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“If You No get Change, No Enter.”

Dear Nigerian Husband,

I know you’re a man of class. I’ve kept this away from you, kind of. But I was once a Danfo bus conductor. For a day.

Hang on, don’t crash the plane. Let me explain.

“If you no get change, no enter.”
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If you’ve been to Lagos or have lived in Lagos and haven’t heard that sentence, your time in Lagos has been a waste.
When I “permanently” moved to Lagos on January 2, the thought of hopping into one of those Continue reading

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Hurricane Irma Happened.

It’s exactly three months since Hurricane Irma slammed the Virgin Islands. I’ve had a short post updating everyone on how I was faring. Well, a whole lot has changed since then.

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Escaped from Puerto Rico to California just hours before Hurricane Maria hit the United States territory.

Irma came, I lost my apartment, my office got pounded, I left the Virgin Islands, returned to Nigeria, got married to the Nigerian Husband and we are expecting a set of twins. A lot has  Continue reading

Bring Back My Shoe.

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Yes, I want my shoe back.

I’ve been back on my fitness grind and all excited with the little changes I’m seeing on my body. Needless to say, the results have been fueling me to keep going.

Hence, this morning, I got up early, packed all my work stuff, got changed into my work out wear and got extra clothes.(Plan was to exercise, shower at the gym then be at the office early)
I’ll be covering an assignment tonight and may not have the time to attend aerobics this evening.

I was all excited and was even thinking of which songs I’ll workout to when I get to the gym. The last step was to wear my shoes…

I found just the right shoe and

couldn’t find the left leg!

Certainly, this shoe has got to be under the couch on the porch.. Phssss, it wasn’t! Next, I thought my neighbors were playing a prank on me.

Immediately, I thought my Jamaican neighbor had it. I was sitting on the ‘throne’ this morning when I saw his him pass by on my porch.  I was convinced he had them and was even telling my landlord that the neighbor must stop being silly.

I got mad but not super mad. I was sure I’ll walk upstairs and he’ll just hand over my shoe. Again, I was wrong. He didn’t have my shoe.

My exercise plans came crashing down right before my eyes!!! I couldn’t workout this morning.

I’m mourning the loss of my shoe. It may look really old, ugly, big, uncool and all that nonsense, but I want it back! That’s my only exercise shoe! Bring back my shoe!

This pair of Nike sneakers has seen me through a lot. It’s seen me through one break-up, several stressful days and even many happy days.

 

I’ve done many 5 mi + runs with this pair. This shoe has anchored me on several socarobic and aerobic sessions.

The last time that shoe was seen was Saturday evening while I was cleaning my apartment. It was right in front of my door beside the couch. There was no sign of any suspicious activities going on.

I even wore it on Saturday to the gym. If I knew that was the last time I’d be seeing it, I would have stayed at the gym longer. This isn’t the life I bargained for this week. I hoped I’ll eat right, work out like a pro and burn a lot of calories! 😦

I want my shoe back!

Now my only guess as to the whereabouts of this shoe is- the neighbor’s dog must have been a bit too excited and ran off with my dear Nike shoe.
The first time I saw that dog, I didn’t quite like it. If you ask me, I’d say the dog is silly and stupid. How can a dog be too friendly to just randomly run to your apartment and want to jump on your lap? sigh.No dog, we aren’t cool. you can’t just run around the place like we’ve been friends. I mean, even the landlord’s dog, which i’ve known for years doesn’t dare come by my apartment without my permission.

Anyway, I think my neighbor’s pest pet, may have gone away with my shoe,

I want my shoe back 😦

Folks, I’m accepting donations for a new pair. While you all flood me with requests on how to donate, I’m also accepting free espionage services as well as intelligence on how

we can recover my shoe.

Vou

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Meanwhile, I got these yesterday afternoon! You needed to see me working out at the gym… I felt so flyyyyyy!

Cruising For Lunch

Cruising For Lunch

Girls and boys, gentlemen and ladies… As we type, I can barely focus on the stories I have to write within the next two hours.

