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Showing posts from November, 2007

NYSC - national delay or service? Answer

I decided that the answer to that question is national service some weeks ago. Now I have changed my mind. It is National delay.
After posting us (four corpers) for three weeks [an old secretary tells us to 'come back' with four working days interval, each time] the Railway Technical School, under the auspices of The Railway Corporation, Nigeria, decided that they did not need us.
So, I have been rejected from my place of primary assignment.
Just when I had decided that I could try my hand at teaching (six footers with baritone voices), and take some certification exams as well, I am told that the Nigerian Railway Corporation cannot afford to pay four corpers five thousand naira, and so we have been rejected.

Nigeria we serve!
Now I am looking for a job - seriously searching for a job. I am thankful

Come Home

Sorry, had to vent somewhere...
Come Home
"I am tired of all your lies," she said."I am tired of all your pretending, of what you have turned me into. I am tired of all the acting like everything is okay."
"What are you saying," he asks.
"I am saying that I have spent the last 25 yrs loving you, serving you, and being your wife. But I cannot continue to live the lie of the last five years. I cannot go on pretending that I know you anymore."
"Are you saying its over?" he asked.
"No, its not my place to say that. Its your decision." she replied.
"Okay," he said calmly. "Bye."
"Bye," she said, and dropped the phone in its cradle.
Look back, think to the beginning, when they started off with nothing. In the beginning, when all they had was each other, when it was struggle and struggle. Look back to the middle, all the hard times, when they had to do without, when she lost the pregnancies, when the extra ordin…

I AM THANKFUL

I look out the car window and smile...Why am I thankful? I have just begun, really, but maybe....It is the end of something, and the beginning of another...I have just ended orientation camp, and have in fact come back loaded...with Malaria, Typhoid, Chesty cough and Catarrh. I am in the process of serving my country, for a year. And to make things more beautiful, I was posted to teach.
But I am thankful.....
I am thankful. Some people are serving their country at the war front. Some are serving their country by helping out at the tsunami relief spots. Some don't even have a country to serve, and are refugees who do not know if they would see the next meal.
I am thankful. I have two eyes, two ears, two legs, two arms, ten fingers, ten toes, one nose, and one mouth. My mind is full of memories..... My life has been enriched with so many new friendships, so many experiences.
I am thankful. I can still smile, nobody died in my absence, there was no coup to take over the government, a…

THREE THINGS

I know this is a bit old here but, I had to do it!

3 things that scare me - not being successful, getting fat, and not making heaven.

3 people that make me laugh - Vicky, my father, and Olumide Lawyer.

3 things I love - God, reading, and writing.

3 things I hate - snobs, pride, and malice.

3 things I don't understand - life, women, and cars.

3 things on my desk - JAVA tutorials, Mobile Computing tutorials, and 3 Unfinished novels.

3 things I'm doing right now - writing, listening to music, and cooking.

3 things I want to do before I die - Birth and raise identical twins, write 50 bestsellers, create a multi - million dollar exciting JAVA game for Nokia phones.

3 things I can do - create websites, make bead accessories (from jewelry to baby teether to bags) and write.

3 things you should listen to - God, Pastor Sam Adeyemi (Daystar Christian Centre - google it. They even have life broadcasts), and Positive thinking tapes.

3 things you should never listen to - gossip, negative remarks, and…

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

I just watched a segment of 'So you think you can dance', and I got teary - eyed. There is this contestant that seemed, well, he sort of had no neck. The great part is that he made it to the final four.

 The greatest part is that the whole crowd was touched by his performance - they were on their feet by the time he finished break - dancing to Christina Aguilera's 'aint no other man'. Even some of the judges were on their feet, and clapping.
One of the judges was so wowwed that he has promised to put the young man in an upcoming movie. I was touched by his performance.

I was touched by his courage to attend the audition.

I was touched by his determination to do something for himself, and not feed off everybody's pity.

I was touched by the crowd's response, a honest and encouraging one.

I was moved by the whole thing - the fact that the youth of America can do, and be, without having to be typecast into the usual jobs - doctor, lawyer, architect, engineer.

I…

Chronicles of NYSC camp - CONCLUSION

Life is funny. Life is fun. But, most importantly, life is what you make of it. At the end of camp I was really ill – high fever, chesty cough, blocked nose, and after blood tests, malaria and typhoid. At the end of camp, my life was enriched. I had made many, many friends, and had memorable experiences. I remember platoon members who were married women, all trying to be young again. I remember roommates who were so much fun to be with – I don’t think anyone had to leave the room for entertainment at any time of day. There was even a pajama party held in honor of a corper that was traveling for her wedding in the second week. They are all so endearing, when I was really sick, I would always meet my bucket full of water, someone would carry out my water for me to bath, and someone would wake me up gently in the night to change to my PJs. Someone would answer the soldier that came to chase us out that I was ill and I should not be disturbed. Someone would help me collect my food from th…

Chronicles of NYSC camp - Hostel Area

This is the girls hostel area. You can see us in white white, and I was on my way back from the Dining area, after collecting jollof rice and chicken.

