Some of my favorite quotes

“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character. If there be beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home. If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there be order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” - Confucius

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.” - Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

“Democracy, like liberty, justice and other social and political rights are not given. They are earned through courage, resolution and sacrifice.” - Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'” – Anonymous

Friday, January 27, 2006

Home sweet home…

I traveled home (Lagos, Nigeria) in December 2005, my first trip back since I left 18 months before in August 2004. I was at a very low point, and all I wanted was to go home and swim and float in the love and joy that can only come from being with friends and family. It worked!

I particularly love food – not just any type of food, but the traditional foods that are so finger-licking tasty, one will be licking fingers long after the plate is empty :-). I made a long list before going home – nkwobi, afang, edikaikong, oha soup, miya n kuka, efo riro, bokoto and fresh fish pepper soup, ofada rice, moin moin elemi meje, jollof rice, smoked fish, fish and chicken suya, akara, ogi, amala with ewedu soup… I could go on and on… I ate them all :-)! If any of these items seem strange to you, then you are definitely not a Nigerian :-).

Going home was not all about food :-)… A lot of things had changed, and yet nothing had changed. I was able to view my home land through different eyes; to appreciate the things we should proud of, like our sense of family and community, like our wonderful sense of humor and our ability to laugh at ourselves – a lot of people I have met outside the country actually lack this ability and hence take life a bit too seriously. And our parties? No one can take that away from us… not even the Americans :-). But I also saw the areas that we have unfortunately come to accept as normal ways of life: our lowered value for life, our unwillingness to work for our pay – always trying to cut corners, our lack of a service culture in most facets of our lives – I wonder why some of us think that their self worth is diminished by being courteous to other people.

I had many discussions with friends and family about what differentiates us as a people and a society from these so-called western nations – we have about the same proportion of good, bad, ugly, stupid, smart, dubious, angry, happy people as there are in any other country of the world. Yet we seem to have truly succeeded in yanking ourselves back from getting on to the development train. Could it be that we have been so battered by military rule that we have lost our sense of self preservation? I don’t understand why a driver would willingly face an on-coming vehicle in the name of overtaking the vehicle in front of him – I consider that to be a suicidal action! How can we gain what we have taken away from ourselves over the last 3 or 4 decades? What do we do if the leadership we wish for does not materialize? Do we continue to go down hill?

Ok… enough of the philosophies and questions… I could go on and on. Nigeria and Nigerians are not a sorry lot – we have lots of stars who manage to make it through some of the worst situations and come out tops. I visited the Silverbird Galleria for the first time ever (with my fiancé), and I was impressed with the interior and the standard of the movie theaters, comparable with any movie theater in the world. But I was disappointed that more wasn’t done to ease parking for visitors to the Galleria, considering how congested Victoria Island can be. O well… I’m not going to harp on the negatives any more. We had fun, after we were able to find a place to park :-).

I was able to meet with quite a number of friends, and it was interesting to see how each one of us has grown – some of us married, some of us on the way to the altar, some of us expecting our first kids, some of us already have a brood, some of us recently promoted in the work-place, some of us are our own bosses. I pray that wherever we go and whatever life throws our way, that we will remain happy and appreciative of the relationships we have with each other.

Now I’m back in school, my final semester. I also started a new job last week – I hope it’ll be a lot of fun :-).

As usual, I have rambled :-)… till I do that again…


Debayo said...

bash thanx, for the bday msg. I completely agree with you about the inadequate parking arrangements at the Silverbird Galleria and i think thos guys have to do something to solve the problem. i only went there in January. Anyhow there are much more serious problems in 'Naija' to solve than providing the 'elite' with comfortable parking at their choice spots, but i think its all about standards....abi?

olaoluwatomi said...

hi bash thanks for visiting my blog you write very well love your way with words, know all the foods you mentioned so im a true nigerian abi?

Bash said...

Tomi - you are true Naija babe for sure :).