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Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #5 – Early GSL Days

“So that was the end of September, right? What was next?” Anasah asked curiously.

I smiled and shook my head. “A lot. For one, the school was getting quite serious about us having our certificates and transcripts, although there was still some leeway. The University of London would usually have ours ready around that period, but for some reason, they weren’t ready, so I just had to wait and see. In the meantime, we waited for our campus allocations. I was hoping for Greenhill, so I’d be closer to home. But when they came in the next week, it was that which I didn’t want which was given to me.”

“Mmmmm, the Kumasi campus,” Oscar completed for me.

“Yeah. That was the option I did NOT want at all. So as soon as it came, I was immediately looking to change it. Coz chale, I did not want to be that far from home, and getting accommodation around Tech would be one helluva headache, since it was October and Tech students were already in school. So yeah, I tried some connections to get it changed. I waited anxiously for a good response.

“And at the end of the day, I didn’t get. The authorities said they could not change mine, so chale, Kumasi it was. I was not happy at all, but it didn’t take long for me to just embrace it. The most important thing was that I was in, and if I had to go outside the capital to complete the journey, so be it.

“So we found some connections to a room on campus and duly paid for it. It was a room for 2, though, so I needed a roommate. And obviously, I preferred to have a fellow GSL student with me, so I put it up in the new class page. And I remember receiving a call from one gentleman called Senyo one evening regarding the room. I gave him the details, and that was it. So by the end of October, I made my way out of Accra and landed in Kumasi, ready to start life as a ‘Kejetia’ student.”

They snickered at the reference. “Hmmm, Makola vs Kejetia tins. I remember when we watched that show one evening,” Diamond murmured. “Daddy was laughing his head off within the first ten minutes, but by the end, he seemed quite unimpressed. As for Maa, forget!”

“Oh, she did not enjoy it one bit!” Serwaah added. “By the middle of the second episode Daddy put on, she was like, turn it off. Nobody argued. It was a bit funny, mohm, but… I got lost, to be honest.”

“It was the way the jokes were far too many for me,” Toby said. “Chale, it was like concentrated Vimto. Way too much comedy. At least some small dilution would make it nicer. But anyways, to each their own. Some will probably love it like somtin.”

“That’s true, mohm. So anyways, life in Oseikrom was… pretty good. The month of November was a generally okay one. Getting used to my roommate, my colleagues in class, the lecturers, the people around the hostel… it was a slow but gradual process. Church too was there, as I joined the Tech branch of Firm Foundation and got used to the people there. Another great bunch of peeps.

“But as time went on, there was a little issue. Like I said, the University of London usually dispatches our graduation documents to us before the end of the year. By November di33, it’s in. But the month was going by, and there was no word. I was sending e-mails, enquiring about what was happening. No response. It wasn’t something I was exactly losing sleep over, but I really just wanted it to be complete, so I’d have my piece of mind.

“Then December came, and that’s where the stress began to hit. The first week, I was sitting in class, waiting for ADR to start, then suddenly, I received a call. It was from the Registry of the school back in Accra, and they said the authorities were demanding we submit our certificates and transcripts. The kind of pressure I had heaped on me after that call was crazy! I explained that the school had not made them ready yet, but chale, they were acting on orders from above, and my deadline was the end of the week. Come and see stress!”

“Wow! What did you do?” Toby asked.

“I left the class and went to a place to browse, so I could apply for a letter confirming my completion of the course, since the certificates weren’t ready. After that, I returned to the hostel, coz I was stressed. Since I didn’t have those docs, I didn’t have my admission letter, and so my stay was starting to look a lil shaky. I was calling the University of London, explaining myself to them. They’ll say this and that and submit the letter. I did that, but as I saw the next day, that wasn’t sufficient. They needed the actual certificate.”

“Ah, but how?” Oscar asked, looking confused. “Abi the letter was coming directly from the University of London?”

I nodded. “Yeah, it was. With the explanation that the certificates would be ready in January.”

“So what more did they want, lah? It’s not like you were withholding it intentionally.”

“Hmmmm, Oscar, that period wasn’t easy for me ooo. In hindsight, I don’t wanna be nasty to the women, coz they were working under authority, but they seemed soooo unreasonable at that time. Nobody wanted to have the documents as eagerly as me, but my hands were tied. And the London people too, when you call, same old same old. It was pretty frustrating.”

“Chale, stresssss!” the twins said. Then Anasah asked, “So what happened next?”

“Well, at some point, there was a bit of respite. I think the Deputy Registrar gave some assurance that there would be no sacking or anything. So for Thursday and Friday, I had some relief. But then, the voices came back. They started saying ‘you see? If you hadn’t disobeyed God, you wouldn’t be going through this’. So now I started wondering, ei, was this really the right choice? It lingered for a little while, but eventually, I fought and pushed it somewhere.

