Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Connecting Links

Connections – So Many!

I’ve made many connections and reconnections in the last few days! I wish I could draw, and I’d make a diagram for you that shows all the links!  Most, but not quite all, involve Nigeria. The first also connects to my love of astronomy and space.

Brittle Paper and Nigerian Authors

I’ve mentioned the blog Brittle Paper before. The founder and editor is a Nigerian woman, Ainehi Edoro. She’s a doctoral student at Duke University, studying African novels.

Nigerians in Space

Nigerians in Space, new novel by Nigerian author

I often find fascinating pieces on her blog, like the recent review of a new book by Deji Olukotun, Nigerians in Space. The reviewer makes the novel sound like a little bit of chaos and a lot of fun. With my long-standing interest in space, I’ve put it on my list to read.

The author Olukotun says his mother is American. So he’s a ‘Nigerkid” like my children. I wonder what other Nigerkids are doing? How many are in Nigeria, like our two sons? How many are in their mother’s country?

Hillcrest, Mount Holyoke, and Westport

I walked into the steam room, towel held loosely over my front, at the New York Sports Club in Westport this morning after my workout. There was another woman already there. That was unusual; most times I’m alone.

Even more unusual, it was Rana, a friend of my son Sam’s from Hillcrest. Both Sam and our daughter Beth attended Hillcrest, in Jos, northern Nigeria. Beth went from Hillcrest to Mount Holyoke. Rana did too. So I share three links with her – the town of Westport, the school Hillcrest (not exactly my link, but my kids’) and Mount Holyoke. I hadn’t seen her for several years, and I was glad to catch up and learn she has a two-year old son.

Highlands High School and UU-UNO

Yesterday I went to New York City to see the Charles James exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was completely fabulous, and I almost didn’t go!

Beyond Fashion, Charles James at the Met

Beyond Fashion, Charles James at the Met

Jan Glier Reeder, co-curator of the exhibit, went to the same high school as I did. My sister Beth, who was in Jan’s class in Fort Thomas’ Highlands Junior High and High School, had told me that Jan worked at the Metropolitan Museum. When I read about the exhibit and saw Jan’s picture in The New York Times, I thought it would be fun to go. A month later I heard from my own classmate from Highlands, Susy Wadsworth, that she had seen the exhibit with Jan’s guidance, and it was absolutely worth seeing.

At the Met

Jan, Marilyn and me; no flash allowed, so it’s difficult to see us! The dress form is a replica of one James created.

This week I realized the exhibit was about to close – it was now or never! So I emailed Jan. She encouraged me to come. I called Marilyn Mehr, a friend from the board of the UU-UNO (do you know what that stands for? I’ll tell you next time if you ask). Marilyn and I have made several museum visits together. She lives in New York. Happily she was free on Friday. We met Jan who graciously introduced us to the fantastic exhibit.

Sylvia and me

Sylvia and me at Bloomingdale’s with my new makeup; still wearing my Met Museum sticker.

Later in the day I went to Bloomingdale’s to see my new friend Sylvia at Clinique. I asked her to do my makeup. See how great I look with her handiwork!

Peace Corps, Mount Holyoke, Yale School of Management, and African-American Marriage

Did you follow the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC?  Tom Coogan is African Development Foundation’s Regional Program Director for Africa. He posted several photos of his meetings with African leaders during the Summit on Facebook. I share Yale’s School of Management, Peace Corps, and being an American married to an African with Tom.

Professor Ferraro of Mount Holyoke posted: “The US-Africa Summit ended yesterday, as the US tries to play catch-up to Chinese inroads to African economies.  A serious point of contention was the issue of climate change and its effects on the continent as a whole.” He says electricity generation is a major part of the debate – should African countries use carbon fuels to help meet the demands for power? Or should they wait until renewable resources are more available? Who should decide?

Meanwhile African leaders at the Summit were clear in their response to the question. Scientific American quoted Nigeria’s Minister of Power who said, “I think Africa should be allowed to develop its coal potential. This is very critical.” He further stated that Nigeria is working on a “very robust” renewable energy plan that calls for an increase in solar, wind and hydro production.” I hope we see the results in the next few years.

My Challenge to You

My challenge question today – which African countries were not at the Africa Summit in DC, and why?  A clue – there are six or seven, depending on whether you count one that other leaders don’t necessarily recognize.

If you are first to name the six and the reasons they weren’t there, I’ll send you the 2014 Peace Corps calendar. It’s not too late in the year to enjoy the great photos from Peace Corps countries. The next-to-last calendar, besides the one I have hanging, is going to Dorcy this month for her answer to the last challenge. Will you win this one?

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.

Comments are closed.