So Perry’s Tots brought me to this point yet again this year – the point where I get to stop to look back and give thanks, the point where I get to reflect. If anything, I’m grateful for the yearly opportunity this presents to put my memory through the test of nostalgia.
I’d like to tag 2014 the year of discoveries because more than any other year I have been able discover new places and new things about myself.
I started out 2014 anticipating the beginning of my fifth year in Medical School – the project year. It’s nice to finally laugh at how uncertain I was back then about how it was going to be. To be candid, I had a few jitters. However, my little exposure to public health made me look forward to the whole experience and I think I enjoyed it. Except for sometimes, when lectures got a little boring and people would just doze off in a silly way. Lol…I was one of those ‘people’ on a certain day (a day the Lord made). I only dozed for a few seconds (or so I thought) and then I opened my eyes to trends of BBM updates of my picture with the caption “what will happen will happen” – how hilarious! Throughout that day I had to endure teases from everyone I came across in school over that picture, you don’t want to know how embarrassed I was.
Each year, I never seem to ever get free of the many extracurricular activities I get involved with. 2014 was no different (even though I always make a resolution to lessen the burden every year). Asides being Senate Chairman of my departmental association, I was made Chairman of the planning committee of the longest week on Campus – The Islam Propagation Week of The Muslim Students’ Society. It’s the only 11-day week I know yet. I must say, it was one life-changing experience for me. I learnt a whole lot and drove myself to the very limits. The search for funds for voracious, I practically drove through the length and breadth of Lagos in the name of fundraising alongside Fadeelah and Hayub most times. We would sneak out of classes to deliver letters and find sponsors. I would never forget my experience with a certain CEO in a hurry though, two minutes with him landed us 400,000naira just like that! I could hardly believe it. I learnt skills I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else, discovered more about Lagos roads and I was glad it was worth the while in the end. The week turned out a massive success.
In the middle of all this, I found myself on my way to the garden city of Port Harcourt, joining my school’s delegation to an annual scientific conference of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN). It was an interesting avenue to interact with senior colleagues and also discover the beautiful city of Port Harcourt. I had a swell time! It was my very first time across the Niger ever, but what a journey that was – 12 whole hours! That trip was followed by another later in the year to Abuja – the Seat of Power! It was an International Summit of medical students from all over and the experience was delightful as well. I met a whole lot of new people with similar challenges as mine, so many jokes only people like us could understand. I also had this adventurous tour of Abuja, I won’t forget too soon.
2014 presented me with so many discoveries; from the delightful pepper soup in the South to the Suya plus Fura de Nunu combination in the North, you can say I’ve had a taste of both worlds. Lol!
Working with the BeyHealth team always finds its way of etching itself into my memories each year. This year we had the first BeyHealth Scientific Conference plus a special Masterclass at Intercontinental Hotel – very remarkable experiences they were.
This year, The Nigerian Child Initiative – an NGO driven by a couple of my colleagues and I, finally found its footing after years of planning. We started out with health education sessions with children in Primary Schools and they couldn’t get enough of us. It was great impacting the lives of those children with the little we’ve got.
And in came Ebola! Surely, one of the most unforgettable experiences in 2014 nationwide! I made the best of it by volunteering and pioneering an organization called Ebola Alert. What started as a chatroom on Facebook went on to become one of Nigeria’s most effective strategies towards combating Ebola. The team – made up of young and innovative minds, set out to increase the level of awareness about Ebola, inform, educate and take reports of suspected cases. From live chats on Facebook to Twitter Chats, Websites, Apps and more popularly, the toll-free Helpline, Nigerians asked myriads of questions and we answered them all! It was a totally exhilarating experience being part of the success story in the end.
I could just go on and on reminiscing – it’s been a beautiful year indeed. In all, I’m grateful to Almighty Allah for all that 2014 was and was not. I’m overwhelmed by His blessings to me and my family. I can only hope and pray 2015 grants me even more unforgettable moments. The prospects and possibilities already look too bright to look at and I can’t even wait.
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Seasons greetings from Perry’s Tots!