I’m jolted awake at 11.45pm by a strange dream. In the dream, a baby is sleeping beside me, his small arm draped over my neck. I can feel his rhythmic breathing on my neck.
I try to move his arm, but for some reason, I cannot. After struggling to the point of breathlessness, I manage to move and turn so that I can see the baby better.
He wakes up and starts to whimper. He looks scared, so I pick him up and sit him on my lap. I touch his forehead and he has a burning fever. Concerned, I say, “Let me get you something for your fever,” but he puts his small arms around my neck — he doesn't want me to leave.
I ask, “Who is your mummy?”
“Mr Pee Pee is not my mummy,” he replies in a tiny voice. Were this conversation taking place in real life, I would have probably laughed out loud at this answer, but since this is a dream, I don’t get to appreciate the sense of humour.
Like happens in all interesting dreams, I wake up suddenly, and voilà! There’s no baby, it’s just me in my bed in the hotel, still stranded in Nigeria where I’ve been since March 21, and sorely looking forward to going back home. With nothing better to do, and aware that I will not go back to sleep until morning, I spend quite a bit of time mulling over what that dream means.
After all, this is not the first time I’ve had it. I had dreamt about this baby a day ago and the day before that. I go through one theory after another, striking each out until I settle on the one I decide is the most probable.
I believe the baby is symbolic of new opportunities I hadn’t envisioned knocking on my door in the near future.
The dream seems urgent and is unrelenting, trying to find space in my life no matter how resistant I am. I figure out that I only need to accept it, and allow it to take me where it wants to. However, no matter how much I try decipher what “Mr Pee Pee is not my mummy” means, I don’t succeed, so I let it go.
True, my conclusion may be wishful thinking, but I’m determined to look on the bright side of things, to remember that in the midst of gloomy situations, good things do happen.
Satisfied and at peace, I go online to catch up with the news in Nigeria, Kenya and the rest of the world, as well as what’s trending on Twitter. Twitter can be quite interesting sometimes.
When morning comes, I call my first-born son.
It’s his birthday today, and it saddens me that I’ll not be able to wish him a happy birthday in person and spend some time with him.
Had I been at home, I would have probably bought him cake, and together with close relatives, we would have shared a meal together.
I refuse to despair though, I tell myself that there is always tomorrow, that come next year, I will not be stranded far away from my family, and will therefore get to celebrate this important day with him.
Ms Ndinda is Research Manager, Transform Research Africa Ltd. She is stuck in Nigeria, where she has been since March 21.
TOMORROW: The number of Kenyans looking forward to returning home keeps growing. I know I should be patient. After all, I have been here for weeks, so what’s another week? But I can’t help getting anxious as we inch towards to D-Day.