Wherein We Muse Over a Case Study of a One Day WordPress-to-Drupal Conversion

A sad tale of neglect

We’ve been running a small educational non-profit – Edulogos – for over three years now. Until recently edulogos.org has been little more than a WordPress blog with a few extra pages and an off the shelf theme. It was one of the first sites we installed on our then brand spanking new Dreamhost account and we were happy with the results.

Over time however, teaching and project work got in the way of publishing much content. Maintenance was neglected and the limits and drawbacks of Dreamhost became a detractor for giving the site the love it deserved.

We decided it was high time to redesign the site and move it over to Drupal to give it room to grow. Like repotting a plant. “Liefde en substral”, as they used to say in our home country.

The road to Drupal

Knowing how data migrations are seldom without incident, we prepared for the worst. Surprisingly the migration was over before we got to our second cup of coffee that morning. The rest of the day was spent selecting and tweaking a theme and setting up some notification functionality.

We kept the new theme and functionality as simple as possible and used only a small number of tools and contributed modules:

Tools used:

  • drush (command line Drupal toolkit)

Contributed Drupal modules:

Theme:

Module download and installation

Using Drush is not required, strictly speaking, but do yourself a favor and get to know it. Drush is a command line tool that lets you do a variety of very interesting things much faster than doing them click by click through your file manager and Drupal administration interface.

In this case, we used Drush to download and install Drupal 6.15 and the modules and theme listed above:

cd /var/www
mkdir edu
cd edu
drush dl drupal 
cd drupal-6.15
drush dl trackback pathauto rules mollom twitter views admin_menu wordpress_import summertime
drush enable trackback pathauto rules mollom twitter views admin_menu wordpress_import

Again there’s nothing stopping you from downloading individual .tar.gz files, unpacking them, moving them to sites/all/modules and cleaning up the archive files. You’ve got to admit though, that drush dl and drush enable are a pretty sweet deal.

Migration and site construction, step by step

1. Export from WordPress
As per the wordpress_import instructions, we went into our WordPress admin interface, exported our content into an xml-file and saved it locally.

2 Import into Drupal
We made sure WordPress_import and its dependency Trackback were enabled and made our life a little easier by installing Admin_menu – we’re suckers for dropdown menus.

WordPress_import takes a previously generated WordPress export file and imports content into nodes, comments into, well, comments and categories into taxonomy terms. Users are created on the fly too, if they don’t already exist.

Knowing how tricky data migrations can be, we were pleased the data import went flawlessly. Granted, the old Edulogos site only contained a good hundred content items, one user and maybe a dozen categories, but still. Kudos to Yann Rocq for a tool that works as advertised.

3. User friendly and search engine friendly URLs
We enabled Pathauto so our blog posts and other content items get nice and tidy urls like /blog/monday-pancake-day instead of /node/42.

4. Avoiding comment spam
Though captchas are an ok solution, we really like the way Mollom attacks the problem. Mollom is a free anti-spam service that will analyze the contents of comments and present the user with a captcha if and when it thinks a message might be spam.

The only thing we needed to do here is create an account at http://mollom.com, generate a set of API keys, enable the mollom module in our Edulogos site, enter the keys and select which forms we want Mollom to protect. In our case it made sense to let Mollom protect the comment and contact forms.

5. Automatic comment notifications
Wouldn’t it be nice if content authors would be notified of new comments? We thought so too. Enter Rules, a marvelous module that allows you to set up specific actions that need to be performed automatically under certain conditions when certain events (triggers) occur.

We set our notification rule up like this:

  • trigger: after publishing a comment
  • condition: no specific condition
  • action: send mail to author of content that received the comment

Action configuration screenshots:


6. Twitter integration
We wanted to promote our twitter account (twitter.com/edulogos_vzw) and show our latest tweets in the sidebar. Walkah’s Twitter module does exactly that. Actually it does much more than we need, so we know there’s some nice functionality waiting for us when we’re ready.

