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

Thankful: August 2016


My parents are celebrating 40 years of marriage today! Please help me thank God for keeping them for one another for all this time. I’m so proud of who they are as individuals and as parents, and I love the strong example they have left me regarding what marriage really looks like. When wedding vows mention “in sickness and in health” those are not empty words. As my parents begin their next 40 years of marriage, I pray that Almighty God will keep them healthy, in love, and give them many wonderful things to look forward to. Continue reading

Thankful: May 2016

It’s the last Thursday of May and there’s no better time to give thanks to God for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that He will do in the future. Specifically? File this one under “a little bit vain” but I thank God that I still had plenty of hair left on my head after I finished removing my ten-week-old braids! I won’t leave them on for that long again—I don’t want to play with fire. A sermon of Bishop TD Jakes’s spoke to me this past weekend: I was listening to part of it while cleaning the bathroom and from the way I was responding out loud you’d think that I was in church. I thank God for inspired words that come at the perfect time. I thank God for the convicting power of words. And I thank God in advance for the … Continue reading