In the end this trip – all ten days of it – was about absolution for sins yet to be committed. Unbeknownst to everyone I strove to meet up with, if I had my way, Nigeria would not feature on the holiday destination list for the next three years at least. So this was the last guilty splurge – the second time this year – where I sought to inhale as much of Nigeria and family as I could, like a free-diver does with oxygen before submerging.
Chaos was a constant – bubbling under at all times and at others taking centre stage. The bedlam that was driving in the wrong lane on the Benin Shagamu road, no thanks to the ongoing road works, but also the intransigence of the bus drivers plying the road.
The scourge of kidnapping once again hit close home. I suppose the heady mix of students being free for all of five months due to the ASUU strikes, and the increasingly vocal narrative of lecturers as fat cows creates a volatile situation which one or two miscreants may have exploited, to the detriment of a couple of my parents friends.
There were bright spots too though – adoption, ever a thorny issue – came up in a conversation with the Mom. She was quite accepting of it, strangely. It must be my intransigence in getting her a grand child at work.
Sister #2 is a Psychiatry Resident at a teaching Hospital around town. Given how much of the system she knows, it was no surprise her considered opinion was that a lot more needed to be done with regards to mental health. Hopefully that is an area that gets improved over the next few years.
With all these things – there’s a sense of nostalgia. A sense of loss that belies my overwhelming state of mind – lostness…. Such is the life of a lost son, I suppose.