Locked Out of My Country

Selma Ndi
Posted April 6, 2020 from Cameroon
An uplifting poem about the end of the pandemic
May we be better people when this is all over

I have been locked out...

It is week 3 and I am stuck at an Airbnb in Togo

I traveled out of Cameroon on the 15th of March 2020, to attend a wedding in Ghana on the 17th of March.

Whilst in Ghana, the number of COVID-19 cases grew in Cameroon, so one of the measures taken was to close the Cameroon borders.

I tried reaching the government through the Cameroon consulate here to no avail. I then traveled to Togo with the intention of taking the 2-days bus drive through Nigeria back to Cameroon.

When I got to Togo, the Ghanian government decided to shut down its borders too, that meant I couldn't get back into Ghana. I couldn't as well continue on the bus trip because Cameroon Land borders were closed too.

I am alone, in a country I have never been to before, living in a rented apartment, and wondering how everyone else is doing.

I am spending this time taking remote courses on JavaScript and React, putting myself out there through various work channels looking for remote work. This has not been all bad. I just miss my younger ones so much, I miss eating some Cameroonian food, having some laughs with my friends, and basically just going out.

These are things I took for granted before. Thank God for the World Pulse Online Family, I read stories here and I am super encouraged, and though virtually, I get to spend time with all of you through your stories.

One poem has elevated throughout this period

                    "When this is over, may we never again take for granted

                                  A handshake with a stranger

                                  Full shelves at the store

                                 Conversations with neighbors

                                 A crowded theater

                                Friday night out

                               The taste of communion

                               A routine checkup

                             The school rush each morning

                            Coffee with a friend

                            The stadium roaring

                             Each deep breath

                               A boring Tuesday

                               Life itself.

                            When this ends

                               may we find

                          that we have become

                              more like the people

                            we wanted to be

                             we were called to be

                             we hoped to be

                            and may we stay

                              that way — better

                               for each other

                            because of the worst."

                                                   by Laura Kely Fanucci

 I actually don't know when I will get home, I don't know how soon I will be able to see my family again, I don't even know how soon I will sleep on my own bed, I am just happy I can talk and keep in contact with them through WhatsApp.Let's just be reminded to cherish every single moment, call a friend, check up on her, laugh uncontrollably, spend as much time with your loved ones as possible, eat as much as your stomach can take, be happy for no reason, love genuinely, and above all....thank God that you get to experience this part of history.

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 22

Log in or register to post comments
Leah Wangui Njuguna
Apr 06
Apr 06

Hello Selma, I empathize with your situation in a foreign country alone but the fact that you are able to communicate with your family members through WhatsApp is a bit of a relieve. Please try to stay positive and safe trusting in God that a vaccine will be found soon so that you can go back home.

Selma Ndi
Apr 09
Apr 09

Thank you so much Leah. Do stay safe and enjoy the Easter season

Jill Langhus
Apr 06
Apr 06

Hi Selma,

Thanks for sharing your update. Sorry to hear that you got stuck somewhere and you're feeling lonely. I hope you don't get stuck there for too long, but I'm glad that you're so optimistic, grateful and using your time to learn new things, too.

Hope you and your family stay safe and well:-)

Selma Ndi
Apr 09
Apr 09

Thank you Jill . I just love your personality so much

Jill Langhus
Apr 10
Apr 10

You're welcome, love:-)

Thank you!!

XX

Chidimma
Apr 06
Apr 06

Hi Selma, lovely poem " When this is over, may we never again take this for granted...."
Pls stay safe. Is nice to know your making good use of your time learning something new, not staying idea.
Pls stay safe.
Hugs.

Selma Ndi
Apr 09
Apr 09

Thank you so much Chidinma. I love the name . Hope you keeping safe as well

Hello, Selma,

I admire your positivity despite of being alone in a place you aren't familiar with. It's great to know you are using your time well. Let us pray and hope this will end soon. Yes! I love that quote by Laura Kely Fanucci. Thanks for sharing it here.

Please stay safe. Please update us, too!

Selma Ndi
Apr 09
Apr 09

Thank you so much Karen . Hope you keeping safe during this period

You’re welcome, dear sister. How are you now?

I’m safe and well by God’s grace. Thank you.:)

Metiege Noel Eve
Apr 10
Apr 10

Wow sis thank you for sharing it is hard for you I understand but try enough to enjoy your trip and don't freak out. Your family is sure concerned about your health situation now
STAY SAFE

Selma Ndi
Apr 10
Apr 10

Thank you so much sis Metiege. There is sure a light at the end of the tunnel . Hope you keeping safe

nadege
Apr 10
Apr 10

Hey sister, don't worry be happy, myself I'm in India was to return to Cameroon on the 25th but couldn't because of India's and Cameroon borders lock down, here in India we are discriminated upon, the other day as blacks we where refused Access to some groceries shop, I was even chased out of a hotel because I'm a foreigner and black, you are in Togo, Togo is like Cameroon, it is nearer home, just be happy, enjoy what you can enjoy and above all give God the Glory for He probably had saved you Form many awful situations ahead. Just be happy, till we regain our motherland Cameroon.

Selma Ndi
Apr 10
Apr 10

This is so sad. I am so sorry Nadege . This gets me really emotional, how are you holding up? Are u getting any food, are you safe, please do keep us updated . I hope you find a way out soon. I am so sorry that at this time and age, discrimination still exist because of race. Take care of yourself

nadege
Apr 10
Apr 10

Then it means you haven't watch what is currently on going in China, Nigerians and other black brothers are been chased out and left stranded, Chinese people accuse them of the course of coronavirus they have banned Africans into super markets and have chased them out from their hotel rooms, and even evicted from the appartments they rent. My dearest He that is in me is greater than He that is in the world. God is my protector and thus you too, and all of us sisters

Selma Ndi
Apr 10
Apr 10

Do keep safe sis . I love that you believe in God . May He keep you safe during this period

nadege
Apr 10
Apr 10

Amennnn, be safe this too shall pass

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 10
Apr 10

Hello Selma,
You have such strength to have adjusted to all of these sudden border crossing closings and faced now with being kept from returning. Such strength to so beautifully remind us all of what we can do that is positive and possible. We are so lucky to be able to stay in touch through World Pulse, to know where each other are. Thank you for the poem, please stay in touch.
Love in sisterhood,
Tam

Selma Ndi
Apr 10
Apr 10

Thank you so much Pam . World pulse has been such an encouraging platform for me

Harris Namutebi
Apr 14
Apr 14

Selma,
God will see you through this process, my prayer is stay strong as you await for end of the lock down.

lauraswny
Apr 17
Apr 17

thanks for sharing the poem - a great writing prompt we could all borrow...when this is over may we never again take for granted....fill in our story

Chinyere Kalu
May 06
May 06

Woah! What a mixed bag. Mixed bag because you are locked out of your country yet opportunity to improve yourself presents itself. You are far from your loved ones yet very close.
You will be fine because you have a positive outlook.
Hang in there Sis!
So you will be the one to tell your story.
For this too shall pass.