Livin’ in Nigeria: I can hear the tune for James Brown’s ‘Livin’ in America’.

I guess this is the first proper post that isn’t something else entirely.

My pal Lucy and I are Naija wives.  We used to work together in Lagos and regularly discuss what is like to be a foreign wife to a Nigerian.  Often our discussions are full of funny situations that continue to surprise us, despite our lengthy combined time in the country.

This whole blog thing was her idea and she must get credit for it.  We have said we needed to tell our stories so people could understand what it is really like here.  I hope she will post something.  I welcome her optimistic and refreshing view of life in a land so different from where we grew up.

Months before coming to Nigeria I received a great deal of advice from a number of people, both solicited and unsolicited.  I also had that weird conversation with those closest to me.

I was shocked by my parents’ response as they said something like ‘okay’.  I guess they had figured with my adventurous priorities that this was another in a long list of my ‘things’.  By this point I had already lived in New Zealand and Scotland and been stung by a stingray in Costa Rica.

A friend’s father, someone I had known since Grade 6, told me unequivocally that I was ‘not going’.

One thing that people have said about me is that I never do things the easy way.  Moving to Nigeria has to have been the most extreme illustration of that idea discussed over the years.

The learning curve is steep.  We’re talking cultural, social, political and in some cases ethical differences from any experience I had had previously.  Most hours I learn something new and even when I think I have a particular aspect of my life in Nigeria sussed, something comes along to remind me I’m not even close to proper understanding.

While it has been difficult to find my feet it has also been incredibly rewarding in a number of ways.  I have had the privilege of working with some incredible people and I hope, have made some life long friendships in the meantime.  I have also worked with some really lovely students through a number of activities and during academic time.  Teenagers have their moments but that is another story all together.

I was very lucky to have been raised in Canada by Scots.  Biased view of course: I had the best of both worlds.  I was taught responsibility, that everything in life is transient and to be my own best friend.  Those lessons have helped me face the many challenges I have experienced since my arrival to Lagos in 2011.

I guess what all of the above is trying to say is that I am gaining a great deal from living in the most populous country in Africa.  My only hope is that my presence here will enrich lives in the same manner.

This blog will serve as a spring board for sharing stories and ideas as well as presenting short works of fiction.

Please let me know what you think as I am a true lover of open dialogue and debate.

J

 

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3 thoughts on “Livin’ in Nigeria: I can hear the tune for James Brown’s ‘Livin’ in America’.

  1. Here’s what I think….u rock and I love this idea 🙂 I’m totally digging your words and picturing that wee ‘doublethink’ tat whilst enjoying the reminiscing 🙂 keep em coming xx

    Like

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