We just wanted to display the tweets of one single twitter account in the sidebar. We entered our twitter credentials and then went to the block administration screen, only to find no twitter related blocks for us to use. After a couple rounds of clearing the cache, running cron and refilling our coffee mugs, inspiration hit us and we turned on the Views module.

Lo and behold, a ‘user tweets’ and ‘all tweets’ block magically appeared. We put the ‘all tweets’ block in the right sidebar, and Bob’s your uncle.

Making her look all nice and purdy

In terms of visual appearance we weren’t going for high originality. We just wanted a nice and clean, professional yet simple design. The Summertime theme fit our needs nicely and we spent the rest of the afternoon tweaking the css, playing around with font sizes and making the Twitter block look nice.

Taking her out and showing her to the world

Everyone has their own way of deploying a site, whether it’s through FTP, SSH, a version control mechanism or a homegrown script. We used git, a distributed version control mechanism, together with Github, a git repository hosting service. How we fit git and Github into our workflow is a story for another day.

A cap, a cap, our kingdom for a recap

We’re very pleased with how we migrated our old WordPress site to Drupal, picked and customized a new design and added new functionality – all within a single day and 8 to 10 coffees.

We were able to keep the number of contributed modules to a minimum and didn’t even make a view for the front page: since we had only one content type, we just use the default front page (http://example.com/node). We’ll have a lot less spam comments by using Mollom and we’ll be quicker to respond to comments now we have automatic notifications in place.

Finally, the code is now under source control and we have a script in place to deploy from Github and restore an hour-old database backup whenever we want, but more on that later.

If you’ve got any short-but-sweet redesign/redeployment stories to share, leave a comment!

Wedding panic

Its here. The D-Day is here. Well, almost.

By sunday night, I am going to be a married woman. My name will change, everything will change, even my body.

It seemed so far away six months ago. All the shopping, all the mother and daughter fights, everything looks so trivial now.

The cake isnt ready, the gown is ready.

The bridesmaids dresses are alright, the chief bridesmaid's dress has not even been sewn yet.

The flowers for everybody has not arrived yet.

And my hairdresser wants to rob me blind, but its too short a notice to get another.

I cannot remember where I hid the marriage license and I am looking for some of the gift money.

One of my bridesmaids is acting very funny and we are thinking that the service boys from the caterer might not cover the whole event.


Why do I have to fix artificial nails? And must my hairdo be gel? Can't I just set my hair in a curl or wave? The video guy is bugging us for his advance payment, and I still have to pay for the hair pieces for the bridesmaids. Where in God's name did we hide the rings? How am I supposed to pack the clothes I will need separately? Since we young babes cannot sleep in the house, how do we get a hotel to sleep? Why is the honeymoon agent taking so long with her processing? Where will the couple sleep for the night?

I am almost in a panic.

Then I look up, and I see Vicky.

All is well.

We made it this far, and we will make it even farther.

We will defy all those that said we are too young to marry, and the union [after 4 yrs of courtship] is too soon.

We will show them that said they want to see how we will survive, and they give us three weeks before collapse.

We have the ultimate weapon.
We have God on our side.

He smiles at me.
I smile back in return.
Yes, we are going to be alright.

Wedding panic

Its here. The D-Day is here. Well, almost.

By sunday night, I am going to be a married woman. My name will change, everything will change, even my body.

It seemed so far away six months ago. All the shopping, all the mother and daughter fights, everything looks so trivial now.

The cake isnt ready, the gown is ready.

The bridesmaids dresses are alright, the chief bridesmaid's dress has not even been sewn yet.

The flowers for everybody has not arrived yet.

And my hairdresser wants to rob me blind, but its too short a notice to get another.

I cannot remember where I hid the marriage license and I am looking for some of the gift money.

One of my bridesmaids is acting very funny and we are thinking that the service boys from the caterer might not cover the whole event.


Why do I have to fix artificial nails? And must my hairdo be gel? Can't I just set my hair in a curl or wave? The video guy is bugging us for his advance payment, and I still have to pay for the hair pieces for the bridesmaids. Where in God's name did we hide the rings? How am I supposed to pack the clothes I will need separately? Since we young babes cannot sleep in the house, how do we get a hotel to sleep? Why is the honeymoon agent taking so long with her processing? Where will the couple sleep for the night?

