Posts Tagged ‘University of Ibadan’

The assignment was about community mobilization- encouraging a community of people to address an issue and see that they worked together towards the solution. Professor Ojebode told the fifty of us in the Communication Development class that we were to choose a primary school within the University of Ibadan campus or outside in the city to do a mobilization project about hand washing. Why it is important for kids to wash their hands, when they should wash and what they can wash with if there is no water. My group decided to take another route. We chose St. Matthews Primary School in Ajibode, a neighborhood just on the other side of a very threatening bridge far out in the UI campus. Our topic was wearing shoes, why it’s important and what can happen if you do not wear shoes. Many school children in Nigeria walk barefoot outside regularly.

Women carrying loads, starting the journey over the bridge that connects UI campus at the botanical gardens and Ajibode.

The hot sand can burn their feet, the vast assortment of sharp trash on the ground can cut them, walking through puddles of stagnant water after the rains can give them terrible parasites.

If you step too close to the sides, this is what you could fall into. During the rainy season, the water level reaches the bridge.

The list goes on. On the day of the presentation, we met laughs, lyrical songs, and loud voices of the small school children. Poverty was apparent there. Some kids didn’t have shoes or the money to fix their torn blue and white striped school uniforms. Pictures alone could not capture the mood of that morning, so I made this video to share with everyone.

My group members walking back towards campus after a very successful morning at the school.

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Goats are part of the crowd on campus. Here, in front of Tedder Hall on the University of Ibadan campus, two goats meander around, looking for something to nibble.

The newly remodeled Trenchard garden, commonly called the Love Garden at UI. People sit and gist under the canopies with the Trenchard clock tower looming behind. During convocation time, the square is filled with graduates and their families celebrating.

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Hard to believe it’s already February 7th. The dry heat of the harmattan teased us with a short return, but now it’s back to the sticky, wet, unbearably hot humidity. Most of my friends in Wisconsin are probably still reeling from last night’s Super Bowl win. I decided not to watch the game because it would have meant staying up until 5 a.m. In a country where hardly anyone knows what the Super Bowl is, I figured I could forgo it this year. Congratulations to all the Packers fans out there.

I took these pictures today in between my two classes and many conversations with professors and students about the situation in Egypt. An interesting story is coming about Nigerian’s opinions of the revolutions spreading through many of Africa’s Arab countries.

View of UI from the top floor of Faculty of Arts. On the right you see the student agriculture fields and the left is the Faculty of Education.

My new friends and I posing in the Faculty of Arts quadrangle between classes. These girls are all my age, in my African Prose Fiction class.

Women all over campus, like these three here, work all morning and early afternoon sweeping leaves, debris and red dust for the street to make UI campus clean and beautiful. Sometimes I think these ladies do the most work out of anyone on campus.

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tree blocking gate UI

This tree fell in October, blocking the path between Social Sciences and the sports fields. I duck my head under the tree everyday to get to class.

Sunday afternoon study session on the bleachers. I have passed this place a few times when the bleachers were full and a class was in session.

A typical January day. The path behind the freshly painted faculty of arts.

Trees and bushes line the path behind Faculty of Arts at University of Ibadan.

The dusts from the harmattan season cover the UI tennis courts.

The yard of the Student Union Building quiet on a Sunday afternoon. During the week the place is filled with students, people selling phone cards, books, magazines and snacks.

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tedder hall UI

Tedder Hall boy's hostel, University of Ibadan

I appreciate the architecture around University of Ibadan so much because of how geometric it is. So many of the buildings build tessellations into their design. You see repeating shapes on buildings all over. They all catch my eye and add to the beauty of this campus.

UI library fac of arts

Tesellations. A front view of the University of Ibadan library and part of Faculty of Arts

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Well it’s 12 days into the new year, over a month after we thought we would be starting class at the University of Ibadan, and neither classes nor registration has started yet. Our Yoruba teachers at the Language Flagship center on campus have finally decided to resume Yoruba classes while we wait for U.I. to get organized. U.I. was supposed to start on December 6th but the professors requested more time off for break so they extended the date to January 3rd. Now I hear registration hasn’t even started for some reason unknown to me, so we won’t start classes until next week at the earliest. I have come to understand that this is just Nigeria, nothing happens on time. We have been on break from all classes for the past two and a half months but at least signs of academic life are starting to show. Freshers are starting to pour into campus. Shiny faced girls with brand new weave ons walk in packs, exploring their new home. Really young looking boys with tight jeans and black rimmed glasses saunter around, looking all freshman like. Campus is coming to life. In Nigeria, first year University students are usually between 16 and 18 years old. They go to University after completing SS3 (secondary school level 3) and after taking the WAEC (West African Examination Council) exam.