“Then the next week came, and that was honestly the scariest.

“I was in class again on Tuesday, I think, and right after a lecture, I got a call again from the school. At that point, I’m already shaking when I see the name on my Truecaller. The lady speaking to me pointed out that my certificate and transcript were missing from my file, and that I needed to get them to the school by Friday, or else I’d have to forfeit my admission and try again next year. Guys, by the time that call was over, I felt deflated.”

“Forfeit the admission and start all over again! Eiiii! Chale, like it would be disgraceful ooo!” Diamond exclaimed. “After leaving Accra coz of law school, then less than 2 months later, you’re returning because you’ve been sacked, so to speak. Eii! Like I wouldn’t know how to face my friends ooo.”

“Dee, it was not a joke. Herh, after everyone at church, most of my relatives and all knows I’m in law school. It frightened the crap out of me. I was mad disturbed. So chale, back to disturbing the people at the University of London. I made calls, hit brick walls… it was so frustrating. At that point, the voices suddenly seemed to have been telling the truth. Now it really felt like I had been disobedient, and this disgrace would be my due punishment. It was one hell of a low feeling.

“Wednesday came, and I was still… nah, wait. The call actually came on Wednesday oooo, with Friday as the deadline.”

“AH!” the Dolphynes gasped, looking amazed.

“But how can you get those in just two days? Especially when it’s from London?” Toby asked, looking quite bewildered by the experience.

“Chale, that was exactly my thoughts. I was continuing to make calls, coz at that point, it was serious. Then I got to one of the heads in charge of the Diploma Production Office. I told him everything. He didn’t understand why the school wanted the certificate at all costs. I remember him calling their actions ‘strange’…”

“Hm! Strange is an understatement!” Diamond said, shaking her head.

“Hmmm, well. He repeated the same old thing; that it was only gonna be ready in January. At that point, I didn’t know what to do again. GSL says bring those docs. UoL says they are not ready. Chale, I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know what else to do, coz I had done everything else I could do.

“So later on in the day, I was walking to the office of our Campus Co-Ordinator, just to see if I could explain the situation to him and see if there was any way by which he could help. As I walked there, I hadn’t checked my phone in a while. When I did, I saw an e-mail from the man I had spoken to. Mr. Gordon Dewar. In fact, lemme check, it should still be there…”

I stopped to take out my phone and check my Gmail inbox. Within a couple of minutes, I had found the email in question.

“Aha, so this is what my eyes saw: Dear Sean, thank you for your call earlier. I am pleased to be able to say we can have your certificate ready for production and despatch tomorrow. Can you just re-confirm the full address you would like it sent to, and also provide a contact telephone number for our courier service to contact you if needed? Kind regards, Gordon.

“Woooooowwwww!” Everyone clapped their hands by the time I was done reading the life-saving e-mail.

“Herh, God is good papa!” Diamond exclaimed.

“I tell you ooo,” Oscar agreed. “This one diɛɛ, ibi like God told him to do it. Straight.”

“That’s the only logical conclusion, chale. So quickly, I sent him the details, I did a 180 degree turn and went to the hostel. The package left London around 6 and was scheduled to arrive in Ghana by Friday morning. See eh, the way I followed the tracking! Not a joke. As I’m waiting, then I’m thanking God and feeling relieved that the voices were indeed liars. We didn’t have a lecture on Thursday, so that was all I did for the day: keep track of the package.

“Friday morning came, and around 9 o’clock or so, the DHL guy called. I had given the school address as the place to go, so I spoke to the lady had been disturbing me. I told her those were the documents needed. So she acknowledged receipt and said she’d do the photocopies and keep the original docs for my mother to pick up. And that was the end of my worries.”

Once again, there was a round of applause from them, clearly impressed by what God did for me.

“That was my Made A Way moment. Coz chale, my back truly was against the wall, and until the e-mail came, it really looked like it was over. I would have to go and struggle and write that entrance exam all over again. Herh! Just think about it. You passed it ooo, but coz of your documents, you were kicked out and made to sit for it again. I mean, chale chale chale…”

“So demoralizing,” Serwaah sighed. “And the way those exams are too, you can’t be assured that you’ll pass again.”

“Exactly! Especially in light of how tiny the numbers after us were. 128 out of 1,820. So all those things really roughed me up. But once God has a plan for your life, it doesn’t matter what comes your way. He will make it come to pass and you’ll be amazed at how He ties things up together for your good and for His glory.”

“AMEN!”

“So it was at our Carols Service and Dinner that I really felt that sense of victory and accomplishment. Chale, we made it! All of us had been hoping and praying that we make it into the Ghana School of Law, and by the grace of God, we did. That was it! The journey was well on its way to that beautiful conclusion we had been dreaming about. Just a matter of hard work and depending on His grace to take us through…”

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