Home (my first post!)

I was surprised by the burst of cold air that greeted me when I exited the Toronto airport. Only yesterday we were sweating in Abuja and dying for a little air conditioning. Is it possible to have culture shock when returning to your own home, I wonder? Mid-way through our 3-week long trip, I must admit that I was longing to be back home with the comforts of my daily life. I was having a hard time adjusting to life in Jos as it was so vastly different than anything I had seen or experineced previously in my life. I was praying and wishing that our time would go faster so that I could just return to the familiarity of my life. Now, as I sit in my little apartment in Toronto

Kristen and Laura

Kristen and Laura

, I find that I miss Nigeria so much that my home feels different than when I left it. What has changed? Essentially everything is still here. My possessions are all here untouched, my light switch works everytime and I actually had a shower that had running water…hot running water! Despite everything being the same, strangely, it feels different. I feel different. My perspective is altered. I feel like I am not really home here anymore because as we came to the end of our time in Jos, I became accustomed to life there and it was surprisingly beginning to feel a little like home as well. I wish I could share with my family and friends exactly what my experience was like but there are no words that fully describe the images ingrained in my head. My pictures show only a one dimmensional view of the faces of Nigerians that touched my life and impacted me in a way that is unforgettable and that image does them no justice. I think my saving grace will be that I had my sister by my side the whole time and so I have someone who truly understands what it was like and what we saw. I don’t think I could have commited to this trip without knowing that Laura would be with me every step of the way. I must say how much I appeciated having Laura by my side, sharing a room together like we did when we were growing up. The laughter that we shared together (mostly on Jim’s expense!) was so necessary after spending difficult days observing poverty in Nigeria. How can life return to “normal” after seeing the things I saw? How do I return to the mundane process of normal life here in Toronto where everything is so easy? I thought that returning home would feel so much better but today I don’t feel like I am truly home yet. My thoughts remain in Nigeria and I miss the way of life we came to know there.  

KD

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