"Tell us about yourself"
The small voice hit Amy almost immediately, comforting and intimidating at the same time. Amy smiled as she tried to think, she was nervous. What should she say? What should she not say? Should she be herself?
That was something that was mostly unappreciated in this part of the world. She sat up in the chair and balanced herself "I'm Amaka Okoh, everyone calls me Amy. I'm a highschool graduate, i work and i still live with my parents" Amy stopped, that was as much information she felt this small intimidating woman needed about her. Anything else, she would just have to ask plainly.
"your file says you graduated four years ago?"
"have you been to any college or university?"
Amy took her time to answer. She was a second year student of a prestigious federal university but their high status in the country didn't stop them from going on strikes every now and then. That was the disadvantage of federal schools, they had a thing with the government that made them never agree on anything and Amy was no longer bothered with finding out why like she was two years ago when she was offered admission.
"no" she replied finally
"any reason why"
"been trying to save up for a better educational future" the small woman nodded and gave Amy a long look before saying "I must admit, your English beats my expectations---" Amy smiled. This was the kind of thing you hear when you're born and brought up in a small village on the outskirt of town. "---with your interview, and your esaays, you might not even need an English test" that was what Amy wanted to hear. The cost for a passport and visa application was manageable but an english test would take up all her savings and she would still be owing.
"Thanks" Amy muttered
The woman smiled "okay then, your application is looking good but we still need an acceptance letter from your school of choice. Submit that and after approval, you can pick up your visa in two weeks"
Amy nodded and stood "Thanks, is that all?"
"that should be---" she studied Amy's file for some time and then added "yeah and proof of funds"
"what is that?" Amy asked
"it means you have to show us proof that you have enough funds to study outside your country"
"what about a scholarship?"
"yeah a scholarship could fill for that but if it's from private individuals or organizations, we'll need to investigate before confirmation"
"that'll be all miss Amy. Thanks for coming in"
"Thank you" they shook hands and Amy turned to leave. Behind her was a long cue of people waiting to be attended to and on a waiting seat few meters from where she stood, her friend kena sat waiting for her
Kena got up and smiled when she saw Amy coming. She wrapped her hands round the girl and patted her on the head "how did it go?" she asked. "better than i expected"
"so did you get it?"
"something like that"
"something like that? How?"
Amy passed her hands through her hair and balanced her bag on her shoulder. "i still need to submit some things to complete my application. Once they are confirmed, I can pick up my visa in two weeks"
"waoooooow" kena shouted and spinned while Amy watched her laughing "look at my canadian princess, you're now even laughing like them" kena showed a perfect set of white teeth as she smiled. "Don't get your hopes up kena, the school haven't replied me yet" Amy said laughing.
"we know they will, you'll get in you'll see"
"we'll see" Amy replied smiling. she threw her hands over Kena's shoulder and added "thanks ken". They smiled and sat on a seat by the bus station. They had travelled over 200km to attend this interview, now it was time to go home but before then, they were going to have a little fun
Amy opened her mail and smiled, she hadn't expected the school to reply so quickly, she might be leaving sooner than she thought. She picked up her phone and dialed for kena then she placed the phone lightly on her ear and listened to it ring
"hey canadian princess" kena said picking up after two rings
"hello kena" Amy was laughing softly
"hmm i sense good news, tell me---"
"i told you! Read me the reply"
"okay listen... 'hello Amy, how are you? We got your mail about your fee payment method, true our site doesn't support banks from your country but here's a way out! Your application fee could be added to your first year tuition fee, and you could pay it when you get here. But then, we'll need a recommendation letter from a reputable person in your country or state. Say a teacher or community head. When we get and review your recommendation letter, then we'll know if to consider your application. Plainly, now your getting admitted depends on the kind of recommendation you get. We hope to see you at paramount next fall!"
There was silence for some minutes before kena finally said "wow"
"what do you think?" Amy asked
"you don't know any reputable person" they laughed
"so what do you think i should do?"
"don't overthink it, we'll figure something out"
Amy nodded "okay ken thanks" she hung up and read the mail over and over again. She has come so close to her goal, she hoped---
She prayed this wouldn't spoil it for her. Amy didn't tell her mother about her application to schools outside the country, it'll get her hopes up and like she did regularly, she'll organize prayer meeting to help her fulfill this purpose and make the family proud.
Amy had been at home for ten months and counting, this was November and her school closed their gates in February. Something about the payment platform the government was using. Federal universities! Amy thought.
"these days you're always talking to yourself amaka. Is there anything you want to talk about?" amy turned to her mother by the door and mrs okoh walked in, sat on the bed next to Amy and placed a hand on her back "you can talk to me, I'm your mother"