Bayelsa - Day 3
Yesterday was a 'flying by the the seat of your pants' kind of day.
And started with no water in my room.
The day continued with an email from our host, Oneyka Nwelue (representing AMAA) to update us and set us up for the day. We were informed that there would be a few changes to the programme.
We did have some interesting talks. I especially enjoyed 'Fine Doctors' a panel of Writers who are doctors in the 'day jobs' and talked to us about the balancing act between their work and their art. The title was a deliberate play on the title of the book 'Fine Boys' by Eghosa Imasuan. Then Molara Wood, writer journalist and editor, and Special Advisor to the President on Documentation read a speech on the value of acclaimed authors, reading and BOOKS! She gave special mention to the late great Chinua Achebe.
After a lovely drive which kept bringing the phrase 'Down in the Delta' back to my mind, we arrived at our lunch venue, the Professor E Alagoa Library, where, after a short speech, we enjoyed some of the local delicacy like 'Keke Fiyai' (KKF) its means 'sliced food' and consists of plantain and a thick porridge. YUM! Then we had a tour of the beautifully equipped library. As an avid reader and a lover of books, this was one of my highlights on the trip so far.
The afternoon didn't pan out as the programme planned...my panels were first amended, then replaced with others. I was disappointed and a tad relieved, but mostly disappointed. By the time we were hustled up 3 flights of spiral stairs (us, included the amazing and sprightly 89 year old Poet/Writer Dr Gabriel Okara) we were promised a film, which I was hoping would be 'Mammy Water' by another new friend Sabine Jell-Bahlsen, but alas they couldn't locate any speakers so that didn't happen either.
A hurried panel of writers was convened instead. Another new friend got to talk about her book, and that's never a bad thing for an author.
Back at the busy hotel, we spent the evening in the restaurant. Uti Nwachukwu and his noisy crew at the table across from ours. But what a lovely man! When an altercation broke out, he intervened to calm everyone down.
More new friends to gulp at the fact that I have a 21 year old daughter, and beg for her hand...were: Rebel chuck, Uche (Williams), the beautiful cat-eyed Doris(she didn't beg), Kosara, Eromo (the columnist who doesn't like his name called out loud in a room crowded with Nollywood stars whom he has recently ripped to shreads in his column).
We took reams of photos, including some with a random Scotsman who's name escapes me, but who 'did his Masters in London, is 61 and takes money from the oil companies' for a living.
A good night was had by all.
As for today? I'm having breakfast with Mr Gabriel Okara OON, third morning in a row! WOOP!