I've been back in the States for coming up to a month now. I spent 9 amazing weeks back in Nigeria for the first time in 7 years. I chose to go back in February so that I could celebrate my father's birthday and mine with him. All my fears and paranoia of being back in Nigeria were dispersed the second I landed in Lagos and then in Port Harcourt. I live in Aba, but my luggage had not arrived so I had to stay in Port Harcourt an extra day. The anticipation was unbearable, but I was glad to see my father again after so long.
Our first sighting of each other wasn't as dramatic as one would have expected. I spent an extra hour in baggage claim trying to figure the situation out and I was able to peep out my father as he waited outside the doors for me. A day later, we headed out to Aba. There was a military checkpoint at every mile or so, but I was more nervous about the hired driver's continuous and unnecessary honking. We finally arrived in Aba and everything was so different as would have been expected.
(Sorry, you have to tilt your head)
My father. We spent every evening going to Aba Sports Club. The Club was founded in the early 1900's for the elite members of society (i.e, all the white folks). Of course that changed and it became a family club which we became a part of. A lot of time was spent there as a child. Nowadays, I call it The Club of Old Men. Yes, because that's what it's all about now.
The upside of being the only young woman in the Club was the constant eating I got to do.
I paid a visit to my old school which was just the same as ever. This is the primary section. The paint is new though.
The Secondary Section
A typical classroom. Usually holds up to 60 students. Not so fond memories of getting flogged came back.
I spent just about everyday with Uzoaru. We went to school together since kindergarten and words cannot express what a great friend and woman she is.
The kitchen bak at home honestly hasn't changed, but I hated going in there. We went weeks without electricity so the food wouldn't keep and we had to re-heat everything before we went to bed.
A couple of times during a week, my father would bring back a treat for me to stuff my face with.
Udara! One of my favorite fruits in Nigeria. I just hate the stickiness of it all, but I live for sucking on the seeds.
My father being adorable on my birthday.
My mosquito protection gear.
Perfection. I love peeling mangoes all the way.
More than anything now that I'm back, I miss my father. I miss his sense of humor, his patience and his advice. I can't wait to be back home again.