I’m back from my almost four weeks in Nigeria and I am thankful to God for a safe journey to and fro and also within Nigeria. Honestly: North America is just too far away from Africa and that Atlantic Ocean is just too vast! When you make a trip, even a day trip, and learn of others who got into accidents on the same route, sometimes mere hours before or after your own trip, you just have to be thankful that your life was spared.

I’m also thankful that we met my brothers and father who stayed behind in good health.

The trip was too short. I had grand dreams of blogger meetups and lots of swanky socializing, but the reality is when the idea hits you at the last minute, when your internet access isn’t constant and when you don’t have the phone numbers of many of the people you wanted to reach due to lack of planning, things don’t end up happening. I apologize to those of you who were expecting a phone call or text message from me while I was in town.

I had also hoped to visit Abuja for the first time but I was reluctant to fly and then by the time I was more open to flying, funds were getting low and everyone had recommended that I buy my tickets in advance to save money. Before flying was an option, we had road transportation issues: I was skeptical about my mom, sister and I using public transport by ourselves and we didn’t have a family member who was free to accompany us.

The trip was surprising in some good and bad ways. The good surprises will be shared soon. There were some family disappointments: three of my mom’s four brothers in Nigeria along with their wives decided to boycott seeing their sister (and my sister and I by association), so we didn’t see them or their children during the visit. My mom was very hurt by this, and even tried calling them to find out what the problem was. It turns out they were disappointed that my parents had not sent them cars like others abroad have apparently done for their younger siblings. My mom’s aunt also rejected a gift from my mom, saying that it couldn’t “be worth more than N12,000”; so it was not valuable enough of a gift for her. Later this same aunt was admitted to the hospital so my mom went to visit her, only to be abused as the woman mocked my parents for being in Canada and not being as wealthy as she was, for not even having a house in Nigeria that we can stay in; for having to stay with our grandma (her older sister) who doesn’t even have running water. She bragged about how modern her own house was, about her generator and her plumbing. My mom was understandably quite hurt by this family nonsense, but I am so thankful to God for the friends who treated us like family and other family members who were completely unselfish with their time and made us forget those slights.

I’m almost late for work so I’m off for now. Stay tuned for more about the trip. Thank you for your prayers and support and checking on me…it’s much appreciated!

32 thoughts on “Back!

  1. Welcome back and indeed we thank God for journey mercies. Life is indeed fragile therefore it should be appreciated.

    I'm glad you had fun, I too need to make the trip to the motherland. I'm twenty-something years old and have never stepped foot on african soil, argghhhhhh I know! Lol.

    But seriously why do people over there usually assume that those living abroad pluck money from trees growing in their back garden? I have a friend who resides in Ngeria yet has never picked up a phone to call me without flashing me to call her back. I actually made up my mind last week that I was now only going to communicate with her via email. If she has anything to say she can call me.

    I'm so sorry for your mum, my heart goes out to her. She should just wave it aside and see it as pure ignorance.

  2. Welcome back. Glad you made it back safetly, as per family wahala, water of your back o jare, a lot of family is like that. Best thing is to pretend they do not exist and keep it moving.

  3. Welcome back mama! I am thankful you made it safely and you're here telling us about your trip. Your family sounds a lot like mine. This is sooooo upsetting and I can understand your hurt.

    I also agree with braids and omosi!

    I am looking forward to hearing the good things about the trip and hopefully seeing pictures. hugs

  4. welcome back…heya..sorry bout the behavior of some of your relatives…sad…people sem to believe that everyone living "abroad" is mega rich and owes them some monthly allowance with regular obodo oyibo goodies…and all them western money union transfer and the like dont help matters with their adds that propagates this myth

  5. was thinking about you yesterday, wondering if you were still in Naija! Thank God for journey mercies. It always saddens me when i hear stories like what happened to your mum. The reality is life is not easy for the majority of people and even though we are abroad we still work hard for our money!

    Welcome back GNG!

  6. Haaaa!

    thank goodness for your safety.

    Abeg no mind those people. It is bad belle that is worrying them. Who said you were obligated to buy anyone a car? In what world? Please oh tell your mother not to pay any of that nonsense any mind. Don't even waste an iota of energy thinking about silly stuff like that. Let them come here now an see if they can do any better.

    Yeye…I am just fuming now….

  7. Yaaaay! You're finally back. Glad you had a safe trip, even though some relatives seemed to be acting quite unreasonable….. but what are you going to do? That's family! Lol. Still, it's a perfect example of the Nigerian mentality towards people who live in the west.

  8. welcome bac dearie'

    hope u had loads of fun in 9ja (pictures please :)

    btw i sent u an email, awaiting ur response NOW!

