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the beginning…?

April 14, 2011

i’m thinking there might be a change soon.

a serious change that involves much packing and moving within the next 5 months.

to a new continent. to a country familiar yet distant in my memory.

i want to, i have to. the need to go has been around since the beginning of the year and hasn’t left. i’ve tried to shake it. i’ve tried to become involved locally, but no. it hasn’t worked. you see, i’m tired of America. just plain ‘ol tired. i’m tired of excuses. of the complacency i see around me. i’m young. i’m accomplished. i have goals. i need a change.

one of my primary career goals is to work in international economic development. fancy, so what does it mean? well, it can mean anything i want it to mean. my major in college was public policy, and my concentration was economics so to say. economists study the way people/governments/institutions make decisions. economic development in practical terms is the qualitative measurement of progress in a country. it is mostly a measurement of the increase of standard of living in an economy that can occur through the adaptation of new and improved technology, the reduction of poverty, the increased efficiency of an industrial or agricultural system and the list goes on and on. among economists and theorists, there are differences of opinions if income growth fosters development of an economy, or if a redistribution of wealth catalyzes economic growth. while there is no definitive answer, i am somewhere in the middle.

but back to the ‘beginning’ of this story. for me, a critical component of economic development is the eradication of poverty. it seems like a simple idea, but truthfully, there are too many countries in the 21st century effected by poverty. poverty cripples a nation’s economy. poverty hinders sustainably growth. poverty hurts people. poverty hurts the global economy. poverty, well, is just bad. so where do i come in? i believe with strategic planning, maximizing skill-based markets, and reducing preventable health conditions, poverty thresholds will decrease. with my academic studies plus need to travel internationally, i see the opportunity to live and work abroad as something i just have to do. i want to be in villages. i want to work with women. i want to help youth see that with education, opportunities are endless. to get me where i want to be, i am working with the head of the economics department at a university, who just so happens to be from my country. i explained my passion for what i want to do and suggested some places i’d like to study/work. once she found out where i’m from, she plainly stated that i needed to go to nigeria. no if, ands, or buts. coincidence? i don’t think so. i think God has been planting seeds. setting me up in stages to handle a drastic yet welcomed change. she advised me to consider studying for 6 months in nigeria, where I could continue being academically challenged while working on my professional career goals. um, yes please!

but then came the flood of questions. the hesitation. the fear of being alone. can i pack my whole life and move far away. to live by myself. to experience things alone. to go somewhere and be uncomfortable. to disconnect from things as i know it year. the answer was not a resounding YES, but the answer is i will learn along the way.

so that brings me to the present. if everything goes smoothly, i will be moving to Lagos, Nigeria in the end of August (only 5 months away!). obviously, there is A LOT i need to accomplished between now and then. like, passport renewal, packing, selling everything i owe, making sure i have enough money. oh yeah, the money question. how will i afford to live abroad for 6 months. well, i will most likely pay out of pocket for my plane ticket (thank God i’ve saved up $), which should cost $2,000 USD. for tuition and living expenses at the university, i am looking to receive a grant to cover that portion. i also learned, like yesterday that i am technically considered a citizen because of my parents. i will visit the nigerian embassy office in nyc and apply for my nigerian passport which will make traveling through customs easy and may make it so tuition at the university where i shall be studying and conducting research is free. while things are still being finalized, i have made up in my mind that i am going. i need a new chapter in this life, and what a story to tell.

i am excited to connect with my Naija. i am excited to see places, to hear accents, to eat FOOD, to play with village children. i will also make it my priority to travel along the coast of west africa, hitting at least ghana and morocco.

the next two weeks will be extremely busy for me as i will completely finalize everything. by may 1st, i should know if i am going for sure. i have meetings upon meetings. conference calls, and more project proposals to write. as i tackle the things i need to get done, i will be thinking of this which awaits my journey…..

beautiful joyous children

our coast

fresh REAL fish

religion is everywhere. there is no shame in being a believer of Jesus Christ

um, oh my.

tranquility and peace

ankra will be my choice of clothing


if you pray, please pray. if you don’t, please simply wish me well as i attempt to do what my heart has been calling me to do for the last year. i will be doing lots of thinking, and hopefully, lots of future planning as well 🙂


**all photographs have been borrowed from the amazingly talented Lola Akinmade. To view more of her work and travel, please click here. Her work is simply beautiful, rich, and tells stories.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 8:53 am

    I commend you for doing what your heart desires. Most people are so fearful to take a leap of faith in the direction of their heart. I wish you well. I sense that you have a great head on your shoulders so things will work out & the spirit/universe will guide you along the way. Stay faithful, keep pursuing your dreams, the best to you.

    • April 19, 2011 12:55 pm

      i really appreciate these kind words. i am doing my best to keep my eyes on what i want to accomplish and to keep walking in faith because honestly, i know what i am capable of. i just have to make it happen!

  2. Mabel permalink
    April 18, 2011 1:11 pm

    I was drawn to your blog because I felt I was reading my life and now, I know, yeah, it’s true. You’re another me… or so it seems:)
    I had the same mind struggle at the beginning of the year. I recently finished school but felt there was so much more out there for me. The ideas of Int’l Education came up after I noticed the wealth of programs out there for people who love teaching. I applied to a teach abroad program in Africa on a whim and am now here twiddling my fingers, waiting for a response. If you have a calling to go home, Chinye, go home. I’ve always wanted to go back although I was born and raised here; my parents never understood why I loved Ghana more than the States. And it is scary to think you can leave your family, friends, kinky curly, to go away for almost a year– on your own! But beat past the fear and embrace the ideas God is feeding you, see where it takes you! When you get everything through, let me know. I pray we can meet up on the continent and swap ankara (Ghanaians call it entoma) style ideas whilst we eat roasted plantains, converse about public policy and education, and take pictures for our blog. Sweet!

    • April 19, 2011 1:03 pm

      such kind words, thank you so very much for the encouragement! the calling to go home is strong, and i will with every thing in my body push to get there. it’s actually not that hard to do lol, i just want to go with a focus in mind vs. going for vacation. having a vision keeps me grounded and keeps me focus on achieving all it i want to accomplish which is why i rather take the time now to flesh out details, then impulsively purchasing a plane ticket. it would be so cool if we were home at the same times. roasted plaintains, suya, puff puff…..good times!


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