Many years ago, when I worked for an international NGO, there was briefly talk of sending me to one of our programs in Nigeria. They figured since I'd grown up there I'd be more comfortable than most. Never mind that the program wasn't even close to Lagos. Or that the preferred flights went through Abuja, which I'd never set foot in. Or even that the Nigeria I'd grown up in didn't exist anymore. The country had moved on.
After much hemming and hawing, I didn't end up going and for that I am both sad and relieved. When you've been away from a place for this long, you never really know what to expect and the people I knew have mostly dispersed. Now, in 2015, our compound isn't as isolated as it once was. It has grown in both size and population. It has a baseball diamond now! My school is now two buildings: one on V.I., and one across from the compound I lived in. At least Al Basha still exists.
To call a place home is to watch it evolve. To watch the lifestyle that you knew change, for better and for worse. Gone are the days when communities stayed static. Although I wonder whether that was even the case in the first place.