Almost two weeks ago, I was called by the beautiful Alissa, my Program Contact at Atlas Corps who told me there was an available evacuation flight from the United States to Nigeria for July 3, 2020 and if I’m interested in going with that flight home, Atlas Corps will quickly make that possible.
My fellowship was officially going to end on July 13, 2020. But then, by July 3, I will be on my two weeks personal time off, which will lead to the end of my fellowship. Excitedly I took that offer. So the preparation started from then on. Atlas Corps paying for my flight ticket, my train ticket to New Jersey where I was going to fly out from, booking my accommodation where I will be self quarantining in Lagos Nigeria and providing all the support needed to ensure my trip home was smooth. I also had to carry out a COVID-19 test. Every preparation towards going home got me even more excited. I couldn’t wait to go home. There was a lot I looked forward to experiencing when I get home.
As planned, we departed on July 3 and safely arrived 10 hours later. Sitting in my room and reflecting on my 18 months fellowship in the US, three things come readily to mind. They are the words accomplishments, gratitude and fulfillment.
My Atlas Corps journey was nothing but amazing. With well laid out strategies of what I planned to achieve on arrival in the US, I intentionally lived my life following those strategies. The accomplishments made are things I am happy and proud of.
I am grateful for Scott Beale and the entire Atlas Corps team. All your efforts through out my Atlas Corps journey contributed to making my fellowship experience worthwhile and amazing. You all are one of the reasons I was able to achieve all I achieved. Even while I’m still on a 14 days quarantine in a hotel in Lagos, you are still making sure I’m comfortable. You guys rock and I appreciate you all. Thank you for all you do. It is indeed life-transforming.
I’m also grateful for my Host Organization, Susan G. Komen. They provided a comfortable platform for me to learn, thrive and grow. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to serve. There was no day I ever felt like not going to the office. I loved every experience I had there. My supervisors and colleagues were awesome. I’m grateful for the people at Komen and the impacts I made at that organization.
Looking back, I feel happy. I feel like a man who had fulfilled the 18 months potion of my purpose. I am glad for the fellows, friends and colleagues I met. Some of whom have turned to family and close allies. These networks, friendships and relationships built are priceless and won’t be taken for granted.
I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I am so looking forward to the next phase of my career journey. I am committed to continue adding value to my world and making it a better place than I found it.
Most importantly, I am looking forward to seeing my family after this 14 days quarantine. 14 days now feels like 14 years. I must say that without the support of my wife, I wouldn’t have been able to even travel to the US. She kept encouraging me to keep keeping on. She made the greatest sacrifice that I will forever be grateful for. I’m grateful for her believe and support in me.
Finally, this is a toast to the end of an amazing era and the beginning of an even more amazing one. As an Atlas Corps Alumni, I will always represent.