Everyone needs an "Efo" Man.

Big moves can be extremely daunting especially when you are doing it by yourself. Many if not all of us have moved for work, school or family at some point in our lives and can relate to those first 24 to 48 hours. Everything seems both foreign and exciting at the same time, you are scared and stressed out but eager to fit in as quickly as possible. I was moving to a new country by myself at a stage in my life where I had built roots elsewhere.

I woke up on my last day in the place I had called home. I was excited, I really was, but at that moment in time, fear had taken over my mind. What was I thinking? I looked out the window of the taxi as it drove past familiar streets for the last time. There was really no going back now.

After 2 plane rides, 1 missed flight and several hours later, I finally arrived. And I was exhausted.

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I got a taxi at the airport, but as we approached what was supposed to be my new address, we realized it didn’t match. All we could see was a huge park. And a lake? No building? This couldn't be it. We drove around for several minutes, but after a while the driver got frustrated. 

...So he dropped me at the front of a police station.

Whyyy? Why me.

It was 1am, pitch black outside with the exception of the police sign in the distance. I could already see it- People would say, “Eya, such a bright young girl and she now went to die in America.” Getting lost, kidnapped or killed was not how I had imagined this big adventure.

Just to point out, this police dropping decision was not my idea.  I was actually very opposed to it, but my opinion didn’t seem to matter to the driver. I guess I should be grateful, there are worse places to be dropped off, right? 

I lugged my suitcases one at a time into the station. At this point I had blisters on my hands from lifting the suitcases from place to place. I approached the man at the front desk, described where I was trying to go and handed him the pile of papers I had printed to help in my navigation. I was prepared, or so I thought. The gentleman was very nice and was actually going to patrol the exact apartment building I was going to. Thank God! The kind man dropped me off at the entrance, and by the time I was done signing all the leasing documents it was almost 3 am when I finally walked into my new empty home.

 
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Against all odds, I had made it. Ok you can tell I am slightly dramatic, but at that point in time I had never been so happy to be under a roof and to see a bed. 

I spent most of the next day on the phone with family and friends and the rest catching up on one of my favourite TV shows. The familiarity of both kept me from the reality that I did not know a single soul. I started to feel hungry so decided to order some Chinese. After a few minutes, the restaurants' delivery man arrived, handed me my food and in exchange I gave him $20. The Lo Mein I ordered was only $11, so I waited for my change. As I stood there, my guy took my money put it in his pocket, turned around and walked out the door. I stood there in shock, no not shock, in a daze.

I was so confused, what just happened? No thank you? 

No pretence to try and look for my change (we all know that delivery person that pretends they don’t have change so that you can give up and just tell them not to bother – Dear delivery person, we know you and we see you). What happened to the formality of giving me back my change and then I nod back to say “No, keep the change?” Was this the tradition in this foreign land that I had just moved to? If it was, maybe it wasn’t too late to carry my belongings and head back to where I just came from. I resisted the urge to run away and ate my Lo Mein with such disdain. Guess what, it wasn’t even that sweet. Hiss!

KNOCK KNOCK. Who's there? Efo riro.

A day after my Chinese food daylight robbery, when all the evidence had long faded, I was starving again. I knew I had to go food shopping but I had been told that I would have to wait 5 days for a specific bus to take me to the store. Their public transportation system was a joke, so my no car struggle was real!

As I was pondering how I would feed myself for the next week, I heard a thump on my front door. I was not expecting guests as I didn’t even know anyone.

First thing I did was run to take off my scarf.

 I’ve found that night scarves tend to confuse unsuspecting viewers (some of my ladies can relate).

I opened the door and this average height, middle aged black man stood in my door way. I swallowed hard and plastered a nervous smile on my face.

“Tomi?” he said, in his unmistakeably deep Nigerian accent.

“Err...” I began.

“Adetiba abi?”

“Yes sir” I said.

“Shey you eat rice, I’m cooking rice.”

I could not believe my ears “Yes! Yes I do” I literally shouted before he changed his mind and decided that I wasn’t enthusiastic enough and didn’t deserve to have his rice.

“How about Efo?” he asked.

 “I eat everything,” I said.

The words came out before I could form posh.

He told me to wait a while and that he would come back to get me once the rice was ready. I was so hungry that I waivered the possibility that he was some psycho using food as a way to lure me. “Whatever” I thought, at least ill die full and happy. Just in case, I ran to my laptop and sent my parents an email. At least if I get kidnapped, there would be someone who knew who took me and where he said he was taking me to. I rushed the email so that I could get it sent before he returned. Now that the evidence of my potential kidnap was on the internet, I followed Efo man to his apartment.

Yes, I know this sounds like the beginning of a thriller movie, but desperate hunger called for desperate measures.

via @DobbysSignature

via @DobbysSignature

I sat down to a plate of rice and efo as I learnt more about my new friend, the ‘Efo man’ whose name was infact Elijah. He was married with 2 children my age and had made a similar transition years before. He worked at the apartment building and after seeing one of my correspondences recognized my name as Nigerian and decided to help me settle in. Elijah gave me great pointers on how best to survive the next couple of days. He wrote down his number and told me to reach out if I was struggling or just needed some Nigerian food (I later repaid the favour by sending him some cooked beans).

I was so thankful for this act of kindness because it showed me that God had and always has my back.

Elijah’s kindness really made my new home seem less daunting. Maybe I made a good choice moving here after all. I guess in life you get an ‘Efo man’ or two for every ‘Chinese food man’.