Starting a new college semester is always something I look forward to. The idea of getting back in the academic and social groove with fascinating classes excites me. Reuniting with friends and meeting new ones in classes is the best. But this semester I have a totally different set of nerves. I am anxious but patient, excited but fearful. Overall, I am ready. Academically, I have no idea what to expect from this semester at the University of Ibadan. Will it be difficult? Will I have to study hard? I don’t even understand how we register for classes. Friends is an entirely other situation since I will know absolutely no one on the first day but everyone will surround me and ask me mine. It already takes me twice as long to walk home as it did four days ago because of all the people– complete strangers and people I’ve met once and don’t remember at all–who greet me on the way. At least all of the University classes are in English (except the foreign language classes) so I can soak up the new environment with the ease of understanding the professor without too much attention.

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I can try my best to describe the University of Ibadan campus, my current home, with words. But words become obsolete when I have a camera and (questionable) internet connection. I am excited to start this new category on my blog, which I’ll call UI Snapshots. This way you can see what I see everyday.
UI alums, if there is any part of the campus you want to see in particular, just comment and I’ll snap it.

I took these pictures of Social Sciences on January 9, 2011.

social sciences UI view

Abundant trees on the University of Ibadan campus. View of the sports fields, Faculty of Social Sciences courtyard from the third floor.

UI path, faculty of social sciences

Paved pathway that leads through the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan Campus

okadas against wall social sciences

Two dusty okadas find a parking place against the stone wall at UI's Faculty of Social Sciences.

UI social sciences hallway

Professors' offices open up to a sunny balcony at Faculty of Social Sciences at UI.

A lizard almost blends in with the wall above a tattered message board at UI's Faculty of Social Sciences.

scaffolding UI social sciences

Workmen fixing the roof at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UI

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Alarm clocks are useless to me in Nigeria. Every morning around 6:30 a.m., whether I want to wake up or not, the piercing caws of chickens wake me from my slumber. If you have never heard a cock crow before, it is not as pleasant as the fairy tale version cock-a-doodle-doo. It is alarmingly loud and obnoxious, especially when the cock is sitting directly under my open window. On the UI campus, neighborhoods in Ibadan and every city I have visited in Yorubaland, chickens (adie) roam free.

Chickens being chickens.

I have even spotted some brave ones dodging car, bus and okada traffic in Lagos. In the more peaceful cities, chickens mingle with foot traffic on the roads, scurry around peoples homes, bobbing their long necks as they walk. Usually you see them in groups of two or more, occasionally a pack of chicks trails behind trying to keep up.

Chickens are not the only non-humans I encounter on a daily basis. Goats are just as present, trotting around sniffing for food while leaving little pellet droppings everywhere. They come in all colors and sizes.

A goat and a chicken on the roadside inside the UI campus.

The baby ones are my favorite. Even though I have been here for four months and have become totally accustomed to sharing my surroundings with these friendly mammals, I still stop in my tracks whenever I see a baby goat to say “awwwww.” Goats are street smart. They are good at avoiding cars and okadas so you never see dead ones on the side of the road.

The chickens and goats we see all over town, which eventually make it into our soups and stews are actually someone’s property. Rather than caging them, the owners let them roam free during the day and when night falls they all return to their respective homes to sleep. When the time comes to sell or kill the animal, the owners go out and wrangle it up. Their ability to discern their black goat with white spots from all the rest baffles me, but I guess when you own a goat, you know it well.

The last creature that I see all over campus besides the standard mosquitos, flies, ants and cockroaches is lizards. Lizards–big ones with bright orange and black bodies–are everywhere! On average they are about 9 inches (23 cm) long. They dash all over walls and the ground. Smaller geckos even scamper on the walls in my house. These reptiles are harmless and petrified of humans, they just add to the whole experience.

I just thank God that I can manage to fall back asleep after the first cock crow in the morning. The ear plugs I specifically asked my mom to send from America help a lot too.

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The Nigerian lawnmower is a machete. Men hunch over and chop at the grass. The University of Ibadan campus takes landscaping very seriously so you see grass cutters out all the time.

This man cuts the grass in the backyard of my house.

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