I am almost in a panic.

Then I look up, and I see Vicky.

All is well.

We made it this far, and we will make it even farther.

We will defy all those that said we are too young to marry, and the union [after 4 yrs of courtship] is too soon.

We will show them that said they want to see how we will survive, and they give us three weeks before collapse.

We have the ultimate weapon.
We have God on our side.

He smiles at me.
I smile back in return.
Yes, we are going to be alright.

I will not let go

Tis amazing what we take for granted everyday...Got to church yesterday in less than 10 mins thanks to Bikermice from Mars [I'll miss them when I move to Abuja!]. As I went up then down the ped bridge briskly, all that was on my mind was getting to church. I stepped into Church and all that changed. It seemed my hip had shifted. I could barely put any weight on my right leg. It was awful. I developed a limp as I entered the church.
I gunned for the very first available seat at the back. I could barely put pressure on the hip even while sitting. I wondered what I had done to cause it to happen. Was it my diet? For two weeks I have stayed away from rice, white bread, and yam. Considering that that was the staple in my household, you can understand that it was with supreme effort that I was sticking to that regime. I am loving the effects already as my clothes are really loose around my body, but I am lacking carbohydrates - it would have been total if not for the spaghetti I consume regularly. A chat with my chief bridesmaid calmed me down - if it was from my food then its not the diet, because I am staying away from carbohydrates not calcium.

Was it my state of mind? I was not really paying attention to a lot around me. My processor was doing a lot of computing - on one hand I was calculating how much the total aso ebi I was to church for friends carrying cost, so that I would sound brilliant when I was asked by the paying parties. On the other hand I was trying to guess if I would make it in time to church before the closing prayer. On another side I was wondering if I would be able to fulfill my promise of visiting a friend's mother and on the other hand I was wondering how I would finish the job laid out and waiting for me on my bed at home.

Needless to say, my mind was all over the place, but that did not explain the sudden pain in my right hip. I was listening to the sermon - yes I actually met the sermon as it was about to begin when a thought hit me out of the blue.

I will not let go until you bless me.

That was how Jacob/Israel got his shifted hip.

He did not let go until God blessed him.

He held on tight, and wrestled with all his might.

And he was all the better for it.

All he lost in the bargain was a well balanced hip.

He got all he could imagine and more from that encounter.


The pastor's bellow [yes it sounded like a bellow], brought me back into the church hall. It was time to tell God what we wanted before the year runs out, he declared. It was time to claim all those pending blessings left over from the previous months, he announced.

I was up on my feet with the crowd. I strayed from the normal prayers for the past eight months: asking for another car, a successful wedding ceremony, my father's miraculous presence at the wedding. Instead, I requested for one thing.

LORD BLESS ME.

I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME, LORD.

Because in the end, His plans for us are good and not evil, to bring us to an expected end. He loves us and only wants the best for us. I would rather ask for His blessings which covers all I need, than sell myself short and ask for specific things from Him.

HE blessed me that day, and even though I was limping till evening, I did it with a smile on my face - I had wrestled with Him and told Him my demands, in prayer - 
I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME.

I will not let go

Tis amazing what we take for granted everyday...Got to church yesterday in less than 10 mins thanks to Bikermice from Mars [I'll miss them when I move to Abuja!]. As I went up then down the ped bridge briskly, all that was on my mind was getting to church. I stepped into Church and all that changed. It seemed my hip had shifted. I could barely put any weight on my right leg. It was awful. I developed a limp as I entered the church.
I gunned for the very first available seat at the back. I could barely put pressure on the hip even while sitting. I wondered what I had done to cause it to happen. Was it my diet? For two weeks I have stayed away from rice, white bread, and yam. Considering that that was the staple in my household, you can understand that it was with supreme effort that I was sticking to that regime. I am loving the effects already as my clothes are really loose around my body, but I am lacking carbohydrates - it would have been total if not for the spaghetti I consume regularly. A chat with my chief bridesmaid calmed me down - if it was from my food then its not the diet, because I am staying away from carbohydrates not calcium.

