Alaafia from Gainesville, family! The sands of summer have slowly slipped through our fingers and the time has come to get back to the grind. Time flies when you’re having fun, eh? I’m blessed to be spending the semester down in the sunshine state as a visiting student at the University of Florida’s Center for African Studies. The welcome and the weather have both been quite warm and I’ve hit the ground running: studying Yoruba, writing, and reading for my upcoming comprehensive exams (yikes!). I'm also very excited to be planning a trip to Peru this January – you're invited to come along!

In the world we live in, focused as it is on movin', shakin', planning ahead and “making things happen,” it can be very difficult to take a deep breath and just… wait. To speak our desires, put the wheels in motion and give them a chance to roll. Patience is not one of my strong suits – I like to know what’s going to happen and I want it to happen not now but right now *laugh* Much to my chagrin, as I prepared to head down here, everything was a whirlwind and several of my plans were up in the air. Just as I was feeling the most anxious and impatient, as always, while sitting with my Baba taking notes for a client an odù and a refrain came up that was just for me to hear.

The odù? Ogbe Ogunda which reminds us that “Suuru ni Baba iwa” (“Patience is the father of character”). Truly, impatience can cause people to behave in the most unbecoming fashions and is, in fact, at the root of many of life’s issues. You don’t have the patience to work for what you want? You steal. You don’t have the patience to wait on a suitable partner? You settle for someone who doesn’t deserve you. You don’t have the patience to study and work hard to get good grades? You cheat. You don’t have the patience to work through a problem? You throw a valuable relationship away or, worse, resort to violence. The list of the ills caused by impatience goes on.

In my case, impatience almost caused me to miss out on something I really wanted. Instead of giving my mojo a chance to work and waiting to hear back, I anxiously kept looking and searching and almost settled for something else. When I finally got “the call” I nodded my head, smiled, and remembered the lesson of Ogbe Yonu. I pray that you remember it the next time you get a little antsy. Rest assured, you're not waiting in vain – you're developing your character. May you have all that you need, much of what you want, and the patience to allow that which you desire and deserve to come to fruition. Ase!