that I am who I am, with access to the things I’m currently exposed to, simply because my life is different. I am privileged to be born in a city, privileged to be educated, privileged to live in a part of the country where there is really no stereotype, because of my gender or religion. I am privileged to be exposed to the internet. I am just privileged and the truth is if I had been born in one of those rural villages I passed by, my life would be different.

Same with you.

So learn to embrace your life as unique, cos your experiences, family, and even challenges are all a part of what makes you, you. If you were somebody else, your life would be very different.

PS: if you are in a position to help someone who is not as privileged as you, even if it’s just by exposing them to some things you know, please do.

  • #3. It’s not what you have that matters. It’s what you do with what you have:

This particular lesson hit me when I got to the gate of my orientation camp in Wailo.

When I got there with some other corpers, a group of Hausa kids came to meet me and begged to carry my bag for me.

Now, I was coming from Abuja where my aunt had warned me to be extremely careful with my luggage, so when those kids came, I was very quick to send them away. But those kids, they stayed. And they begged me. At first, I was still being reluctant until one of them said ‘aunty, five Naira. Make I carry your bag.”

Gosh, I was so moved. Like they were begging to carry my very heavy bag for just N5. Where would you get something like that in Lagos? N5. Those kids would do anything just to eat. N5.

I felt very bad that I didn’t give them anything. I didn’t have change but as I walked to the gate, I stopped, turned around to call one of them back and gave her the nylon of guava I had bought on the road. You should have seen the way she grabbed it.

See, it’s not what you have that matters. You may be the richest person in the world, ehn ehn? It’s what you do with your money that counts. You may have all the time in the world on your hands, but really it’s what you do with that time that counts. It also doesn’t matter how small what you have is, it’s what you do with that small thing. In my case, I didn’t have money to spare but I had a nylon of guava and it made those kids really happy. That, for them, was something.

So, look around you, look at what you have and then try to do something impactful with that thing. That just might mean the whole world to someone else.

It's not what u've dat matters. It's wat u do with wat u've. Click To Tweet
  • A new language!

Of course you guys saw this one coming yeah? Lol.

So on my trip I learnt a new language – Hausa.

All my knowledge as of right now is just like 5 words o, but I wanted to share them with you, just because tomorrow, if you see me speaking Hausa, you will not say you don’t understand. Okay, here goes:

– Gashi – meaning ‘take’. (This was the first Hausa word I learnt in Plateau)
– kao – meaning ‘bring it’
– Bayan Gidr – meaning ‘(public) toilet’
– Sonu – meaning ‘sorry’
– Nagode – meaning ‘thank you’
– Ruwa – meaning ‘water’
– Maruwa – meaning ‘the person selling water’.
– Dogo – meaning ‘tall person’
– Inakwana – meaning ‘Good morning’
– Mashara – meaning ‘maize.’

See! That was even more than 5 and it’s just my third day! Haha. By the time I’m done here ehn, all my blog posts will be in Hausa. Y’all should just prepare.

Anyway, that’s what I wanted to share with you today. I hope you learnt something. For a bonus sha, I’ve shared some of the very cool pictures I’ve been taking in camp with you below. You deserve to see those for visiting the blog.

Seun Olagunju  Seun Olagunju

Seun Olagunju

Seun Olagunju

Seun Olagunju

Seun Olagunju

Okay guys, there you have them.

What did you learn from today’s post? Oya, share it with me in the comments. Also, where is the farthest you’ve travelled by road? how was your experience? Share that with me too. I’d like to hear everything!

Till later, with love,

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Author: Seun Olagunju

Just a simple 23 year old all out to making an impact.

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  • Nice story…travelling long distance via road has always bin fun… Enjoy ur three weeks to d fullest… Eat anything eatable, anything drinkable for mammy… Dis is once in a lifetime… #Cheers. . .

  • Seun oh, the Bauchi Kopa… I never wanted Cross River, it was the last state i picked and told the person who registered me that they can never post me there but alas Cross River it was.

    Going South South to Cross River State through different south eastern states from the west was with mixed feelings and experience for me, probably because I had never been there, maybe just images and ideas through the screen.

    Almost a two-day Journey it was going to be for me, coming from North Central , but I was expectant of my NYSC camp experience and service to my fatherland.

    I wanted Calabar or Obudu for my posting, that was shaped by the beautiful scenes I saw on screen about them. 

    After the camping experience at Obubura Orientation Camp, 
    I received my posting letter to Calabar and that continued the journey for my one-year mandatory national assignment. 

    My first observation of the state has being the people, I still experience warmth, friendship and help upon arrival once I was in my NYSC Uniform, I had free rides to my destination,
    I had cab fees being paid and enjoyed free meals.

    I also had the not too good experience with some cab drivers especially with one who did not return my property that dropped in his cab.

    Thus far, NYSC activities and commitment to Place of Primary Assignment and Community development service, the people, and their culture remains highlights of the service year, which I still enjoy.

    The state is beautiful with a crisp environment where I stay with recreational locations worth a lifetime experience, I have started my exploration and expectant about the time here.

    I have also been learning Efik right from camp and its being an interesting experience. Their soup, am learning to eat too.

    My service in Cross River state has exposed me to new life and a different lifestyle of humans. Entirely different culture and feeling.

    Cross Rivers state remains the heart of tourism in Nigeria and am glad I did not redeploy to south west. I have few months left to explore. An opportunity to visit Marina Resort, Tinapa, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Slavery Museum and many more.

    The truth is , you don’t know the treasure lying in a state until you explore. Nysc has remained a good platform for that, am happy am here.

    Enjoy your stay there Seun and enjoy your service year. Beautiful Pictures

    Corper Seun…. Shun

    How is your Morale?


    • High sir!!!

      Segun Oo. Your comment! I’m really glad you are enjoying cross-river. It was one of the states I initially wanted to put in for, particularly because of the tourist attractions. Glad you are exploring and thanks for your advice too.

  • Seun…the real Bauchi Corper!
    Go girl! Enjoy your stay in the North to the fullest plus you’ll teach me Hausa when you come back o *winks*

    Miss you.