Visiting Home

Tribe: Igbo.  Location / State(s): Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Delta

“Are we there yet?” I asked barely able to suppress my excitement. My eyes gleamed happily as I tried to make out familiar structures illuminated by the bright head lights of my father’s blue Peugeot 404.

“Not yet Ifeanyi. Look out for the street lined with palm trees.” My mom said smiling.

I nodded obediently and began looking for the palm trees my mom spoke of. I could not remember the first time I went to Mbaise, but each trip gave me the same electric feeling, shooting down my spine. We finally got onto the street I had been waiting for. It was a long street with unpainted brick walls on both sides. Also lining both sides of the street were tall, majestic palm trees evenly spaced apart, much like the street lights on the expressways. As Mr. Walter – my dad’s driver – accelerated through the street, I let out a loud yelp.

“We are almost there!!”

“Yeaaahhh!!” My dad responded, matching my excitement. I flashed him a grin. My dad was a bit of a ‘stiffy’ naturally, but he did try his best to relax and unwind. My mom always took every opportunity to express her wish for me not to inherit my father’s workaholic nature. It was a welcome sight seeing him so animated. Finally, we got to the end of the street and Mr. Walter turned right into an open compound with two bungalows sitting square in the middle. An elderly couple sat on the front porch talking. When they saw the car pull in, they quickly got up and made their way swiftly to the car. I scrambled past my dad and ran into my grandfather’s awaiting arms.

“My boy!” He exclaimed.

I pulled back, looked at him and asked

“Papa where’s my okuko?”

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