Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Sometimes last year, I received a very interesting e-mail indicating an exciting opportunity to participate in a program on Democracy and Development organised by the Stanford Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law to hold at the Stanford Institute for International Studies.
As soon as I saw it, there was an adrenaline surge in my system particularly when I noticed there was even the possibility of sponsorship. I quickly went to the site, scanned through it, downloaded the application form and printed it out.
I read through it studiously as if I was going to write an examination on it and started providing answers to the questions asked in the form. The application took me two weeks to complete as I was taking my time and applying extra care to make sure I was giving brilliant responses.
The application process required me to provide three references and without any delay, I contacted the people in my life that I thought really fitted into the role of referring me so I can take part in the program.
I completed the whole application process and mailed my application form to the center's email address and then ............. I prayed, wished, hoped and eagerly checked my email every morning hoping to see the reply that will make my dream come true. Days and months passed by and finally, this morning I received this email from the center.
March 23, 2006
We regret to inform you that you were not chosen to participate in the Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development Program to be held at Stanford University in August 2006.
The pool of applicants was extraordinarily competitive and there were many more deserving candidates than we were able to accept. In total, we received more than 700 applications for 25 spaces in the program. The overwhelming majority of applicants were from individuals with outstanding civic and policymaking records It was extremely difficult to reach admissions decisions and we assure you that your application received careful attention by our selection committee.
Once again, we would like to express our appreciation for your interest in the program. We would welcome your application to our program next year.
We will include your contact information on our mailing list and will send you information about future initiatives of the Summer Fellows Program and its sponsoring institution, the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Stanford Institute for International Studies.
We wish you success in the much-needed work that you are doing towards better governance and prosperity in your community and your country.
My heart was very heavy and em.. em.... (I didn't cry sha). When the state of my mind came back to its normal analytical state, I thought to myself that all my anxiety on attending a program outside Nigeria (and in the U.S for that matter) might have been generated from my typical Nigerian spirit of wanting to step outside the shores of the country at all cost.
But, to be sincere, I certainly look forward to stepping outside the shores of this country to visit the developed countries and have a feel of what life is like there.
Having missed the opportunity to be on the Stanford Program, I now quietly, patiently, without undue anxiety and stress and with utmost contentment (not satisfaction) in my country, await that beautiful day when I will jet out of Nigeria to a developed country (to visit only!).
There is no place like home.