Dear Diary: NASU Strike Palava (Part Two)

Read Part one of this Diary episode here. In ten minutes, the whole hall was wide awake, then, we realized that the first scream that birth the other screams and frightened the whole hostel was because of a rat. “Awo rat of all things!!!...” I hissed so hard and long that my jaw ached. Who doesn't know that living in Awo means a peaceful co-existence with Awo rabbit-like rats? 


Who doesn't know that during the day, they give us our space and at night they roam however they please or that they are actually the landlords and we, the tenants. From the story that was passed on from floor to floor, she went to pee in the toilet and while she was coming back, she met two rats by the door staring at her. She screamed the first time and when she tried running past them, they ran through her legs. That was when she screamed the second time. I was so angry as I struggled to resume my sleep up until 2am. Our daily quest for water has become a struggle. By 4am, girls are already by the well side fetching water, arguing about whom came first and almost breaking their buckets on each other's head.

On Wednesday, I woke up around seven and realized that my roommate had used my last bucket of water and had gone for her seven o'clock class. (That is story for another day). I dashed out of the room to realize that the only well I could fetch from was the well outside the hall. All others were dry or almost dry. So I joined the queue outside. Before I knew it, two girls began raising voices at each other. One had left her bucket on the queue and gone back inside for some minutes, another claimed that she had been standing for fifteen minutes and had not seen her on the queue. 

Explanations gave way to heated arguments. What kept those girls from breaking each other's head that morning was the fear of SDC (Student Disciplinary Committee) which in UI is the beginning of wisdom. And so, the second girl quietly watched the first girl fetch her water.

Immediately she was done, she went round her three buckets and spat twice into each bucket. When the first girl looked at her in shock, she said "So you want to fetch water while me who came before you will stand at the end of the queue? That can't happen. Lai, lai, both of us are going back". It was my turn next and if I wasn't getting late for my 9am class, I would have stayed to watch. They began arguing again and this time, other Awoites had to interfere. I began wondering why these girls were behaving like mad women over that brownish, slimy water that had to be left to settle after adding Dettol before one could think of using it to bathe. But then, this is what NASU has caused.

I went to Ikem's place on Friday and the feel of clean water dripping from the shower down to my skin cannot be compared to any feeling I had felt recently. For the first time since the beginning of the strike, I felt clean and whole. Nancy; my “jaiye jaiye” roommate just entered the room with a frown on her face, her cloth and her little travelling bag smeared with mud. She was supposed to spend the weekend with her boyfriend till Monday. This is just Saturday. I need to hear this gist. 

 I hope that will be when next I write, it would be of clean buckets of water and peaceful night rest with the electric bulbs on. Till next week. I have got to run. Gossip awaits.

 Your friend

 Me.

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