Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back to Bookish

Before I was ever a writer, I was a reader. As a child, I devoured book after book as a favorite pastime. One auntie even seemed worry about me. "Chichi, go play with the other kids," she would say when she came to visit us. Her kids and my siblings would be tearing up the house (inside and out) in a crazy frenzy of raucous noise, but I could still keep my focus on the latest paper treasure that I had found.

As I grew older I got more social, but I still loved to read all the way though high school. Then came college.

No longer was I able to spend vast amounts of time reading books of my own choosing for pleasure, for I had huge reading assignments from textbooks that could put even the most avid reader to sleep. No more free reading for me! At least, not much of it.

Now that I'm done with undergrad, I can read again! I'm excited for that. Reading is a true love of mine. My favorite books are autobiographies. To me, it's just so amazing to hear a person's life story, with all it's twists and turns, and see the person they've become.

Right now I'm reading Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama, his autobiography.
Please excuse the silliness. Lol.
I can remember about four years ago my friend Louise was braiding my hair. She had won the book in a drawing, but she wasn't particularly into it. It was sitting on the floor of her room and I picked it up.  I started reading it, but didn't get far. We had no idea who the man would become. Now that we all know who Obama is, his story is even more fascinating to me. How did he become who he is? So far, the book hasn't disappointed. Obama is eloquent and his written voice tells a story that makes you want to keep reading.

I'm a big fan of the library, so that's where I got the book. I also checked out this book:

Investing Online for Dummies. So far I've learned that I have no business investing money in the stock market until I build up a solid savings. I'm working on that right now. Bringing my lunch everyday instead of buying, buying gas from Kroger because they give great discounts to their customers, not going shopping for those new pairs of jeans, and getting books from the library instead of buying them. Ahhhh frugality.

But anyways, Yaaaaaaay reading! Lol. I sound like a supernerd. But that's ok. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Visiting Nigeria: My Rationale

Happy New Year!!!! Yeah, I know I'm extra late. No, I haven't been in a coma or under a rock. Lol. But this does happen to be my first post in 2011 so I just thought I'd start it off right.

The year's gotten off to a good start for me. This is the time I was contemplating visiting in Nigeria, but I'm still here in the States. Things didn't work out, so I'll go when the time is right. Everything happens for a reason...Hopefully though my grandparents could come and visit before then; that would be awesome.

When I was little my grandmother (dad's mom) visited us from Nigeria. She stayed for maybe two years. She only spoke Igbo so it was hard to communicate with her and I was too young to realize the importance of trying to. She was over 90 years old and had lived through Nigeria gaining independence from the British, the Biafran War, and so many milestones in the country's history. But to a kid of 10 and 11 it didn't mean much.

My grandma with me and my two younger sisters at the hospital after my youngest sister was born.

I remember being annoyed when I had to walk slow with her holding my arm because she was a little frail. How silly and impatient, but that's the mind of a child. Now I realize what a living treasure people like that are. And that's the main reason I wanted to go to Nigeria so bad. My dad's mother has been dead for over 10 years, but my mom's parents are still alive and well, though they are of course getting up there in age. I really want to see them both while that is still the case.

Almost three years ago one of my mother's youngest brothers died from malaria (or so the doctors said) in Nigeria. She was so surprised, so sad when it happened. I remember her first telling me when she found out. She started crying, which made me cry too. It was sad to see my mom like that. I imagined what it would be like to lose one of my siblings. The worst part was that she hadn't seen any of her family in over 15 years. I started to really realize the importance of prioritizing what's important. Family is important, and even though when they are overseas it takes extra effort, it's worth it for children to have interaction with their grandparents and of course their uncles, aunties and cousins.

I now understand that people don't want to go back empty-handed; they don't want to go back unless they can do so in style like a big madam or a big oga with lots of money and goods to hand around. They want to be able to build a house for the family. They don't want to be looked at like a failure. While I understand all of this, not seeing one's family for such a long time is not acceptable. In my mom's case, and so many others, it's the expensiveness of the plane ticket that has kept her away for so long, but even that can be overcome with careful budgeting and saving.

Either way, I have made it my personal mission to visit Nigeria as soon as I'm able. For now I will help out from here in the little ways that I can and continue to educate myself so that I can do some big things for them one day. God knows best. In His timing, it will all happen.