|Posted on October 23, 2016 at 10:40 AM|
I know Its been awhile since ive posted a blog, and I am truly sorrry that I've kept you all waiting. Since my return from Nigeria, I've been really busy reevaluating my life and what it is that I truly want for myself. The trip to the motherland, has triggered so many emotions inside of me that I cant even explain it in a way that you will truely understand exactly how i feel. I will try to fill you in on my thoughts and my plans for my future. First, if you hav'nt done so already, please check out my first two blogs and my youtube videos, posted on the main page of this site. In the videos, you will see, the many things that i was blessed to do in Lagos, Nigeria. when i first arrived at the airport, I was in shock at the condition of the airport. I know that theres money in africa, so i was confused at why the building was so old and that they needed serious renovations. My bags took forever to unload, and the place was packed with security guards as well as airport staff. English was spoken so it wasn't hard for me to communicate and the people were very nice and willing to help. I was so scared. Many people came up to me, trying to sell me things, exchange my american money and offering me a cab to wherever i was going. A great friend warned me to not talk to anyoone and that afer i received my bags, that I should sit inside of the airport and wait for them to arrive and pick me up. I met a new friend on the plane that was originally from Nigeria, but now lived in America. They were heaven sent in my eyes because they helped me manuever through the obstacles, of security trying to see how much money I had and trying to make me tip them just to get inside of the main part of the airport. I learned quickly that Money Talks in Nigeria, louder than your mouth, and as long as you tip and look out for people, they are willing to help you out. I was scared, anxious, excited and culture shocked all at the same time. Eventually, my friends were there to pick me up, I must admit, once they arrived, I felt that I could finally exhale. Walking outide for the first time In Africa was something I have anticipated for my whole life. I Jennifer Holmes, was actually In Africa. If I didnt believe in dreams coming true before, I definetly do now. I have waited for this moment and it has finnaly happened. As I sit In the back seat of the car, I immediatly noticed the traffic, and the amount of people, in the streets, hustling, traveling to work and school. The streets of Lagos, is very busy and can be chaotic in a sense. Ive never seen so many black people at the same time, working together and living amongst each other with no violence. I was flicking my camera and watching everything that we rode by. I seen young children of all ages, selling things, sweeping in front of their families business, and I even seen a child no more than 10 years old, assisting his father, in changing a tire. I was in shock because my two boys, 8 and 15 years old, doesnt even act like they can take the garage out or clean their room without my assistance. It made me see how America is raising a bunch of "Baby Boys" instead of strong, self relying men. I arrived at the hotel around 11A.m. and they thought that I would be tired and ready to nap. Sleeping was the last thing on my mind, i was hungry and ready to explore Lagos. I was on high and I knew that I only had two weeks to see all that I can, so napping wasn't on my agenda at all. I showered and changed at the hotel and I was annoyed at the water pressure, and how the hot water ran out before I finished showering. The hotel was nicely built, with marble floors and gold water faucets. I noticed how they used the cement for the walls instead of dry wall, like we do in America. The building could outstand a hurricane, tornado and any other natural disaster that came its way. The staff were very nice and there was security at the gate to let us in and out. I felt safe and secure. My first stop was Ikeja Mall, where we had breakfast at a small family diner. I dont eat pork so when my plate came, I didnt want to offend, but i wanted to make sure there was no pork on my plate. I was reassured that Lagos has a large Muslim community and that the only way you will get pork, is if you specifally asked for it. That made my day. The second stop was to the Radio station where one of my friends had some things to do there. I learne there that they have three major stations in Lagos, majority of the people there speak english, but the three main languages are Yoruba, Ibo, and Hausa. The music there is similar to Reggae music, which I absolutly love, so it didnt take long before i fell in love with the sweet sounds of Nigeria's music. My favorite artist from Lagos is Kiss Daniel, Wiz Kid, Tiwa Savage and Teckno. Many of their music is a mixture of english and Yoruba, so it has also helped me to learn yoruba. The next stop of course, the hotel, because at this point i was now fighting my sleep. I arrived in Lagos at 5:30 a.m. and it was now 7 p.m., I was exhausted. That night I was awakened by my friends at around 11 p.m., i was told to get cute because we were going out. I was so excited to see what the Night life is like in Africa. First stop was to this place in Victoria Island called "Soul Lounge". I was fascinated at how thesecuirty didnt violate me by patting me down and searching through my purse, like they do here in America. When we entered the club, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful music coming from the live band consisting of a young energetic group of two ladies and three guys. We sat down at our booth and was greeted by the waiter, who was very nice. We ordered a bottle of Ciroc, and as I gazed the lounge, I noticed that everyone was enjoying the music and having a good time. For a second I forgot that I was in Africa. The people looked just like me and my family. Black people of all different shades, of beautiful brown. The band was very entertaining and they even came over to my booth and started singing to us personally. As the Ciroc filled my body, and the music played, I felt a sense of Euphoria. We left the Soul lounge at at round 3 a.m. where we then went to another club called Quilox, which was very luxorious. The people in the club was dancing andsocializing, men and women, not like the clubs here in America where the people would stand around as if they were in a fashion show instead of a party. I had so much fun the first night in Lagos, that at that point, I had already decided that I was gonna move there one day. my first day was very exciting but it doesn't compare to the rest of the trip and the great things that I was able to see and do while on my trip to the motherland. please make sure you watch the videos that I made for more on my amazing trip to Lagos, Nigeria.