The trip was illuminating and eye opening. Truthfully, I’m still unpacking my thoughts and responses to this journey. There aren’t words readily available to describe the way beauty and depravity can coexist in their most extreme forms within the same space. Before I left I knew I would feel everything I felt intensely and I did. I found unspeakable joy in some of the most simple things like a baby playing his drum. I also felt heart wrenching sorrow when touring the grounds of Badagry. I was frustrated beyond even my own comprehension at the value placed on poor imitations of Western culture – especially hip-hop. I was amazed and in awe of the story and the people of Olumo Rock.
The instructions given before departure were to listen. I did my best to soak up every sight and sound and to really listen, not just hear, what was being said and done around me. I learned so much. I met and fellowship with beautiful people. My paradigms on life were shifted each day. I enjoyed being exposed to new ideas and varied personalities. I was reminded that truly we are all more alike than we are different. I also learned a great deal about myself. I started the trip thinking that I was going to get something from Nigeria. In reality, Nigeria helped me to see what was in myself.
Ph.D Candidate in History at Howard University