Was it my state of mind? I was not really paying attention to a lot around me. My processor was doing a lot of computing - on one hand I was calculating how much the total aso ebi I was to church for friends carrying cost, so that I would sound brilliant when I was asked by the paying parties. On the other hand I was trying to guess if I would make it in time to church before the closing prayer. On another side I was wondering if I would be able to fulfill my promise of visiting a friend's mother and on the other hand I was wondering how I would finish the job laid out and waiting for me on my bed at home.

Needless to say, my mind was all over the place, but that did not explain the sudden pain in my right hip. I was listening to the sermon - yes I actually met the sermon as it was about to begin when a thought hit me out of the blue.

I will not let go until you bless me.

That was how Jacob/Israel got his shifted hip.

He did not let go until God blessed him.

He held on tight, and wrestled with all his might.

And he was all the better for it.

All he lost in the bargain was a well balanced hip.

He got all he could imagine and more from that encounter.


The pastor's bellow [yes it sounded like a bellow], brought me back into the church hall. It was time to tell God what we wanted before the year runs out, he declared. It was time to claim all those pending blessings left over from the previous months, he announced.

I was up on my feet with the crowd. I strayed from the normal prayers for the past eight months: asking for another car, a successful wedding ceremony, my father's miraculous presence at the wedding. Instead, I requested for one thing.

LORD BLESS ME.

I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME, LORD.

Because in the end, His plans for us are good and not evil, to bring us to an expected end. He loves us and only wants the best for us. I would rather ask for His blessings which covers all I need, than sell myself short and ask for specific things from Him.

HE blessed me that day, and even though I was limping till evening, I did it with a smile on my face - I had wrestled with Him and told Him my demands, in prayer - 
I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME.

Seven pounds

I watched the movie, Seven Pounds, recently and just had to write a tribute to it.

Everyday, he sits at his desk,
glad to have a job,
glad to be able to cater for himself.
As the phone rings, he picks and says,
"Hello, Customer service, how may i be of help to you?"
Blind Ezra never hurt anyone,
was never cruel or unkind.

Everyday, she watched the children run down the street,
She could barely keep her dog from running too fast.
She knew her business was about to close,
but with the uncertainty in the time she had left,
her mind, her heart was no more into work.
Emily, the girl with a failing heart.

She sat in Child care services everyday,
always trying to reach out, always praying her friendly smile would convince the next child,
the next victim of abuse that she was there to hold them,
to provide another way for them.
No one knew of her pains, no one could tell that her liver had failed.
Holly, always smiling, always ready to help.

She kept the children in doors,
She never let them be exposed to her abusive boyfriend.
She let him in because she knew there was no where to hide.
And she knew she would die if she pressed charges.
Even when he broke three of her ribs she never said a word.
Proud Cottie - who would cater for her kids if she were to 'disappear'? No one.
Cottie had to stand strong amid all the despair.

The family of three ate at the hospital cafeteria.
The mother was smiling hard, and encouraging her first son to play with the ailing younger brother.
Nicholas was ill, and failing everyday.
He needed a bone marrow transplant, and was on the waiting list.
His mother tried to conceal her dimming hopes behind an over bright smile, but the boy could feel it.
There was no hope in this world.

He assumed an identity
To fulfill a mission.
He took the role of his brother
to penetrate and to study
He had it all planned out.
He knew what he had to do, and he knew when
He selected them all, specifically
they had to be deserving
they had to be nice kind people
they had to be worthy,
worthy of another chance at life.
Worthy of a change in their situations,
worthy of a miracle.

It is rare to be given the opportunity to plan one's death - Death is always cheating at that.
But Tim Thomas had that opportunity,
To his brother Ben, he gave a lung.
To Ezra he gave his eyes.
To Emily he gave his heart.
To Holly he gave his kidney.
To Cottie he gave his home.
To Nicholas he gave his bone marrow.

