Happy New Year, Happy New Semester…

…by Kiki / from Nigeria / MSc Global Health and Infectious Diseases / 2017-2018

BONNE ANEE!!!!!

Yeah that was me attempting to show off a little French. I have been taking French lessons and making use of the Duolingo Language App; highly recommended if you wish to learn any European language. But I digress….

Seriously, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!!

Its 2016 and we made it! That’s a whole lot to be grateful for.

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. Here in Nigeria, the holiday period seemed longer than most because the holidays and weekends were all clustered together giving us five continuous work-free days. Let me explain – In case you didn’t know, Nigeria’s two major religions are Islam and Christianity. Now, for the first time ever, (since I was born anyway), Ed-il-Malud, the Muslim celebration for the birth of Mohammed, preceded Christmas day on Thursday 24th December. Subsequently, Friday 25thDecember was Christmas Day and Saturday was Boxing Day. Now the norm in Nigeria is to move any celebration that falls on a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to the next working day (usually a Monday) – which was exactly what happened! Throughout the holidays, I did a lot of cooking, hosting of visiting extended family members (in the family house), meeting up with friends and binge-watched all 7 seasons of “Modern Family”. Watching Modern Family was a time well spent – I laughed mostly, got misty-eyed sometimes and learned some life lessons.

So, 2016, how is it going to be? What do you expect?

Well, for me, I expect to find happiness in whatever I do, wherever I go and in my life aspirations. Finding happiness and fulfillment and aiming for a better ME will be my key drivers for my decision-making. And as I believe in God, I recognize that I am human but I expect and pray to always do His will and be a blessing to humanity. Life is short and can be silly, but Life can be happy just as much. Ensure you DO YOU!

So I “resumed school” officially yesterday and I was literarily bombarded with the loads of academic work waiting for me already. I am now starting a new 10-credit course called “Introduction to Project Cycle Management”. As much as I felt bombarded, I also felt ready to dig in and learn as much as I can because this is one of my most career-relevant courses. Also, it was interesting to find out that as part of the course activities, my colleagues and I have been divided into teams of 3 and 4 to work together on a graded group project. Interestingly, this group project perfectly imitates the situation that usually exists in real-life core international development practice where time-zone difference of respective team members is common and virtual correspondence is necessary. So, I guess this is quite fitting in this circumstance as an ODL student. BIG cheers to a new year and a new academic semester and I look forward to another time of learning and capacity building as an ODL student. Also, I wish you all the best in your academics, careers, families and personal life. Expect great things this year and most importantly, expect to live happy!

P.S – Don’t be surprised if my next post would be entirely written in French (LOL!)


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