New York has always been a place that has captivated me since I was a child growing up in Nigeria. I first encountered her in Movies like Miracle on 34th Street and in books like the Boxcar Children.
I always wondered how it could be when I finally got the chance to visit. I envied my sister when she got to go and study in New York. I remember watching her and my brother in Central Park on a video call while I was Nairobi in 2016. Even then, I felt the magic by osmosis.
In December 2016, I made my way to Arizona from Lagos, Nigeria. I was excited to get another chance to achieve my dreams. I wondered how life in America would be after ten years of being away and living in Africa.
Fast forward to 2018. I had graduated from Thunderbird in 2017. But I had stayed close to home, Arizona. I had briefly been to Philadelphia in 2017 when I went for a Career Fair. My brother had made a trip from Baltimore just to see me, and it gave me a chance to explore and admire a new place.
So when I heard my Sister was graduating, I knew there was no way I was going to miss my opportunity to travel to New York finally.
In May 2018, I finally landed at JFK with my parents. However, I didn’t get to see much of the city. Since we only had a few days. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and did not do much; just spent time as a family talking.
The next day Sunday, we attended the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Getting to see my Sister, graduate and then going to one of the services at a church that I first read about in ”Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, ” a book by Pastor Jim Cymbala were the highlights of my trip. It was amazing getting to see a Church I had read about when I was 14 when we lived in Zambia. To hear Pastor Jim preach and to listen to the famous choir sing was awesome.
After Church, we had breakfast at a restaurant and then did some sightseeing. We visited Times Square, the WTC.
Then on Monday, We witnessed my Sister graduating at the Radio City Music Hall. We also celebrated my Mum, who turned 65. It was a day of double blessings.
The next day, Tuesday, we said goodbye to my brother and Sister and returned to Arizona. Even as we said, our goodbyes, I knew I had to come back and experience more of New York.