A s we waited to board our direct flight from Houston to Lagos on the always disappointing United which was now 4.5 hours late from our original scheduled departure time of 7:55, I looked over at my cousin gisting and laughing with some other guys flying to Nigeria for a wedding. We were eight deep from Chicago flying home. Yes, home! It is the home of the place that birthed the parents that raised us and molded the very values embedded in us. Engineers, Doctors, Nurses, you get it. The stereotypical occupations that children of Nigerian parents are expected to hold. That’s another conversation for another day. However, I was trying to stifle my own excitement because I couldn’t wait to see the look on the face of my cousin when we arrived. She hadn’t been to Nigerian in almost two decades. So much has changed and I couldn’t wait to share with her all the reasons why I had fallen in love with this place. Seated next to each other, she can’t contain her enthusiasm and complete excitement, “I can’t believe I’m going to Nigeria!” I’m more excited than, well, we will keep those sentiments as I chuckle thinking about the gasps of the conservative Nigerians around me. Heat and smiling airport staff welcomed us as we immediately began taking off layers to adjust to a much warmer climate. Nigerian passports in hand, the Custom process was a breeze. The 1500 naira cart equipped with Porter carried our 4 big suitcases because all Africans know you can never travel to Africa with just one suitcase. You must take stuff home and bring stuff back o! We enter the Benz that my play brother, Maleek, has graciously come to pick us up in and enter the Lagos streets. I can feel an immediate change in my spirit. My cousin looks like she has a permanent smile plastered on her face as she takes in the sights of Lagos life and we dart in and out of lanes in crazy Lagos traffic as people risk their life crossing the road, hustling to get home and prepare for Sunday worship the next day. Third Mainlaind Bridge clears and the Lagos skyline appears radiating in light. Cool FM plays in the background, I ease back in my seat with a quick prayer thanking God for allowing us to get here safely. Smiling, I AM HOME! It’s dark now. With plans to go out that night, my cousin and I part at the Dominoes in Ikoyi so that she can catch up with her side of the family and freshen up before we hit the Club. We never make it out, too exhausted and full from fresh egusi soup indulgence. Tomorrow, we’ll hook up to ensure that we make the best out of this one week we have here.
Kogi State's Most Prominent Mountain Climbing Competition