To each one of them, he gave another opportunity
Another shot at life.
He planned his suicide, but he didn't feel he had to die just like that.
This graduate of MIT, decided if he were to die, people had to benefit from his death.
The accident that killed seven people and the love of his life, that left him as the only survivor, was proof enough for him that he survived for a reason.
And he touched many lives, in his selfless act.

I only hope he gets to enter heaven.

Seven pounds

I watched the movie, Seven Pounds, recently and just had to write a tribute to it.

Everyday, he sits at his desk,
glad to have a job,
glad to be able to cater for himself.
As the phone rings, he picks and says,
"Hello, Customer service, how may i be of help to you?"
Blind Ezra never hurt anyone,
was never cruel or unkind.

Everyday, she watched the children run down the street,
She could barely keep her dog from running too fast.
She knew her business was about to close,
but with the uncertainty in the time she had left,
her mind, her heart was no more into work.
Emily, the girl with a failing heart.

She sat in Child care services everyday,
always trying to reach out, always praying her friendly smile would convince the next child,
the next victim of abuse that she was there to hold them,
to provide another way for them.
No one knew of her pains, no one could tell that her liver had failed.
Holly, always smiling, always ready to help.

She kept the children in doors,
She never let them be exposed to her abusive boyfriend.
She let him in because she knew there was no where to hide.
And she knew she would die if she pressed charges.
Even when he broke three of her ribs she never said a word.
Proud Cottie - who would cater for her kids if she were to 'disappear'? No one.
Cottie had to stand strong amid all the despair.

The family of three ate at the hospital cafeteria.
The mother was smiling hard, and encouraging her first son to play with the ailing younger brother.
Nicholas was ill, and failing everyday.
He needed a bone marrow transplant, and was on the waiting list.
His mother tried to conceal her dimming hopes behind an over bright smile, but the boy could feel it.
There was no hope in this world.

He assumed an identity
To fulfill a mission.
He took the role of his brother
to penetrate and to study
He had it all planned out.
He knew what he had to do, and he knew when
He selected them all, specifically
they had to be deserving
they had to be nice kind people
they had to be worthy,
worthy of another chance at life.
Worthy of a change in their situations,
worthy of a miracle.

It is rare to be given the opportunity to plan one's death - Death is always cheating at that.
But Tim Thomas had that opportunity,
To his brother Ben, he gave a lung.
To Ezra he gave his eyes.
To Emily he gave his heart.
To Holly he gave his kidney.
To Cottie he gave his home.
To Nicholas he gave his bone marrow.

To each one of them, he gave another opportunity
Another shot at life.
He planned his suicide, but he didn't feel he had to die just like that.
This graduate of MIT, decided if he were to die, people had to benefit from his death.
The accident that killed seven people and the love of his life, that left him as the only survivor, was proof enough for him that he survived for a reason.
And he touched many lives, in his selfless act.

I only hope he gets to enter heaven.

Drupal Discovery Day Dakar – Nov 7, 2009

Come join the Dakar Linux User Group and other Senegalese Drupal Enthusiasts on this first Drupal Discovery Day Dakar

Where: Dakar, Campus UCAD / Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique (map)
When: Nov 7, 2009 / 13:00 – 18:00

Some of the topics we’ll be talking about:

  • History and goals of the Association Drupal France et Francophonie
  • Installation: getting started with Drupal
  • Now what? A run-through of the core modules and an overview of the most used third party modules
  • Localization and internationalization: dealing with multiple languages
  • The sysadmin side: performance tuning, scalability, automated deployment tools and the built-in testing framework
  • Drupal distributions: pre-packaged Drupal installations for a specific target audience
  • The next steps in creating a Drupal Community in Senegal

This little event would not have been possible without the support of the Association universitaire Francophone and the DakarLUG. Thanks!

