A couple of days ago, my sister asked me when I’d be going back to Nigeria. Would I go next year? Because I want to accrue vacation time, I’ll probably have to wait until 2011. There is the possibility of taking time off without pay, but I still don’t know if my employer looks kindly on that, and I’d like another colleague to do it before I do.
From that question, we started talking about how things have changed from last November when we had just returned from Nigeria. I remember how homesick we were for Nigeria. Although we had been in Nigeria for less than a month, and although prior to this last visit I hadn’t been there for almost 15 years, it was like I had always lived there and I was getting used to the routines of the day: the NEPA shortages, getting water from the well, and sweating the day away. I loved seeing family members every day, and walking over to visit our cousins.
When we returned to Canada, we called our cousins and they called us every few days. We would play “remember when?” all the time, remembering the things we did, the people who touched our hearts, the close calls we had, and things like the crazy rainstorm that destroyed many houses in my grandmother‘s neighbourhood. We’d imitate the mannerisms of family members and laugh remembering them, or get angry remembering some injustices too.
We blasted Naija music from morning till night, and gushed to our brothers about how much they missed and how they have to go with us next time. We discussed potential businesses we could start should we decide to live in Nigeria in the future. We had trouble adjusting to our current timezone, waking up early no matter how late it was when we went to bed. If someone had told us we had to return to Nigeria immediately, we would have done so in a heartbeat. It was a good time.
But now, our memories of Nigeria are quieter, though they are not forgotten. They come up less frequently, and our calls to family members are less frequent also. This is due to our distance from Nigeria and our proximity to the reality of where we are right now. I know I have to go back to sharing stories of the people and incidents that happened before I really do start forgetting them.
Anyway, I guess this was a semi-homesick post. I think I’ll call my grandmother this evening.