Thankful: November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to you if you’re US-based! Regardless of where you live, I hope that you have plenty to be thankful for.

I love that American Thanksgiving always falls on the last Thursday of the month because that means I’ll always be posting a Thankful post around Thanksgiving. Given my love of many parts of the “traditional” Thanksgiving meal (listed in order of preference: stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes), I want to start taking advantage of being American (by birth) and celebrate Thanksgiving in November (in addition to Canada’s October celebration).

There are several things that I’m thankful for this month, so let’s get started.
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Not the girl I used to be in matters of the heart

Six years ago, I thought I’d met the guy I was going to marry: he was in Nigeria while I was in Canada but with God on our side and what I thought was a clever plan to bring us together again, I was sure it would work. I was 31 and ready for marriage, I thought. I started a new blog that was specific to that blossoming relationship; the blog was password-protected and I gave my closest friends access to it. But things didn’t go the way I hoped, and the meat of those two-and-a-bit years is captured in my Love and Learn series. Six years later, my non-Nigerian friends still remember his name; I guess they heard it a lot! Continue reading

Thankful: September 2016

Another month is almost behind us but I want to thank God for these things in particular before we say goodbye to September 2016. My brother-in-law celebrated another year of life this month and it was nice to celebrate with him for the first time. I thank God for protection and provision as he adjusts to life in Canada. I know that my sister and nephew really love having him around. A colleague who I worked closely with for the better part of almost 10 years passed away in August, and I attended his celebration of life a few weeks ago. I’m thankful for his life—I learned about life and the job from him and he loved to make people laugh. I had never met his wife before so I was incredibly touched when we were introduced to each other and her first words to me were “Jumoke! G (her … Continue reading

Banking in Nigeria

While I was in Nigeria I went to a bank in Akure, Ondo state, for the first time and it was a little different from what I’m used to, both good and bad. I wasn’t trying to open an account or do anything complicated: I simply wanted to withdraw money from an existing account. My main branch (which I’ve never been to, by the way) is in Lagos and I was in Akure. I had opened the account from Canada and do not have a debit card.

In-person banking
First of all: the security. I’m certain the Lagos airport doesn’t have anywhere near this level of security! There was a security guard at the bank’s entrance and he asked my mom and I if we had a mobile phone or other questionable objects. When we said yes, we were asked to take them out of our purses, put them in our hands, and walk—one at a time—into separate capsules that looked like they could transport us somewhere. The capsules closed behind us and presumably scanned us before the capsule door on the side of the bank opened, letting us in—well, not exactly! My mom got in but I must have walked in and out of that capsule five times, and I had to empty my purse before realizing that some of my belongings were a no-no and had to be locked outside the bank in some available lockers. Now I understood why Continue reading

Confession: fear drove me to Nigeria

A couple of people asked me why I went to Nigeria. Most of the time, I told them I was going to visit family (which was true), and sometimes I told them that I was going because my mom was going and I didn’t want her to go alone (also true). But what I didn’t talk about much is that I didn’t want my mom to go alone because I was afraid. I was afraid that she might become ill or come to harm, that I wouldn’t be there, and that I would forever feel guilty about that. My decision to join her on the trip was totally motivated by fear.

It started innocently enough: Continue reading