I thought it was a joke, I knew it wasn’t April 1st but I sure hoped that the pilot was either joking or at least made a mistake with the announcement he had just made. We had spent more than half an hour in the air and were hoping to land in Nigeria soon. My friend and I were eager to return home after been away for a month. We had gone for an elective posting in Ghana. I could feel my heart beat faster and thoughts run through my head as the pilot announced that we won’t be landing in Nigeria that night because of a weather situation.
I wasn’t scared we were going to have a turbulent flight, an accident or anything like that. My concern was what our fate was going to be. We didn’t have anywhere to sleep, we had checked out from the school hostel we stayed, we had given our last Ghanaian currency to the driver that brought us the airport ‘cos we thought to ourselves, ‘there is no point carrying cedis and pesewas to Nigeria’. We even felt like good Samaritans when we gave him the coins in our wallets little did we know that those coins were soon going to become like gold.
We arrived back in the Ghanaian airport and waited for another 30 minutes before one of the airline officials came to address us. They apologized for inconveniences caused and assured us that we would leave with another airline the next morning. They sounded so confident as though they had an agreement with the airline. Little did we know that they were just deceiving us. They had no such plans. Sadly, we were told that there was no accommodation available for us but we could sleep in the departure hall, that place that was so cold and had only metal chairs. It was the height of discomfort.
You know what the Bible says about how God watches over the sparrows, that night we knew that it’s not the security guards or high fenced walls that keep us safe but a Father that watches over us, One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. After the announcement everyone found their square root. Some lodged in hotels, others went to their houses or houses of people they knew, my friend and I had no place to go and even when one man offered us a place with him in his hotel room, we didn’t think twice before politely saying ‘no’. I mean, we weren’t that desperate.
The night was cold and seemed very long. We slept with our bags beside us; we hugged the ones we could hug and put the others between us. The continuous announcements from the public address system topped the list of problems. it was a night I couldn’t wait to end. My bones were aching. The thought of where we should have been sleeping if all things went according to plan kept popping in my head and made me upset but you know what they say; Man proposes but God disposes. I checked the time over and again because I just wanted it to be morning.
6am the next morning, we were on the queue ready to board the other airline. Little did we know that we were on our own (OYO). Before we could say Jack Robinson, we were told to step aside and allow the passengers who originally booked the airline proceed. That’s how we waited for the spokesman for the first airline. The most annoying part was how sluggish and not straight forward he was. Nothing he said was true. While people started getting impatient, he kept smiling and telling us that his boss was coming. Those who were ‘smart’ enough and had the money chaply booked with the airline we were bounced from. The other available flight for us was by 5.45pm and another by 7.45pm. The prices of the tickets were unbelievably high and kept increasing by the hour. We needed to act fast.
We made some calls and decided to book with the earlier flight which was about 100 dollars more expensive. We waited in the airport and only hoped for time to pass faster. The airline that ditched us refunded us and so we got cash to buy something to eat. Evening came and you won’t believe it but the airline we thought will leave 2 hours before the 100 dollars cheaper airline took off at the same time due to some annoying delay. I wanted to enter my chair when I heard the announcement that the second airline was ready to take off while ours had not boarded.
Anyways to cut the long story short we got to Nigeria safely after spending almost 30 hours in the airport. It initially seemed like the devil himself wanted to frustrate us but this experience thought me that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD. In that situation when it seems all hell has been let loose, it important to remember that you have a Father who is always there watching over you. Remember, things could be worse than they are so in all things give thanks.
‘If you have lost anything, remember God is the reason you haven’t lost everything’ – Bishop David Oyedepo
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