Bosi gbangba pt3

"My Daddy Eko is coming to our house today!" Four year old Ajibike whispered to her friend. They were at sunday school, and even though the teacher had warned her to keep quiet twice already, she could not suppress the good news. Nothing could suppress her excitement that day, not even the fact that her sunday black shoes had cut that morning on the way to church, because she had run at the site of a giant millepede. Her best friend, Lanre, had laughed at her, calling her a sissy, but his words did not have their usual effect that day. All she knew was that her Daddy from Lagos was arriving that day, and that was enough to keep the sun shining all day for her.

One would think that the man's visits meant lots of sweets and gifts for her, like any other child, but for Ajibike, it meant she had a listening ear to report all her troublesome younger brother had done to her since his last visit. He was always patient enough to listen, unlike her father and mother, who expected her to be responsible for the little brat, and take punishment even when the brat was wrong. That was all she needed, a listening ear for all her stories and tales of adventure in the three farms her father had.

Her present companion was a girly girl, the type that she and Lanre sneered at when they passed by, with all the frills and stockings and gowns. Ajibike only wore gowns on sundays, even then it was until she returned home again. The sissy asked her if her Daddy Eko would bring imported chocolate, and turned away when Ajibike said no.

With no one to chat with, as the teacher had banished Lanre to the other side of the class, Ajibike dipped her hand into her favourite gown's pocket. She loved the particular lilac gown she was wearing mainly because of its pockets in front, in which she kept a variety of things like her one and only marble, her beads, her wire rings, and all other sorts. One pocket was for her while the other was for Lanre - she kept their goodies because Lanre had elder siblings that were more thorough in emptying children's
pockets than her mother, who had her hands full with her restless brother most of the time, and expected Ajibike to be a mature girl.

She rummaged in her pocket until her fingers found her favourite bead piece, which had a small groove on it. The beads had actually come from a long necklace of beads that she had worn for more than a year until her brother had pulled it apart. Since she didnt know how to string it, and her artist aunt was busy with exams, she carried some of the pieces around with her. As the Sunday school teacher commanded them to close their eyes and pray, Ajibike rolled the bead absentmindedly on her arm.

There was combined service that morning, which meant that the children got to sit in the main church with the adults, a rare treat for Ajibike, as she loved to watch and laugh at the dozing antics of the adults in the church. Ajibike settled down, and watched as Dami, Lanre's younger brother, who was her brother's regular partner in crime walked by. She knew he was looking for her brother, and she turned around briefly to look at the church entrance to see if Lanre had quit disturbing that sissy girl and had decided to enter.

She was still rubbing the bead absentmindedly on her face when she turned back - and her elbow bumped into Dami, causing her hand to push the bead straight into her nostril. Dami began crying the second he saw that Ajibike could not snort out the bead piece. The sunday school teacher ran into the church, and asked what happened. She took Ajibike and crying Dami out of the church before listening to explanations.

=--------------=
"We are so happy to see you," Ajibike's father was telling his cousin. "How are things in Lagos? Hope not too hectic for you."
"Not too hectic o," the man replied. "We are surviving."
"You still have not told me what you want to eat sir," Ajibike's mother put in as she placed a tray of cold water before him, on a stool. "We have yam, amala flour, ogi, vegetable, egusi soup, and even bushmeat."
"This your wife will kill me with food one day o,"Daddy Eko said. "She keeps forgetting that the minute I finish eating her food, I begin to fall asleep."
"That is the way it should be sir," she responded. "Sleeping after a meal is a sign of contentment."
"Where are the children?" the man asked.
"They are off to church with the maid." she replied. "Since you wont decide, I shall go and prepare your favourite. Please excuse me."
The men nodded as she rose and made her way to the kitchen. She smiled because she noticed that they waited until she was no longer within earshot before continuing with their discussion.

She was grinding pepper on the stone grinder when she heard faint voices. She stood up straight and took care to wipe her brow with the back of her hand. The voices got closer and closer. She ran to the front balcony to see what the noise was about, and gasped.

Coming towards the house was a group of about eight people, the person in the middle was carrying Ajibike and walking so briskly that the others had to practically run to keep up.