I had lived to fight another day and now felt somewhat ready to conquer this new world!

16 Extremely random life hacks that maybe you should know.

 

We can't be the only ones that get random forwards from our parents’ right?? It could be an interesting story with a lesson, an article about politics, life happenings, a sermon, a funny video or picture?… just about anything. 

Well, we just got this one. Thank God it did not end with a "Share with 10 friends or else..." but we thought we'd share the wealth anyway. 

Prepare to expand your knowledge with some very random, but interesting "facts." I'd like to believe a couple of these will be relevant at some point?!

 

1. Your shoes are the first things people subconsciously notice about you.  Wear nice shoes. An excuse to buy new shoes? I'll take it! 

2.  Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.

3. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing - food, attractive people and danger. Sounds about right.

4. A person’s height is determined by their father, while their weight is determined by their mother. Eh I'm guessing they mean from your paternal/ maternal side. Not just from them individually.

5.  There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you.  There's a 9% chance that you'll meet one of them in your lifetime. Six people? Gosh I hope not. I'd like to believe I'm more unique than that, sheesh!

6. If a part of your body "falls asleep,” you can almost always "wake it up" by shaking your head.

7. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor. 

8. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping. 

9. Laziness / inactivity kills just as many people as smoking. Really? Not sure if this is factual sha.

10. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia. 

11. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell.

12. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day & while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant. Ok this might look creepy, but worth a try?

13. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds. It doesn't say why, let's just assume it's good for us.

14. Try to make at least THREE people smile each day. Hmm.. might actually consciously try to do this one.

15. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. Word.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:  'In five years, will this matter?' Yesss, some things are just not worth worrying over.. in the grander scheme of things.

 

Pretty random list, but some interesting points here and there, right? What do you think?

Do you get these random forwards too? Send us any you think are worth sharing! We'd love to feature you.

 

SP Loves: 5 Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People

S: There are nuuuumerous articles and books out there that break down the mindset of successful people. They touch on - how successful people spend their days, what they invest in and how they save. There's a ton to learn from them.

D: I mean yeah, it makes sense. People are curious. We're curious. What about these daily habits made them into the successful people they are today? And how can we get in on it?! Afterall it's true when they say, "We are a result of our daily actions." 

S: Exactly, and "Excellence is not an act, but a habit." We recently read an article on LifeHack.Org by Emma Rushton that focuses on weekend habits in particular. These are our favorite excerpts from the article, we thought you'd appreciate them as well;

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1. Robert Iger: Get up early

"This Disney CEO is not the only executive claiming to rise at 4:30 every morning. Successful people do not stay in bed until 2 p.m. on a Sunday. Or even 11 a.m. Research shows that our brains are sharpest two and a half to four hours after waking. Get up early on a weekend and you’ve got a head start on the rest of the world."

2. Steve Jobs: Prioritize what’s important

Things don’t have to change the world to be important. Weekends are the time to remind yourself of the forgotten little things — to keep your work-life harmony (the new ‘balance’) in check and reset if needed. Spending time with your friends, children or partner might not directly increase profits that day or propel you into the limelight, but that doesn’t make it any less important."

3. Randi Zuckerberg: Forget FOMO, Embrace JOMO

In this social media era with Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and the rest, the case of FOMO (fear of missing out) can be too real. On weekends especially, we’re even more prone to FOMO.

"But the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media (and, you guessed it, the sister to Facebook’s creator) says people should be focusing on JOMO (the joy of missing out) — the mantra that “there is nowhere I’d rather be than exactly where I am.” Successful people are often competitive, high achievers by nature — practicing an attitude of gratitude and resisting social-media-induced FOMO is key for a happy weekend. And isn’t happiness the real marker of success?"

4. Bill Gates: Take time to reflect

"The founder of Microsoft famously said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Reflection should be a daily practice but the weekends are a perfect opportunity to step back and reflect on the lessons of the previous week and to make improvements for the next. Author of “The Happiness Project,” Gretchen Rubin, suggests starting a “one sentence journal” to encourage daily reflection. Make Saturday or Sunday your day to flick back through the week’s entries!"

5. Jay Z: Keep up the momentum

"He’s made an empire as a highly successful rap artist and entrepreneur, and the secret is right there in his lyrics: “You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can’t falter. You can’t slip. You can’t sleep. One eye open, for real, and forever.” (Decoded) Jay Z didn’t become worth $520 million by only wanting it five out of seven days of the week. If you want to eventually spend your weekends on a luxury yacht in the Caribbean with Beyoncé, unrelenting grit and persistence might just get you there!"

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S: Great pointers, right? You probably already do some of these things, but there are some worth picking up. The getting up early one? That one spoke to me. 4:30am is when my dreams are entering gear 3 lol and after a hard week, I love sleeping in on Saturdays, but maybe it's time to work on that a bit. 

D: The Jay-Z one cracked me up. "You can't sleep. One eye open, for real and forever." Paranoid much?! We get the drift though: Persistence is key. I loved the Bill Gates one about taking time to reflect. I'm going to start jotting things down at the end of every day so by the weekend I can more accurately reflect on the past week and how to move forward. I sort of do that now, but I think Consistence is key, too.

S: Absolutely.

So the main gist from this post is:

Success is a 24/7 lifestyle choice - weekends included!

What do you think of the list? Do you have any other tips to incorporate into weekend habits?