May the soul of the departed rest in peace. Yes, Nigeria won yesterday, but thoughts about that fatal plane crash in Medellin, was what flooded my mind.
A plane carrying members of the Brazil Serie A side Chapecoense, crashed in Colombia, killing more than 70 people. And they were scheduled to play in the Copa Sudamerica finals against Atletico National in Medellin today.
Today, we left Buea. The Super Falcons of Nigeria and Banyana Banyana of South Africa even left before us because they would have to board a 9am flight from Doula which is about 2hours from Buea.
Meanwhile, CAF provided a bus for us journalists to embark on a six-hour journey. We were only Nigerian journalists in the bus. It started by picking up Janine, Jessica, Cecilia and Bidemi from Limbe, before coming to Mutengene to wait for us coming from Buea (Tobi, Busayo, Nobert, Bamidele, Faith and I).
It was a smooth trip. Just that there were too many stops because the driver, in spite of knowing his bus was branded with regards to the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, kept picking up passengers.
We passed by a Banana plantation, that had its bunches protected by blue nylon bags and a well arranged rubber plantation. We discussed a lot about the Super Falcons performance at the Women's AFCON, analysing players as well. Tobi jokingly asked when we would get to Ore so we could by food.
As we progressed, Jessica shared her testimony of how she had complained of the price of shortbread on Twitter, and a good Samaritan bought two for her.
Everyone in the bus got at least one piece to keep their mouth busy. Not like it has not been busy with plenty talk.
As we drove into Yaounde, we got a bad first impression. One of us was hit on the head through the window, by an "agbero", who assumed she was the referee that officiated the Cameroon vs Ghana semi-final. A second one came to hit the glass - by then we had to close the windows to avoid any further harassment - while another one was shouting from a small distance.
Coming from the South West, where they are English speaking, a lot had been said about the Francophone region and that incident was like a confirmation.
Meanwhile one of the tournament officials who was with us in the bus, was claiming that the "agbero" was joking. He was the one who explained that they thought she was the referee.
We moved on from that, anyway, and finally arrived at the Sports Complex with our luggage. It shares the same wall with the CAN village, which had more restaurants than anything else. When Tobi went there to ask for the cost of food, they told him 2000 CFA. It was actually disappointing that one could not find a place to buy recharge card.
They hardly sell recharge cards here, though. They do more of transfers because it is way faster and you don't have to come out in the middle of the night in search of airtime.
In batches we all left the Sports Complex for our various hotels.
By the way, we were always updated with the movement of the Super Falcons. After leaving their hotel early enough so as not to miss their 9am flight, they ended up staying at the airport for about six hours before the first batch travelled.
The five officials that could not go with the first batch then boarded another plane soon after, but that one developed a fault, and they finally travelled by road.
Back at the hotel, thank God for Jessica's connections, we had fufu and bitter leaf soup with plenty "orishirishi" for dinner. A hot bath followed, and good nights sleep.