My mind is still roaming round my visit to Riviera, one of Oceania Cruises’ newest babies. I was invited to tour the ship and have lunch for the second time in one year.
I had such a great time and left with lots of great ideas for my Nigerian Husband…. Wherever you are my dear, I want you to know there’s no pressure whatsoever…

More on this cruise ship visit when all my stories are done and when i’ve managed to work off at least one quarter of the calories I consumed!

TIll then, please enjoy staring at this photo I took of my desert- “A la Minute Poached Floating Island” (Pink Pralines and Roasted Pistachio cream)

Sleepy, stuffed and tired,
Vou

BREAKING NEWS- Dinosaur Remains Found In the Virgin Islands!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dinosaur remains have just been discovered at Long Trench, on the beautiful Island of Tortola, Virgin Islands.
The 50-feet long baby dinosaur was discovered by Shaquanana “Never-tell-a-lie” Jango shortly after he began digging into the rocky hilltop soil on his excavator, Thursday morning.
“Maan, that heck was big. Meh think seh ah duppy,” Jango said. “Jah burn duppy! Fire pan duppy!”
Scientists from the renowned Fellowship of Fake Dinosaur Discoveries have since arrived on Island to confirm what specie of the extinct creature Mr. Jango may have seen.
Fake News Reporters will bring you more updates as they become available.

Okay folks, relax! This clearly is a lie. If you believed that piece of crap, then by all means please slap yourself…lol

I had to do it.
I’m fed up of people thinking as a reporter I must know every little thing going on around the country.
So this afternoon, I tried to at least put a stop to it…hahaha
I was at the bank and the teller asked me what the latest news is/was.
I paused for a minute and told him dinosaur remains had just been discovered on the island.

This guy who should be in his mid twenties totally believed me. I told him the news was still being kept a secret until scientist confirmed what type of dinosaur it is. I even told him the creature was as big as half the bank lobby.

I know… I’m a very bad person, but how can someone in this day and age believe that that bit of news could possibly be true for a such a tiny Caribbean island?

Bless his heart!

Overcoming Fears

Hello folks,
One day, I’ll be consistent with this blog thing. TIll then, here’s an article for work this week. Enjoy

🙂

I’ve never been scared of heights. At least, that’s what I thought before Tuesday. Strapped into a harness and hooked into a zip-line on a two-storey-high platform overlooking Johnsons Ghut, I saw things differently.

“Can I just go back down? I’ll watch you guys zip through,” I told Jeana James, one of the tour guides of Original Virgin Canopy Tours.

Starting in a few weeks, the company, which has been five years in the making, will offertours through the tops of trees via zip-lines.

“Family members saw some business prospects there,” said Managing Director John Shirley. “We decided to have something green without having to disturb too much of the environment.”

For Ms. James who recently underwent a five-week intensive training, my hesitation was not new. She assured me I would be okay.

Besides, I had met the requirements to go on the tour: I am significantly less than 270 pounds; I’m able to walk and run for more than five miles; and I had “sufficient mobility” to climb up the 10-foot ladder to the starting platform. Plus, I was not intoxicated, as

I stated on the waiver I signed in advance.

So I took a deep breath and stepped off the platform.

Soon, I was zipping through the hills at the level of the treetops.

Amidst the excitement, somewhere in my mind, I could hear part of the territorial song playing: “Oh, beautiful Virgin Islands, your qualities can never be denied.” For a little under a minute, I felt like a bird.

On another platform about 200 feet away, another guide, Mario Reyes, was waiting to make sure I landed safely.

Mr. Reyes unhooked me from the line and guided me to another platform. After each platform, we climbed down a ladder and walked to another along a trail bordered with guavaberries, which we picked and ate.

After three zip-line rides and about an hour, the tour was over.

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Throughout the day, Mr. Reyes, who became a zip-line tour guide 15 years ago in his native Costa Rica, zipped along with ease. He rotated with such easy command that he was able to snap a few photos of me as I approached each stop. The territory’s green vegetation and hills make the tour different from similar projects in other countries, Mr. Reyes explained.

Mr. Shirley said the tour is an activity that allows family and friends to spend time together. “A lot of this is about overcoming some of your fears,” he said.

I could relate.

