John Dada and I (Pamela  “Mac” McLean) have an online meeting scheduled once a week. With luck we swap news for an hour in a typed chat. If something interrupts we do what we can in an asynchronous way. Recently the main news has been the self-help housebuilding project

Yesterday (October 16th 2017) I spent the hour writing news from the UK for John, and hoping he’d arrive before the time was up.  He didn’t - so I ended the conversation saying I’d check back later, and hoping there was no serious “wahala” keeping him away. 

“Wahala” is one of the first words I learned from John. I thought it was a Hausa word, but my Yoruba friends seem to know it too.  Come to think of it, quite a few of my English friends know it now as well. It’s a wonderful word that seems to relate to all kinds of hassle and things that stop you doing what you originally intended to be doing.

Given the challenges of life in Nigeria, the wahala interrupting John could just be some unexpected visitors who need to be welcomed appropriately, or an accident or emergency that has required his immediate attention. I remember one occasion when he left a meeting to drive someone to hospital, and checked back online later in the day having given blood for her transfusion while he was there. 

Yesterday when I checked back. John had posted, saying:

“Sorry been in the field with some visitors from US who wanted more info about the home reconstruction work we are doing”

He added the information that (one of them) “ is a Fulbright’s scholar doing a research on the herdsmen / farmers violence. He was referred to us by the Fulani community”.

I’m glad to realise that in connection with some other Dadamac work in the UK we’ve been collecting up references to pastoralists and farmers conflicts, and putting them on Federated Wiki. I’ll be able to find that information later for John so he can share it with the Fulbright scholar.