People only care about material things. Even in my poor neighborhood, everyone made sure they have the right look by buying Jordan and snap back hats. I begged my parents for everything thing I seen advertised on television. I couldn’t indemnify my needs and wants. But my junior year winter break, I was enlightened about my mother childhood and the sacrifice she made to give her kids a better future.
My family is from Nigeria, Ibo tribe; we came to America when I was four. They say young kids have an easier time adapting to change than adults, study my mother and I can prove it. My mother couldn’t separate Nigeria from America. She never eats Daritos chip because it reminds her of a poisons plant grown in her village. Also she never allows me to buy thing for fun, she allows says “save your money for when you need it”. That annoyed me because I didn’t know where she was coming from.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
My junior year winter break wasn’t my first time back to Nigeria but it was the first time we stayed in my mother’s childhood home, in Ihioma village. I knew my mom had eleven siblings, so when I seen the home she was raised, I wondered how they all fit in a three room house, one of which was a living room. The second day of our trip my grandmother woke my siblings and I up really early. I couldn’t tell the time but the rooster wasn’t crooking. We followed her to her farm but I was still half asleep. I mind wasn’t fully running so I couldn’t understand what she want us to do even after she handed all of us a machete.
We worked on her farm up to noon, picking and planting yams, potato and rice. We also had to feed the entire farm animal and clean out there bane. I had no energy left to walk back to her house but to my surprise we weren’t going back just yet. My grandmother said something in Ibo and all I could understand was “get water”. My grandmother doesn’t speak a word of English and I don’t really know ibo, neither does my siblings. Communication between us wasn’t bad; I know enough to understand her. She gave us all vases then we followed her up a very steep hill. We walk like three million miles to a river to fill up our large vases. My grandmother showed us how to carry the vases on top of our heads. She rolled up a rapt peace of a “riappa”, it like a cloth that you could us to cover your hair or carry a baby, the use of it is amazing. She placed it on her head then place the vase on top, we all copied her. When we were selling the harvest in the market she told us how our mother did this every day, sometime she would miss school because of it.
After that trip I felt like I know more about my mother. She has told me stories about her childhood but living it made me get a better understanding. My mother may not be a millionaire but she gave up her home for a foreign country she knew little about so her kids could have a better life. In the future I hope to be able to look at others perspective not just my own because people perspective shapes their opinions and actions. This experience was one in a million; I only wish I brought my camera.
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