The tide was low and the water level was down. You could see the shallow part of the river characterized by mud. Few villagers stationed their canoes on the edge of the mud to fill their baskets with sea food. Little kids paddle on the mud in search of their delicacies. Others paddled their canoes to their homes while the motor boats speed pass, on their way to the capital City.
It was a section of the Kouloma town, on the edge of the Niger Delta, bordered by the Atlantic and the mangrove forest. Accessible only by water or air – if they is an artificial helipad around. The surrounding was serene, with the sounds of the motor engines and the rig close by the only artificial sound around.
I sat on the bench along the bank and i pondered what was beyond this river. I hear the boat ride to the capital city was over 3 hours with a motor boat, paddling a canoe for such distance will result in a journey of over 12 hours. This was my third visit to the creeks but the first time I saw a living community close by.
I imagined how their life cycle maybe. With no health center, the villagers could only get medical attention from bigger villages up the river. Fishing was constant. They paddle around with their fishing nets in the later part of the evening and wee hours of the morning.
I took excitement in seeing the flow of the river, the rise and fall of the tide, the wiggling fishes and cool wind. I marveled at God’s creation. Science is never enough. Every evening, I enjoyed watching the villagers – especially the little ones – pick sea food from the mud that became evident when the tide was down. So much freedom and confidence on the waters, far away from home.
The sunrise was wonderful just as the sunset was a joy to behold. As I took off from the helipad away from the village, I could see the Atlantic ocean and the beauty of how the waves rebounds of the clean white beach. My heart skipped and I longed for the beach but away the chopper flew to the hinterlands.
So much beauty in God’s creation. Give thanks.