Mgbedo Mmesoma 2 years ago
@G.philosopher 8 min read Write a comment #short-stories

Village Visitation

An experience that I wish every young child would have.

It had always been every child's dream to visit Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria. But what was my dream? It was to visit my father's village. I was often envious of my classmates who had the opportunity to visit their villages during Christmas. Whenever I asked my dad if we were going to travel for Christmas, his reply was always a no. His reason was that the village was evil.

Since I was born, I have lived in the city with my parents and siblings. I wanted to experience the village life. My elder siblings didn't see things the way I saw them. They always scolded me whenever I brought up the matter of visiting the village.

It was Christmas again. Another period to celebrate in the city. On the 23rd, my aunt visited. She just finished her NYSC. We were happy to have her in the house. She spent two days with us before she announced that she was going to the village. I was surprised when my Dad permitted me to follow her. It never occurred to me that he would allow me to follow his sister to the village.

He pleaded with my aunt to take good care of me and bring me back home on the 31st. My aunt assured him not to worry that I would be safe. I was so excited. I jumped and danced around. My mom helped me pack my clothes, and on the 26th, I left with my aunt for the village. It was a 2-hour journey. I didn't sleep on the bus. I kept my eyes wide-opened. I planned to tell my siblings about my experience.

When we got to the village, we boarded a bike which took us to my father's house. My grandparents welcomed us warmly. My grandma even went ahead to carry my bags. It wasn't my first time seeing my grandparents. They visited when my mom gave birth to my younger siblings. But it was my first time visiting their house. My grandpa asked me a lot of questions about my well-being and my family's. I answered all. I could speak and understand Igbo, so it was easy to communicate with them.

My grandma showed me the room where I was going to stay. She told me to feel comfortable. They looked so happy to have me here. I changed my clothes and went around the house. It was a bungalow and had a kitchen in the backyard. The toilet and bathroom were also located outside the main building. I wondered the reason for that. Just then, my grandma called me to come and have my lunch. It was a pounded yam and a soup I couldn't recognize. I asked my grandma the dish's name, and she said it was fufu and okra soup. I have never had fufu in the city. It was too costly. Whenever my dad bought it, it was only for him and my mom. He said he couldn't spend money buying fufu for my five siblings and me. So we always settled for garri or semo.

I smiled at the meal before I started eating. I knew my elder siblings would be sad if I told them I had fufu for lunch. And I couldn't recognize the soup because mom rarely prepared it. I ate to my fill, but my grandma forced me to eat a lot more. I took the plates to wash them after eating, but my grandma rejected my help. She washed them by herself.

In the evening, my grandma said that she was going to the stream to wash her clothes and asked if I wanted to follow her. I was so happy that I agreed immediately. She brought out her bicycle and made me sit behind her while she rode to the stream. We had small talks on the way. She greeted a lot of people too. I told her I wanted to learn how to ride the bicycle before returning to the city. She promised to tell my grandpa to teach me the next day.

When we got to the stream, a lot of people were already present there. Little children ran around playing. Some teenagers were swimming while some women washed their clothes. My grandma settled down to wash her clothes while I watched her. I asked her if they also get their drinking water from here. She laughed and said no. She went ahead to explain to me that they had a well close to the market square. She said that it wasn't easy for her to fetch enough water to cook, drink, and wash clothes. So she preferred washing her clothes at the stream. I nodded my head in understanding.

The next day, grandpa taught me how to ride a bicycle. It wasn't as easy as I thought. We had a bicycle in the city, but none of us ever rode it. It was a gift to my elder sister, but it had never been used because we couldn't ride it. I finally learned how to ride it that day. I was so tired and had few injuries. I went straight to bed. On the 29th, grandma prepared an African salad. I had eaten it most time in the city, but my mom had never prepared it. She didn't know the exact way of preparing it. I watched grandma prepare it. I wrote it down in my notebook so I wouldn't forget. I was to return back to the city on the 31st, so grandma took me to the market the next day. On the way, she showed me the well.

The market was so rowdy. I haven't gone to such a market before. We always bought our foodstuffs from the city's Shoprite. My grandma held my hand to prevent me from getting lost. She asked me what I wanted to take back to the city. I told her to get me raw African salad. I wanted to prepare it for my family. She smiled and bought it with other things she bought. When we got home, she packed a lot of things for me. She also packed enough fufu for me to take home. She promised to take me to the farm the next time I visited. She also promised to teach me how to prepare okra. I was more than happy, but I hoped my dad would allow me to visit again.

Finally, I left the village with my aunt. My grandparents were sad when I left. I hoped to visit again. I told my parents and siblings all I had learned and my experience back in the city. My elder siblings doubted that I could ride a bicycle until I rode the new bicycle. Mom doubted I could prepare an African salad until I prepared it. Everyone in the house was surprised and happy. My elder siblings disturbed my dad in that they also wanted to visit the village. Dad finally agreed to allow the three of us to visit the village during the Easter break. We were all happy. It was a nice experience I would love every child to have.

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