Every 26th of each month is my anniversary of arriving in America for the fellowship. so far I have ‘stayed’ here for more than three month. So will I be ‘staying’ here for the rest of my fellowship? I know you are wondering why am using the word ‘staying’ & ‘Living’ in apostrophe in this this text. Just hang on on that thought… will be right back to it.
Moving to a new place is not always easy, including moving to a new country, with different kind of weather, food and attitude. Everything is slightly different from home but at the same time trying to retain some ‘home-identity’ within this new place made it even fun. for instance, before shopping or buying as we commonly used in Nigeria, I will ponder withing me ‘how much it in Naira?’ ( Naira being Nigeria’s Currency)… other questions that come to my mind include ‘ where can I buy Nigeria food stuff (or grocery as they call it here) the list became endless..
Allow me to inform you the reader, that this is not my first or second time in Obamaland (USA) and having been raised with listening to American music, and movies and reading about America, one would imagine that I will definately settled in within three weeks!! I tried. love my job so much and the people I work for, like my flatmates like brothers and sister.. yet something was missing..
Then I took a Business class flight from Washington DC to Addis Ethiopia ( Africa’s Political Capital) with a three hour waiting in Frankfurt. ( check my previous blog if you want to know why I travelled to Ethiopia)
But the night before I left for Addis, I tweeted on my profile that ‘I cant wait to go to Africa, to feel the warm sunny breeze on my skin’ I immediately got a response from a follower that “Africa is not a country, it a continent of 54 countries’ (+ south Sudan) implying that I should be more specific when taking about Africa. It hit me. Gbam! I have become ‘Americanised‘. I realised that in the few weeks in during my stay here, conversations involving African countries or Africa mostly refer to Africa as a country rather than as a continent. which is wrong and most time used with very good intention.
This was the begining of ‘Living’ in Iowa Avenue. Seating in the Business class lounge at Frankfurt airport, I began to reflect, rethink and evaluate my stay so far in America. I found myself at a crossroad between staying or living in Iowa Avenue, my immidiate connection to my American reality. Former President Mary Ribbonson once told me when I asked her during a conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2008, “what she will do if she find herself at a crossroad?” she said “always follow your heart”
I paused and took a long, hard look around my surrounding ( then still inside the lounge) I smiled. I made a decision. Returning back to America after a very successful trip. I had a new flatemate. An American. The Writing was now on the wall. It time to start living in Iowa Avenue.
PS: check back to read my next blog on “Living in Iowa Avenue”