NIGERIA:  Eyes Wide Open

NIGERIA: Eyes Wide Open

I was at a park in the US pushing my two children (who were 13 mos. and 3 yrs at the time) on swings, when I noticed a little girl who looked about 2 years old with dirty blonde hair which looked like it hadn’t been combed in days. Her clothes were filthy and stained with probably whatever she last ate. Her mother was sitting on a bench across the park and the little girl went over to her and started eating Cheetohs (an artificially flavored and bright orange colored cheese chip) right from a bag her mother held open for her. I remember thinking, “I would NEVER EVER let my child look like that or eat Cheetohs!! Doesn’t that mother care about her child?”

Fast forward a few months and my family moved to Lagos, Nigeria. I cannot tell you the “culture shock” I experienced moving there. One of the things which stood out to me most was the child rearing practices I would see along the streets from the windows of my car. There were small children in their school uniforms riding on the back of okadas (small motorcycles). There were children walking to school with no shoes. There were mothers selling their goods from large trays on their heads along with their young children helping them. Shouldn’t those children be riding in a car with car seats?? Shouldn’t those children have shoes on their feet? Shouldn’t, shouldn’t, shouldn’t????

What kind of place was this??? Didn’t these people care about their children??? My head was spinning! (more…)

Meredith (USA)

Meredith finds it difficult to tell anyone where she is from exactly! She grew up in several states, but mainly Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana which is also where she met her husband. She taught kindergarten for seven years before she adopted her son from Guatemala and then gave birth to her daughter two years leter. She moved to Lagos, Nigeria with her husband and two children in July 2009 for her husband's work. She and her family moved back to the U.S.this summer(August 2012) and are adjusting to life back in the U.S. You can read more about her life in Lagos and her adjustment to being back on her blog: We Found Happiness.

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