Chronicles of NYSC camp - CAMP LIST

Now everyone except me knew about the marching, and everyone except me was prepared for the terrible conditions of the toilets, so I think a proper list of things to take to cam is in order.
Sun screen: fine, you may think you don’t need it, but male or female, you really do. Even if you are black, even if you are posted to a cold area, the sun will always be there. The sun shines harder in cold areas, and flat lands. You need it to protect your skin complexion as well as to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. BUY any lotion that has sunscreen as one of its properties. I left home with ordinary cream, with a fair complexion. I came back, black, with only one part of my body testifying of my former skin hue – the part that my bra covers everyday. The sun penetrates the white shirt (we call it tissue paper cos it tears like tissue during the first wash) and shorts that the officials give you.
Pillow: they will never give you one, so if you know you cannot live without it then take yo…

Chronicles of NYSC camp - CAMP ROMANCE

Well, I didn’t go to camp to get hitched, as I already am, so I was out to make some friends, and hopefully tie some people together (Miss Cupid, as always). I made some new friends, and moved with the old. A particular guy felt that the fact that I “claimed” to be engaged, did not deter him from making his advances. I even went as far as facing him outrightly and telling him that there was no way I could consider him as a date: he’s NOT my type (notice the emphasis). He was not listening to me though. There was this scene at the kitchen that I didn’t find funny. Okay, the Camp Director had requested for a financial report of each platoon’s expenditure so far, and a budget of the future expenses. I prepared the report, and told him to tell the committee heads to prepare their budgets so the final one would be a compilation of all the others. But he wanted me to do everything – I put my foot down. I refused, then our platoon was helping out in the kitchen and he starts saying stuff lik…

Chronicles of NYSC camp - CAMP COMPETITION

Well, there are a number of competitions that each platoon must participate in (as I said before). These include Mr. Macho, Miss NYSC, Cooking Competition, Best Drill Platoon, Volley ball (female), Meditation write up, and Football (Male). I’ll have you know that I didn’t participate in any of the competitions – well, I helped out in the cooking, and cheered my platoon’s volleyball team on (we made it to the finals), but I did not march, and I couldn’t have contested for Miss NYSC (apart from the fact that I’m short, fat and ugly (lol), Lagos Corpers were not allowed to compete just in case they won, and took the crown back to Lagos with them. It didn’t make sense to have two Lagos Miss NYSC, right?)

The fact that Lagos and Abuja NYSC camps was under construction, and some corpers were sent to other camps to do their orientation, put a brief mess on things. Some Lagos corpers were sent to Ede, Osun state (about 600 of us), while some were sent to Ekiti state. So the fact that we were n…

Chronicles of NYSC camp - POLKADOT PANTIES

I was so weak today. Everyone’s fingers were ice – cold, like ice chips touching my hands every time I shake them. Mr. Ibrahim (who asked me formally for a dance last Saturday) began singing “You are my sunshine” to me during the morning drill. It was comical to everyone but they were not the ones feeling his icy fingers as he grabbed my arm each time he caught up with me. I couldn’t jog. I could barely walk. I have almost finished my Artesunat. I saw Uncle Wasiu and he promised to get me an exemption letter (defn: a little form that exempts a corper from all the activities). Wouldn’t it be a relief to be left alone to sleep and rest!
Eventually I was left alone. Everyone could even see it in my face that I wasn’t strong, plus my voice cracked so it was very clear that I could not participate. After the morning jogging, we were released to go an eat breakfast, and it was all I could do to crawl to my room, with the aid of my friends, Lola and Hippy. I got to my room, removed my white …

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - MY PLATOON

There’s this guy in my platoon I call Dangote. He hardly participates in any of the activities, and is on the phone most of the time. He even walks like a big man, is tall and quite cute, but if he ever claims to be younger than 30, I already know that he’s lying. My platoon has so many interesting people. There’s Naje, the Platoon leader, who’s from Delta state but is a Lagos Corper. He’s of average height, quite stocky and very black. Over the days, his leadership qualities have shown through and I’m happy toa driving force to making him take the position. Then there are so many married women in my platoon, that on the eve of the Welcome party, one Osun state male corper (ibo origins) had to confide in me that the guys in the platoon are thoroughly and extremely disadvantaged, because of this fact. There’s this babe that has made herself (almost) a nuisance in the platoon. She was elected as the Social Committee Leader but so far working with her has been really tasking. For one, sh…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - SKINNY LEGS

Almost all the guys from the North have thin skinny legs. It’s a marvel how the sticks support their weight. Well, maybe not. They are usually skinny all round (oxymoron – lol). And their accent is so cute! Like “Egskuz me Madam. Vhat are ve haping por lanch?” One guy was so excited to be eating fufu, that he collected extra. When he tasted it he shouted, “I no like pupu!” There’s one guy in my platoon who’s tall, dark, lanky and handsome, from Borno state. The same lovely accent. His bride has already been chosen for him, he saw her for the first time just before he came to camp, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to have “fun” while in camp. Guys are so…….

