All Other Things

Posts Tagged ‘Dad

I think it is only appropriate to start this series at the beginning. To start it with the reason I was able to go to Nigeria for the first time in my 27 years of life. Ideally, my whole family would have gone, but lack of finances did not allow it to be so. Therefore, exactly half of my family was able to go: My dad, my sister and me.

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Visiting family, was obviously a major reason for our trip. However, it was not the only reason. See, my dad is a pastor and he was invited to preach at a conference in one of the biggest churches in Nigeria: The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM). This conference ran from November 17th-23rd and featured special guests from all over the Africa and the world. The theme of the conference was “A God Said…” For my first week in Nigeria, I went to church basically all day every day. And athough I suffered from jetlag, it was an enjoyable experience. God was evident everywhere.

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The other reason we went to Nigeria was for my Dad’s charity: REST International Ministries. The last time my dad traveled to Nigeria was in 2006. While he was there, he visited various schools and was amazed at their conditions. One such school was Ozar Secondary School in Abia State. This is a government school and many government schools are in deplorable states. Living in Canada, it is so obvious that we take school for granted. We expect to have doors on our buildings. They do not. We expect to have desks to sit in and equipment to use. They are thankful if they do. We expect to use a functioning bathroom at least once per day. They do not even have a functioning bathroom on the premises. This is what my dad saw in 2006.

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So he took it upon himself to help make a difference. Upon returning to Canada, he started fundraising for desks. My Dad ended up raising enough money to make 100 three-seater desks for the school (there are 400 students) and 8 desks for the principal and teachers.

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My dad is a humble man. He did not think that what he did was a big deal. He thought that he would just go to the school and hand over the desks. Many had to convince him that his act of philanthropy was, in fact, a big deal. It turned out that there was a whole big ceremony.

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They welcomed him with singing:

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They welcomed him with dancing.

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They even presented him with a chief’s hat and outfit. Government officials were also invited, although I do not remember who they were.

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The students and the administrators were so thankful. It was a very amazing and humbling experience. It just puts into perspective what we take for granted here every day. These kids were happy to get desks. Can you imagine?

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So, that is the back-story explaining why I went to Nigeria.

nigeria3Stay tuned for more!

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nigeria

I am back from, as my friend so eloquently put it, my OHMYGOSHHOWLONGWASTHISVACATION six week Nigeria trip. And let me tell you, it was unbelievable. First time to Nigeria and first time meeting the majority of my family. Before this trip, I had only met one Auntie and one Uncle on my dad’s side and then my maternal grandma. I have now met everyone which includes my mom’s 2 sisters and one brother, their spouses, and my 9 cousins. And I saw my grandma again. On my dad’s side, I finally got to meet my dad’s step mom, my youngest uncle (a mere 10 years my senior), my uncle’s fiance, my dad’s brother in law and my cousin. I also got to see my dad’s sister again after 18 years.

My dad and I stayed in Nigeria for six weeks and my sister was there for three. Yes, we took plenty of pictures. And when I say plenty, multiply that number in your head by 1000. Because my sister is studying photography and has a Nikon D300, most of the pictures that I will be using in my upcoming posts will be hers. Because they’re brilliant. And we also have tons of video.

So please, let me jetlag detox, but keep your eyes open for many upcoming posts chronicling my adventures.

(haha, a picture of a boy, not related. Just lived in the apartment below my Auntie and Uncle, where we stayed the majority of the time in Lagos. Loved him. Don’t even know his name…)

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God is Good.