“If you don’t expect anything from anyone, you will never be disappointed”- James Altucher
I did not expect anything from the annual Academic trip organized by the Association of Student Journalists, University of Buea- ASJUB. So, I am not only NOT disappointed but, elated I’d changed my mind and taken these three days from Buea to Yaoundé and back.
A lot happened. Fun mostly. Great conversations and the discovery of awesome people. If I were to attempt to give an ‘account’ of the trip, I would miss out a lot. Fact. That’s why I have constituted a picture gallery (lightest), an audio slideshow with music only (lighter) and an audio slideshow with voice clips and interviews from most of the participants( light). As usual, not everyone was in love with me so, I did not get everyone to speak. That’s okay. I wasn’t expecting anyone to agree to speak.
So, we both win!
On the afternoon I changed my mind, I had been thinking of a new business idea. A food delivery service. I had no idea how to write had been caught up with the intricacies of a business plan. I was stuck and getting unhappy. I don’t like being unhappy. I called Joshua so that we meet in school and work on the initial stages of the venture. I then headed to campus to meet him and connect to the internet. There, I found two students waiting for the president of the association to come give their departmental T-shirts, PRESS badges and the programme for the trip. They were all supposed to meet at 1pm on campus. I look at my phone.
Of course I laugh at joke with them and hangout. I don’t know Ebai that much and Alida is the younger sister of my nursery school crush. Seriously. I had a nursery school crush. I have the pictures if you want proof. But, that’s another story.
Ebai and Alida are freshmen. Excited about the trip ( why else would they be still here after the delay?) After a while, a couple of students who have equally paid for the trip arrive at the meet-up point: Beverly ( freshman), Noella, Ivorita and Marvellous ( second year students). Marvelous ‘Marvy’ Ngale is the vice public relations officer of the ASJUB and he does his job. He assures the slowly pissed students that the president was on her way. According to his account, she had been stuck at the printer’s and would soon arrive.
The very slightly infuriated students connive to express discontent when the president arrives:
“Nobody should smile,” Noella instructs the rest.
If they can’t have her there when they expect, at least they would show how ireful they were.
Soon enough, an out of breath Gabrielle appears laden down with a huge white sack containing T-shirts and badges. She is moving as fast as she can, sweating, panting and smiling nervously.
Noella can’t help it. She smiles back and rushes to help her president.
After the reasons for her late coming had been cleared and (almost) everyone was comfortable with his/her T-shirt,( there is always someone whose garment either fits too well or is too loose. Always.). Gabbie needs to go continue to make the arrangement.
“Can someone still pay now?” I half-hope she would say “NO!”
“Of course”, she says “We are 16 of us and we need to pick up Sandy from Douala plus Trevor and Penn who are already in Yaoundé making arrangements.
“If you’re certain to pay tonight”, she hands me a t-shirt “Here’s yours”.
A few hours earlier, I had called Joshua so we could work on market research for my business idea. Now, in a few hours I will be miles away.
Who said life was predictable?
After robbing a passer-by making a few calls, I get the money required for the trip.
I don’t even know what I will take to Yaoundé. The last time I went for the trip, I was one of those in charge. This time, I am an ‘in charge-ee’. How would that be like? Will I be able to wake up at 5 am so as to be at UB junction by 6.30 am? Will I forget a pair of socks and be miserable for the next three days? Will I get missing in the capital? (My list of things I am horrible at has: city maps and roads at position 28 and 31 respectively.)
When I stroll down from Malingo Street with Miike Snow’s ‘Silvia’ blaring in my headphones, I barely see the other humans on the street. My mind is far off to ‘la capitale’. I know it is going to be exciting. Every change of environment is for me.
I get home and plug-in all my devices to make sure all are ready to shoot/ record/ tape. As I fail to fend off insomnia. I know the reason why I am so enthused is that I know deep in my eye sockets that tomorrow is going to be different.