Ramblers Updates!

With vacation time in full swing, I've been missing in action for the last couple of months. Between visits to my family and clinicals, there has been little time for any projects and blogging. But now that I’m back in school and summer is all over, I can get back into the swing of things and get busy around here.
 But before I move forward with new topics idea, I want to take a few minutes of your time to reflect on the past couple of months. The highlight of my vacation besides spending time with family was spending quality time with friends.

Every two or three year period I have endeavored to visit Nigeria. This year I was in Nigeria for eight weeks from the month of June to August. Unlike my previous visit I took notes of my experiences starting from the time our plane took off from Borispol international airport in Kiev to the time it returned two months later back to Kiev.

When we landed in Lagos, it was surreal and weird.  I was back in Nigeria again.  What?! Time for reverse culture shock?  It truly was the Twilight Zone when I got off the plane and met my bags to go through customs, get my passport checked. The scene that greets me when I step off the plane at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria is not a total surprise – after all, I was quite accustomed to the Nigerian culture and custom. When I arrived, however, it felt so different like I have been away for more than a decade. The people, the numerous languages being spoken, and most importantly the Lagos heat that encompassed me.  It is not surprising to see that there was no abundant mix of races, everybody is black and, Men and women wear their traditional outfits proudly.

The ride from the Airport  to the house was very tiring, with okadas everywhere. I have always considered Okada a dangerous mode of transportation in Nigeria given the bad roads and lack of consideration by many Nigeria drivers of other users of the road. With the proliferation of Okadas in all cities and towns of Nigeria, it is even more dangerous and consequently there is a funeral almost every week for somebody who died as a result of accident involving Okada. Those Okada operators are not safety conscious, they do not wear helmet or provide their passengers with helmet, and often operate dangerously by breaking every traffic rule.

Well moving on, I was relieved to be there and reuniting with my family made my heart leap for joy. I got to see my lovable dogs and spent time playing with them.  They were pretty happy to see me and I was so glad to see them and hold them again after several months. Mehn…. I was home and boy it does feel good.. I had a wonderful time catching up with my family, my eleventy-billion cousins, aunts, uncles, childhood friends. Returning to my childhood home is always bittersweet. I miss it when I am here, and returning brings back fond memories, but I am always ready to come back to my study here.

This trip back to my childhood home made me realize some things. I have grown and changed and so have the people I grew up with, my family, cousins, friends etc. It’s not a bad thing but we have all moved on the paths we have chosen. However spending time with each one of them also helped me see that despite how much we may have grown and changed, there is still that part of us in there. The part where we ranted about our crushes and did things we thought were so cool then. Friendships and relationships are different as adults than it is when you’re a child. I think knowing that these people knew me at my craziest, lowest points, and still stuck around to meet up with me when I’m back, makes me love and cherish them even more. I also watched in awe as these same people have now become strong, and I am so proud of them.

I enjoyed my visit very much. Every single day was a fun filled day. While returning made me a little teary and gave me a heavy heart, I know that it is not goodbye but see you later. Our world is growing smaller and smaller. It is so much easier to keep in touch and while we may not be able to be physically in the same space, we almost can with technology. So I am truly blessed because I know wherever I am in the world, there are people in it that love me and miss me just like I do them.

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