Airports, Language, and Transitions

Hello all! Sorry long time no posts, I’ve just felt pretty unmotivated lately since I got back about almost two weeks ago. I really should have written this right when I got back but I was feeling entirely non-travel/non-Nigeria, etc. in these last couple of weeks.

First of all I was, by the end of it all, very disappointed in the program in Nigeria. Mostly just the academics and organization of it. I loved my experience and host family! But by the end, the tests (done over a cracking phone and breaking internet) and how poorly I did on them were just getting my down on infrastructure and higher education in the country… and general organization of my program. Now that I’ve had time to reflect… it really was bad. On one hand I was fluently speaking to people in markets and my home… on the other I was being chastised by academics who seemed to have too little time for important language teachings keys like repetition or colloquial speech. 

But anyway, less than three weeks from now I’ll be on my way with Michael to Sri Lanka. I’m going to TRY TRY TRY to take on the responsibility of blogging for our friends and family. Hopefully he’ll help a bit.

In this time that I’ve been home I’ve been working on transitioning. First, to American culture again. And second, back into the mindset of traveling around. The American culture part actually hasn’t been hard yet. This is mostly because I’ve just sat around all day eating, cooking, and talking with friends…. nothing hard about that. Also, I have this feeling when people ask me if it’s hard like… I’ve lived in this culture my whole life, it kind of clicks right back into place.

My last few days in Ibadan were sad. My host mother cried as I left in a car to the airport, I had nearly 40 hours of travel. Everyone talks about how horrible Lagos Airport is but speaking Yoruba made me and my travel companion friends with a lot of the workers at the airport. Something we noticed looking around was that it was basically us and a bunch of ‘international businessmen’ looking like they were in the oil business or something. I was the youngest person there. And knew some of the local languages (pigeon/Yoruba). It made me proud of what I’d attempted to learn there and as we joked and laughed with the bag checkers, made me feel like I’d done the best thing I could think to do – listened, made friends, and learned.

Nigeria will always be with me. I took lots of notes to remember things. I miss it, I really do, but I’m ready for the next part of the adventure.

So in honor of the next six months, I’m changing the name of this blog. I’m not sure to what yet, but it’ll come to me.

There’s not much more to say. I’ve exhausted my holiday-food-overfed-mind already.

O da. O dabo awon ore mi.

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