  9. Thank God for your safe travel. He is indeed the God who holds this universe.

    Im sorry about the 'family issues'. Yes, things like those really happen. I guess, you just have to widen your understanding and still mean the best for them. Afterall, each is accountable for his own actions. I hope sooner, they realize what 'family' really is.. and that there is waaaaaayyy more beautiful things than what the eyes can see and the hand can hold. :D

  10. i was saying this on twitter the other day. north america is not a land flowing with milk and honey, there is no tree growing there with money to pluck.

    just ignore them and enjoy your stay in nigeria but seriously, even if you guys had all these money and cars in canada, what makes them feel entitled to your parents' money biko?

    ahhhh some nigerians just kill me.

  11. " It turns out they were disappointed that my parents had not sent them cars like others abroad have apparently done for their younger siblings." This made me spit out my coffee!!! Chai!

  12. Welcome back GNG! Thank God for a safe trip to and fro and I'm glad you had a good time.

    As for your mum's relatives, what can I say? For some reason people back in Nigeria feel entitled to some imaginary wealth that their relatives abroad pluck from trees. As if! I hope she doesn't take it personal though, it's just bitterness and envy mixed with a good dose of ignorance. And that's their problem, not hers.

  13. Yeh pah! As I read your last paragraphs…Kai my bone started getting strong(yoru-english)

    And bile was rising in my throat!…with all due respect to you o…but the cheek of the woman!

    see why I don't buy gifts for people!

    how shallow can some people be?I am so sorry you experienced this kind of insult! and knowing you, I'm sure you never uttered a single word!

    Kai! laiye mi laiye mi!

    Look let me stop here otherwise what will come out of my mouth may be too much for it! Mschew I'm upset already!

    Thank God for the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

  14. Welcome back and glad you had a safe journey.

    Your mum's brothers and her aunty were way out of order; that was so wrong of them. I can't imagine how your mum would have felt at her aunt insulting her after buying her a gift and going to the hospital to visit her when she was ill. That was really not nice and very uncalled for.I guess your uncles are old enough and if they want a car they should go and buy one.

    However, there was something you mentioned that I thought I would give a personal view on.

    You mentioned that you all normally stay with your grandma whenever you visit Nigeria and that her house has no running water. My personal take on this is that are you guys okay with the fact that she is that old with no running water and do nothing about it yet come back and stay with her when you visit? Personally, if it were my mum – I would dig a borehole or do something about it. Your unc's and your mum's aunt were way out of line but if indeed your grandma lives in a house with no running water – then please you guys should do something about it even if no one else does especially as you go and stay with her when you visit. All the best.

  15. Welcome back…hope you had a great time despite it all.

    On the attitude of some of your relatives, the best thing is to love them from a distance and do not let them get to you, cos it is not worth it.

  16. There is indeed a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I guess people sometimes have the darndest ideas! They will soon see that life is not all about your possessions or what you can get from others!

    I hope you made other good memories!

  17. I'm glad you made a safe trip back, and dont dwell over the mishaps and people's awful behaviors. Sometimes, people just expect too much. They think living abroad equals free money and that they should be entitled to it, whatever. Share some positive aspects of your trip instead. Looking forward to that part.

    Peace out

  18. Welcome back dearie, we thank God for journey mercies. I am proud of your family. I may not know the full details but the time some of those abroad stop pretending that money flows in streams here, the better it will be for us all. Both those in naija and us here. No owambe parties and less credit card debt and scams. Please your mum should shrug it off. Hugs…

  19. Hey girl.

    I am glad U had a nice time in 9ja. Very many ThanX to God, always, but especially 4 a safe journey to and from, as well as 'during' the trip.

    sounds like Ur mom has a VERY understanding, not at all material or jealous, loving, welcoming brood for family. I hope U'r mom and U'rself are able to see though the jealousy and greed and not let the negative recptions hurt too deeply.

    …… I know dat can be hard.

  20. I agree with Lady above! Your mom does not owe her siblings anything!!!! She did not go to Canada to work as a servant for them so they need to pile their money together and buy theri own cars!

    BUT, about your grand mom, as Lady also said, it is not proper for you to stay with her and know that she has no running water, especially at her age. That is a problem that needs to be fixed, either your mom and her siblings as a unit, or you guys can do a fund raising among yourselves in Canada to provide that for her.

  21. I'm glad you had a good trip. It's sad that some of your family was caught up in materialistic things and did not welcome you and your family b/c of their distorted perceptions of what you as Nigerians in Canada should be. I just chalk it up to them being jealous!

  22. Thank you all for your comments. A couple of these comments can be addressed in a blog entry about my grandma so what I'm going to visit your blogs and leave a comment on your latest entry instead of commenting here.

  23. Reading through the family disappointments, I'm shocked! Seriously? Oh well, let people be people. The good thing is you went and arrived safely, thank God.

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