“Row row row your boat gently down the stream merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream…”
Indeed life is nothing but a dream! I never knew the¬¬¬¬ true meaning of this nursery rhyme until when I was about to leave for the United States of America on an International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) on ‘Investigative Journalism’ arranged by the World Learning Visitor Exchange Programme.
I was literally the Sierra Leone’s Ambassador in the midst of 15 other journalists from all over the world.
As the date for my departure, May 29th drew near the thought of going to USA made me very anxious as I was going to get the new world experience and learn from it something that will be of immense benefit to my country.
Finally on the day of my departure which seemed like any other day, I never knew that packing to leave would be so tedious. As my time to board the 3:O’clock ferry to Lungi drew near I got mixed feelings. I have never been to the States before and the images of drugs, crime and violence started creeping in giving me goose bumps.
My mind started questioning “how am I going to get through the airport without being lost, or narcotic planted on me or loosing my languages?” As I was in this confused state of mind, a colleague Mohamed Ali arrived with office delivery van to take me to Targrin where I was supposed to board the ferry to the Freetown International airport.
It was frustrating the tumultuous traffic central Freetown, the snail pace ferry ride and the craze to get a transport to the airport.
I was in the queue to check-in when a guy came closer and tried to engage me in conversation;, I gave him short answers, just to tell him indirectly to back out but he kept talking and asked me to help an old lady with her excess luggage. I said to myself “man you must be crazy…” after all the orientation I’ve got about how drug traffickers trick innocent people to serve as couriers for them. I was furious my countenance changed I ignored him and went to the checking room, where another episode unfolded.
There were two guys (I’m quite sure they were JC’s) returning to the Diaspora. They started arguing, one was claiming that the other had jumped the queue. The argument was so intense that it almost ended in physical confrontation. One was bragging that he is British while the other was nothing but a mere cleaner and on arrival in London he would teach him a lesson that he would never forget. The two of them were un-containable in the checking room until the Security Officers intervened.
Then guess who I saw, Paul Hyde! Comium CEO clad in white shirt over sky blue jeans and brown shoes. He seemed perturbed; the smile on his face was unable to cloud what seemed like an emotional distress within.
I boarded the flight and we left for the New World. As we flew over England I was impressed by aerial view which was structurally organized. That was the beginning of a dream…