The two things in life that we are sure of is change and death. I have always felt that my time here on this earth is limited. So some time ago I decided that I wanted to see the world, I wanted to teach and I wanted to write. Somewhere along the way I decided that I also wanted to start my own business, one that would improve the lives of those around me in some way.
A long time ago, I remember reading about the 60 year old Irish woman, Dervla Murphy who took off on her bicycle and travelled the length of Africa and wrote stories of her experiences with people she met along the way. She was my favourite travel writer. She inspired me to do the same- always be ready to pack a bag and head off and write. During my travels, I met people who have left an indelible mark on my life and have changed it profoundly. I also discovered Senegal where I eventually settled and started that business I had always dreamed of. After a year of settling, I realized that I missed my travel boots; I missed exploring far and distant lands. I also missed the excitement of teaching mathematics full time.
Within two weeks of this great realization, I found a job teaching in an intriguing country…. Nigeria. Truth be told, I have always been curious about this country that is so full of extremes. It produces award winning writers, ingenuous criminals, crude oil, wannabe terrorists, hardworking people, brilliant minds, possesses a vibrant music industry, a well-known film industry, and extreme wealth intermingled with extreme poverty. In the media, crazy stories about Nigeria abound. For example, think about how much organization and planning it takes to kidnap one person, much less 300! #bringbackourgirls. Then there is the restaurant shut down for serving human meat, which was in the news recently. #thisiswhyyoushouldbevegetarian. And there is also the Nigerian, Chinedu Echeruo, who sold his HopStop app to Apple for a ginormous amount of money. Crazy and fabulous stories all at the same time.
While it is very different from my adopted home Senegal, I plan to embrace the experience and appreciate the good things the country has to offer, which is what you do anyway, when you are moving to a new country. There is so much I will miss about Senegal. As the time to leave draws nearer, I will be soaking up as much as possible. Everyday I think of all the things I will miss, but it is not an “Adieu” but rather an “Au Revoir”. Hello Nigeria, see you again, Senegal.