Bosi gbangba pt3

"My Daddy Eko is coming to our house today!" Four year old Ajibike whispered to her friend. They were at sunday school, and even though the teacher had warned her to keep quiet twice already, she could not suppress the good news. Nothing could suppress her excitement that day, not even the fact that her sunday black shoes had cut that morning on the way to church, because she had run at the site of a giant millepede. Her best friend, Lanre, had laughed at her, calling her a sissy, but his words did not have their usual effect that day. All she knew was that her Daddy from Lagos was arriving that day, and that was enough to keep the sun shining all day for her.

One would think that the man's visits meant lots of sweets and gifts for her, like any other child, but for Ajibike, it meant she had a listening ear to report all her troublesome younger brother had done to her since his last visit. He was always patient enough to listen, unlike her father and mother, who expected her to be responsible for the little brat, and take punishment even when the brat was wrong. That was all she needed, a listening ear for all her stories and tales of adventure in the three farms her father had.

Her present companion was a girly girl, the type that she and Lanre sneered at when they passed by, with all the frills and stockings and gowns. Ajibike only wore gowns on sundays, even then it was until she returned home again. The sissy asked her if her Daddy Eko would bring imported chocolate, and turned away when Ajibike said no.

With no one to chat with, as the teacher had banished Lanre to the other side of the class, Ajibike dipped her hand into her favourite gown's pocket. She loved the particular lilac gown she was wearing mainly because of its pockets in front, in which she kept a variety of things like her one and only marble, her beads, her wire rings, and all other sorts. One pocket was for her while the other was for Lanre - she kept their goodies because Lanre had elder siblings that were more thorough in emptying children's
pockets than her mother, who had her hands full with her restless brother most of the time, and expected Ajibike to be a mature girl.

She rummaged in her pocket until her fingers found her favourite bead piece, which had a small groove on it. The beads had actually come from a long necklace of beads that she had worn for more than a year until her brother had pulled it apart. Since she didnt know how to string it, and her artist aunt was busy with exams, she carried some of the pieces around with her. As the Sunday school teacher commanded them to close their eyes and pray, Ajibike rolled the bead absentmindedly on her arm.

There was combined service that morning, which meant that the children got to sit in the main church with the adults, a rare treat for Ajibike, as she loved to watch and laugh at the dozing antics of the adults in the church. Ajibike settled down, and watched as Dami, Lanre's younger brother, who was her brother's regular partner in crime walked by. She knew he was looking for her brother, and she turned around briefly to look at the church entrance to see if Lanre had quit disturbing that sissy girl and had decided to enter.

She was still rubbing the bead absentmindedly on her face when she turned back - and her elbow bumped into Dami, causing her hand to push the bead straight into her nostril. Dami began crying the second he saw that Ajibike could not snort out the bead piece. The sunday school teacher ran into the church, and asked what happened. She took Ajibike and crying Dami out of the church before listening to explanations.

=--------------=
"We are so happy to see you," Ajibike's father was telling his cousin. "How are things in Lagos? Hope not too hectic for you."
"Not too hectic o," the man replied. "We are surviving."
"You still have not told me what you want to eat sir," Ajibike's mother put in as she placed a tray of cold water before him, on a stool. "We have yam, amala flour, ogi, vegetable, egusi soup, and even bushmeat."
"This your wife will kill me with food one day o,"Daddy Eko said. "She keeps forgetting that the minute I finish eating her food, I begin to fall asleep."
"That is the way it should be sir," she responded. "Sleeping after a meal is a sign of contentment."
"Where are the children?" the man asked.
"They are off to church with the maid." she replied. "Since you wont decide, I shall go and prepare your favourite. Please excuse me."
The men nodded as she rose and made her way to the kitchen. She smiled because she noticed that they waited until she was no longer within earshot before continuing with their discussion.

She was grinding pepper on the stone grinder when she heard faint voices. She stood up straight and took care to wipe her brow with the back of her hand. The voices got closer and closer. She ran to the front balcony to see what the noise was about, and gasped.

Coming towards the house was a group of about eight people, the person in the middle was carrying Ajibike and walking so briskly that the others had to practically run to keep up.