Ok, it’s been over a week and it’s not because I didn’t want to blog. Work is busy and I have some work-related training going on too so I’ve been spending my time on that. And all through it I’ve been wondering when I would find time to blog. I’m tempted to expand on my entry about greedy relatives but I’ll save that for when we return from Nigeria because perhaps I will have a totally different experience this time around. My mom is begging me to have an open mind and not assume the worst of my relatives and I think that’s wonderful advice. When it comes to helping your relatives though, it’s important to have a balance between generosity and foolishness with one’s money and possessions: give when you can and if you can, and do have a heart that is geared towards others in general, BUT don’t allow yourself to be taken in by false protestations by relatives insisting that they really need help.
I received an email today from a stranger, a Nigerian living outside of the country. He must have found my email address on this blog. He described his situation in some detail and if everything he said was true (we have to be careful right?), I feel for him and for his situation. It’s nothing different from what many people deal with, but you don’t like to hear of someone struggling or suffering.
Unfortunately, I can’t help him in the way he hinted at, and I told him that much in my email. All I can do is pray for him, and I will. So, I’d like you too to remember O.F. in your prayers.
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I have an oyinbo coworker who’s 26 and who went to Europe for a number of weeks or months last year, went to Jamaica this past January and is going to Munich in a couple of weeks. She’s quite the world traveler and the sort of person who always has a current passport and a willingness to pack her bags and jump on a plane if a good seat sale comes up.
Me, I’m quite the opposite. The only flying I’ve done in the last 14 years has been due to my job, and that was just flying within the country. I haven’t had a valid passport for over ten years and I’ve been quite fine with that, thank you very much. However, this won’t sit well with Canadian and Nigerian immigration, so I’ve been running around to take care of those little details.
Canada is now very strict about the rules for appropriate passport photosâ€”no smiling or frowning, nothing that gives off a glare (earrings, necklace and glasses if you can’t adjust them in such a way to avoid glare) and the edges of both sides of the face must be visible, and your eye colour must be clearly verifiable too. Maybe this is the same in other countries sha, I wouldn’t know.
And now for my Nigerian documentation. I thought all I had to do was go to the Nigerian embassy and get a visitor’s visa since I was not born in Nigeria and am therefore not a Nigerian citizen, right?
I learned that if your parents were born in Nigeria, as their child you inherit this citizenship. This fact and the fact that a visitors visa costs more than a passport (I know I shouldn’t be shopping for bargains while getting a passport but what can I say? It’s a part of me) made up my mind for me and I get to take some more passport photos fill out more forms. The easy part will be getting my passports. The hard part will be making sure I don’t lose them during the trip.