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Curiosity kills the cat. Yes, yes ot does. With curiosity, you can reach the peak of your dreams. I rarely dream, but when I do, it's big and scary. After secondary school, nothing seemed to be happening to me than waking up in the morning, take my bath, eat and go to play scrabble or monopoly with some folks. Them, in the evening, I return home to eat dinner and sleep. Soon, I discovered that's not how to become the greatness I found.in other people. Before I concluded secondary school, I have been up and doing with a lot of stuff like farming, petty trading for my mom and setting traps on maize to catch weaver birds and sell to bird lovers, weaver birds were so expensive back then and we're easy to catch.
I am a man of many parts. Everything I had engaged in came as a result of my curiosity to earn a living and better my environment. After my secondary school in the late 90s, I practically had nothing to do except to write the matriculation exam into University. I had enough time to toy with since nothing came to my mind to do. One evening, a family friend who I only know would go out on Monday morning and return on Friday evening was about to live home when I accosted him.
Can I follow you on this trip? I asked.
He replied in the affirmative.
Immediately, I bumped in and packed a few of my belongings, mostly clothes to join Dee-Chukwuma. He was right there waiting for me. Only my mom knew about this sudden decision. She gave her consent. That step was one of the biggest decisions I ever made as a teenager.
As we set out, it appeared like a long journey but in no time it came to an end. The cab we boarded stopped at a bush path and the great trek began. We walked for over an hour before we arrived at camp. The camp is made up of a few families who lived very close to one another. They were predominantly farmers, hunters, and fishermen.
As we settled down by offloading our bags and cleaning the hut, Dee-Chukwuma asked me to accompany him to the farm to get stuff we will eat for dinner. I sheepishly followed while he picked two fishing lines. The stream was just as the walk from the hut. We sat at the bank of the stream and set out the fishing lines, before I could turn my neck, my line became heavy, a big blackfish was caught in my hook. It was my first time. Everything we ate at the camp was fresh from the source. In all, we caught four big fish that were used in cooking that evening.
The next morning, I didn't wake up early. When I rose from the bed, Dee-Chukwuma was nowhere to be found. I quickly jumped up and made for the door. Just outside the hut, I saw him with other men, one of the men carrying a motor saw used in felling trees. At this point, my inquisitiveness rose.
Where are you going, Dee? I queried.
You're awake. Pick a chewing stick and follow us. We are heading for the forest to fell trees. He replied.
As we walked, Dee told me what he does in the camp. I will buy a large expanse of thick forest with trees from local owners, Fell the tree, and burn them up like charcoal. That seem very interesting. He made a good sale by exporting it to Canada. I wonder what charcoal will be used for in Canada, common charcoal. Much later, I found out the economic value of the commodity in the international market.
•The first procedure for making charcoal is to fell trees.
•Then, pile the log together in one heap.
•After which the piled logs will be covered with leaves. Specifically, palm leaves. The coverage is important so that oxygen will not penetrate. When it does, the logs will burn into ashes. And you know, ashes do not have any economic value in the international market.
•Sand will be used to cover the covered heap of logs. Only a small hole will be left.
•The small hole left uncovered is where the fire will be lit into the piled logs.
The log would be burnt and mold as coal. After two days, the logs must have completely burnt. At this point, water will be used to quench the fire on the charcoal, else it will burn down to ashes.
Finally, the charcoal will be bagged then moved to the seaport to be transported to where it is needed.
My journey with Dee-Chkwuma did not end here. There are many things to learn. I hope to bring you more much later. This is such a profitable occupation know by just a few people. I learned it with no struggle, just a decision to follow Dee-Chukwuma.
Thanks again for reading through this blog, your presence is always appreciated