It has only been 14 days since my last post, an improvement on the 4 month hiatus between my first and second entries. I just recovered from another 6 a.m. workout down here in Hollywood, Florida and, as promised, I'm going to take you through my trip back home to the motherland. It was the first time I had been to Nigeria since I was 5 years old, making it a trip that was long overdue. I am proud to be an American (am a good Mid-Western boy), but I have always felt bonded to Nigeria even from afar. My dad is an engineer by trade and is doing some consulting work in Lagos, so I stayed with him there. Lagos is a non-stop city with a population of over 10 million--people are in constant motion and won't hesitate to let you know if you're in their way. Driving in Lagos is like a Cedar Point thrill ride--you're practically flying then come to a dead stop, sometimes you go in circles, and you're only cautiously optimistic that your seatbelt will keep you from being tossed like a ragdoll. I had the chance to finally meet family I only knew through pictures, and family friends I had only heard of through stories. My uncle, who is a medical doctor, founded his own clinic. Lagos has some really nice areas comparable to affluent suburbs here, but my uncle decided to put his clinic in one of the tougher areas of Nigeria. My mom, who is a registered nurse here in the US, told some of her doctor friends that I was going to Nigeria, and rallied them to donate medical supplies. My mom and her friends came through big time--we collected enough supplies to set up a free clinic. Under my uncle's guidance, the locals received basic medicines, blood pressure instruments, and other useful medical tools that are not easily accessible for the people in and around his clinic. With only a couple days notice, we were able to take care of over 250 people. To my surprise, a number of local journalist caught wind of the fact I was going to be in Nigeria. They asked questions that may seem basic to us but were detailed and interesting to them--what type of ball we use and what it is made of? What do football shoes look like? Does it hurt when I hit people and would children in Nigeria be able to withstand the brute force that is part of the game? The streets of Nigeria are teeming with young kids who were naturally built and seemed ready to strap pads on....it got me thinking about the opportunity I am blessed with to be able to play the game. My life could easily be so different if my parents hadn't made the sacrifices they did to move to the United States to give my siblings and and me a better life. Mom and Dad, I probably don't say this enough: thanks. I had an opportunity to visit Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. It's not as hectic as Lagos which I would compare to the speed of New York City. I had an opportunity to meet with several government officials, and they asked what my ultimate vision would be for Nigeria. I told them that I want to create a youth football camp there after the season, and hopefully, down the road start a sports academy that will focus on academics and football. I'm not trying to be like Oprah (though I do wish I had her cash flow), I just want to give kids the same opportunity that I had with a game that enabled me to attend one of the finest universities and ultimately gave me a great jumping-off point toward my adult life. I will be training in Florida until we report for training camp later this month. Will try to check in before camp.... in the meantime, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for topics because it would be cool to make this a more interactive blog.