Nothing big really happened during these weeks, I just did a lot of resting and hanging out and checking a few sights in Abuja. From there I went to visit some family friends in Kaduna for a week. Thanks to the time I had doing nothing, I made some more observations. For example, my aunty and uncle were flabbergasted that I knew how to cook or do chores simply because I was from the US. My cousin, after the first week told me she thought I would be spoiled rotten and wouldn’t know how to do anything. There is this belief that we just sit back over here and have things done for us. And while it’s true that I don’t do much cooking and cleaning, it’s not for lack of knowledge of doing them, it is for lack of desire and having someone else to do it. They also didn’t expect me to be able to speak the language and it is so bad that every time I say something or do something, my uncle calls my mom to tell her she did a good job, which gets quite embarrassing.
I have heard from so many people both in the U.S. and in Nigeria that I am going home to find a husband. At first it was funny but now it is just annoying. First off anyone who knows me knows I cannot marry a Nigerian man in Nigeria because I don’t even believe they are progressively thinking enough to be able to build a life with me the way I know how – no offense. There is also the fact that I already have a man in the US (who is also scared that I will meet someone while here and leave him) and even if all that was not enough, I know I am only here for a year so why would I start something that I know I would have to leave in a year, not happening! Also I am not even thinking about marriage right now, with all the stuff on my plate, that’s the last thing on my mind!
However, something that I didn’t factor in and is causing a bit of issue for me is the problem of culture and the changes that have come over me from being in the US for so long. Trying to remember and acculturate back to what is acceptable behavior from a “respectable” naija girl! Things including the proper way to greet (should I kneel as is acceptable or hug as I am used to), the proper way to address people (aunty and uncle or by name since they are relatively close to my age), the proper way to dress (evidently – especially in the north – some dresses or shorts make you look like a loose girl, things I would normally wear without a second thought in the US). After stressing about it for a while, I have just concluded that I will be who I am generally (who isn’t half bad) and whoever has a problem with that can deal with it on their own! So far so good but I am sure I will still have to face the issue sometime in the future! Ah well, till then…
Been here over a month and I am able to drive and I know a few places now. My ability to drive depends on concluding that everyone else on the road is an idiot who doesn’t know what they are doing and factoring that into my driving (this is defensive driving at its best). Went to the NYSC office to pick up my call up letter and I got posted to Abuja. But they said that Abuja camps are full so I will be going to camp in Kaduna. We were informed of this when we went to pick up our letters, with no former allusion to this happening. But we don’t have a choice about it, we all have to pack our stuff and go to Kaduna whether you know the place or not! The journey is starting and I am excited and nervous about it. Camp starts on the 25th! Will try to update in about it in a week, but it depends on how internet capable I am, might not update until after camp is over in 3 weeks, but definitely look forward to the adventures of the Yankee copper trying to figure out Nigeria anew. Here’s to surviving Kaduna~
image source: http://nairabrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/NYSC.jpeg