We decided that it was time to depart from Kenya and allow Bayo to continue to convalesce back home in Nigeria.
We arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport about 6 a.m. this morning. I had asked for wheelchair assistance for Bayo because he is still not too steady on his feet. The wheelchair escort was a real blessing. However, right near the end of the process, they almost didn't allow us to fly because I didn't have a letter from the doctor stating that Bayo was fit to fly. Oh no! Well, Kenya Airways called their doctor and she spoke with me. When she heard what Bayo's diagnosis was and the anti-coagulant he is on, she was satisfied. That was a close call.
We had an uneventful 4.5 hour flight westward from Nairobi to Abuja.
But here's where the story gets interesting. While we were waiting to deplane, we saw two wheelchairs waiting at the bottom of the stairs on the tarmac: one for Bayo and one for an old man on the flight. As we descended the stairs, Bayo decided that he wasn't going to use that wheelchair. It's like he had renewed strength now that he was back in Nigeria.
Bayo walked into the airport terminal on his own strength. We were then put in separate lines because of having different passports. He finished long before I did and then stood at the carousel to gather our two bags. I allowed Bayo to do the leading as we cleared through customs.
While we were on the plane, Bayo had told me that he wanted us to stay at a guest house in Abuja so he could rest before going to Jos on Monday. But then, while we were driving into Abuja from the airport, he said that we should just go to Jos. Ok, fine with me.
We ate at a restaurant that serves really good Nigerian food. Bayo ordered amala with egusi soup, cow skin (pomo) and cow leg. I could practically see him salivating as he sat down to eat it. He savored every bite--and ate more than he has since he's been sick. The Nigerian food infused life into him. I could see that this is the medicine he's been missing. Meanwhile, I enjoyed my own pounded yam and okra soup.
And then we headed to Jos which took about another 4 hours or so.
It was so good to see all of our family once again. It's just good to be together under one roof. It was definitely the right time to come home. I had purposely left Bayo's phone in Nigeria, but now that he has it, you better believe he's using it!
As much as I wanted Bayo to rest in Kenya for awhile longer, I can now see that this is exactly what he needs: to be in the country that he loves.
Life has taken me from the Midwest to Africa. Africa was firmly planted in my heart at age 17. I realized that dream when I landed in Nigeria at the age of 26. Currently I am doing the hardest work I have ever done, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Every day is full of challenges. At times life is too painfully raw, but God reaches down to us in those times of great need and helps us to press on and offer hope.