The Toughest Assignment Ever

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A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to tour “the most elegant ship built in the last 50 years… OceaniaRiviera.”

My heart sank. I knew all about cruise ships from a tour I took a few years ago. Memories f that visit still haunt me: a fancy lunch, glasses of sparkling champagne, a waiter unfolding a crisp cloth napkin in my lap, great company.

From the sound of it, touring the Riviera —  a luxury ship with about 800 crewmembers — would be even more difficult. Surely, I thought, my editor wouldn’t be so cruel as to make me go. I was wrong.

“Do I get hazard pay?” I asked.

“Nope,” he said cheerfully, as though he were sending me to cover a centenarian’s birthday.

I considered calling in sick. I considered tricking a bystander into taking my place. I even considered turning in my press pass and moving back to Nigeria.

But deep down, I knew what I had to do. For a serious journalist, backing out is never an option.

The public needed to know about the five-star amenities in the most elegant cruise ship in the world. If I didn’t work up the courage to go inside and emerge to tell the story, who would?

Besides, if I didn’t sacrifice myself, another reporter would have to take my place. I couldn’t let that happen to my colleagues, even though I knew the assignment would be the toughest of my career.

 

The tour

On the morning of the tour, I put on my best shoes and skipped breakfast, suspecting that part of my onerous responsibilities would include sampling five-star cuisine prepared by internationally recognised chefs.

I walked to Wickhams Cay with a sinking feeling, hoping that I would be turned away at the gate. I longed to go back to the Beacon office and spend the day writing about politicians, phoning grumpy government officials, and copy editing articles.

Anything but touring a luxury cruise ship.

As I neared the vessel, the tourists coming off were cheerful and smiling — no doubt because they were escaping from the ship, I thought.

Along with tourism officials and other media representatives, I was greeted warmly by Karen Negron, the international representative of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas for the Caribbean.

I had no choice but to follow Ms. Negron on board the 1,200-passenger vessel, which had docked a few hours earlier.

When we got on board, we were issued identification cards and led to an elevator. It took us up several floors, passing paintings, sparkling chandeliers, sculptures, dazzling lights and smartly dressed crew. My head spun.

 

Spa, casino, bars

We stopped on Deck 15, which houses more of what I dreaded: the ship’s spa, tearoom, conference room, a casino and bars.

Passengers sign up to stay on board for as long as 10 days, according to Ms. Negron.

I shuddered. If I had to do that, I’d miss my own apartment, where mosquitoes whine in my ears all night and crickets chirp all day. And I’d probably go crazy from the abundance of hot water.

As we walked through the corridors, I quickly got flustered. I didn’t know where to look. Outside the windows, the view was stunning, but inside the walls were decorated with paintings by Latin American artists.

The ship resembled an art gallery on the sea — and in a way it is, Ms. Negron explained: cruisers can purchase the art on display, some of which was marked “Sold.”
I was barely able to keep my cool and take photographs of myself posing on the Riviera — just to prove what I had survived.

The tour also included a trip to the ship’s spa, where serene music played in the background as we walked through corridors lined with fountains and plants.

I longed for the dusty, broken fountain at the Sir Olva Georges Plaza, and the dirt and noise of Main Street, where I usually spend my days reporting.

 

Six-course meal

As Ms. Negron explained that the 15-deck vessel has 10 fine dining restaurants with menus from all over the world, I knew the worst was yet to come.

I cringed as she listed off their fancy names: Red Ginger, Toscana, La Reserve, Jacques, Waves.

More than anything, I wanted to return to my desk at the Beacon and eat my usual meal of Ramen noodles and a microwaved baked potato. But duty called.

Ms. Negron led us into a large dining room, where we were seated under a crystal chandelier. A Sri Lankan sommelier kept refilling our glasses with wine, and I had no choice but to keep drinking it: I knew the public needed to know exactly how it tasted.

Gourmet food followed. I endured one course after another: miso glazed seabass in den miso marinate, risotto all’aragosta — but in the spirit of journalistic restraint, I’ll stop short of describing all six courses so as not to disgust readers. I’ll just say that when we finally left the ship, I could barely walk.

Though the experience was painful, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment for having completed the most difficult assignment ever.

If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.