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - IT group

25 – 10 - 200721st October, was the last daily entry I made. Today’s Thursday and I am not on the parade grounds. Why? Because I have malaria, I’m weak, tired and my whole body, including my hair roots, aches. Today there’s another drill competition and I’m praying for platoon 17 not to fail. We practiced this morning and we did rather well. We did so well yesterday that when the Commandant sneaked up on us, he asked if we had imported expatriates with excellent matching skills. I just had to buy Artesunat (Malaria treatment medication). I ate, took the medication and went to sleep in the clinic. I was supposed to participate in a meeting with the Camp Director and other Computer IT professionals again today but I could hardly get up to ease myself, not to talk of walking to the Pavilion to be part of the meeting.Since Monday I’ve been tired and weak and eating 3 square meals a day. After the second dream about Uncle T, I called him to ask how he was doing. Aunt Bunmi sent me a text a…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - first Sunday

21 – 10 – 2007I slept and slept and slept. Ben woke me up with a call, that Kanny had been brought to the camp and he was almost through with arrangements to go home. We three girls practically ran to the clinic to see him. His Mum had picked them up at the GeneralHospital, brought them to camp, taken them to the hall to get Kanny’s things and the to the clinic to get his exeat. We girls were introduced to his mum and sister as the 3 Ds. I don’t think I had my bath all day. I’m not really sure. Others went to church but I didn’t. I just figured – we have two more Sundays and not one, in this camp. Imagine that. I head the State Coordinator and the CampCommandant (Military) re at loggerheads and that the soldiers are on strike. Nice, if it means they wont be stressing us like they have been doing all last week. Tomorrow is Monday again *moan*…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - Welcome Party

The Commandant made people cry in the afternoon, and made people extremely angry in the night that day. At the welcome party, he refused to follow normal procedures. He made sure that the party was very dry. There was no welcome address, the MC was a joke, the DJ tried, but he was not coordinated. The jokes were very very dry. Imagine Warri jokes not making people laugh. The Commandant ordered each platoon to send a girl to dance with him, which means 18 girls from 18 platoons were to show up. When the MC got tired of calling and no one answering, he called out 18 girls. We all watched in disgust as the pot – bellied old man danced to P – Square’s “Temptation”, with the 18 girls rubbing his body. Eventually he got tired and left the stage. At least I can say I danced before the program commenced, with Alcatraz (there was a brief period of dancing before the program started officially). Earlier, after the evening drills, one Hausa guy came to ask for a dance – as in, formally. He was l…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY 5

20 – 10 – 200721 – 6 = 15 more days to go.Sabbath Day.Platoon 17 assembled like all others, for drills this morning, but we were not happy. We jogged out of camp as usual, but in the other direction this time. A diesel tanker was inching along by our small clusters of platoons, on our way back, when the soldiers stopped him, an almost flogged him to death. It was a serious case of brutality. It brought back to my mind, a question I have been asking, “Who incorporated the Military Training into the NYSC programme? Why? Why weren’t other disciplinary organizations utilized, like Man – O – War?” Hopefully these questions will be answered someday.After the jogging was drills, after drills was breakfast and after breakfast was environmental sanitation. I was standing in the sun like the others, when I got a mysterious phone call. “Come to the State Director’s Lodge immediately”. I ran, really scared, towards the general direction of where the signs said it was located. When I got there, I …

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - FOOD

I actually left the “alawi” queue to go and collect my lunch when I heard that it was gbegiri, ewedu and amala that we were having. I have not had gbegiri since…. I can remember. It was worth it – I enjoyed the meal. On the food queue I met a guy from Jos who had never tasted gbegiri since he was born an was curious as to its preparation and the whole combination. The lady from Plateau in front of him and I (behind him) took it upon ourselves to describe the preparation of ewedu and gbegiri. You should have seen his face when we told him tht a short broom is used to shred the leaves (yes, a broom. Its better that the modern blender. There’s a noticeable difference- traditional versus modern). We ladies giggled for minutes. After the meal, we had another HIV/AIDS lecture. I spent it trading tales of what the evil lecturers in Computer Science Department, University of Lagos. I happened to sit beside two of my classmates and another guy (Tos, who later joined our click) from our facult…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY 4

18 – 10 – 200721 – 4 = 17 more days to go.Tired. Woke up tired. It drizzled on us in the parade ground yesterday. So so tired. Hippy helped me to get water – she should be the time keeper anytime its needed. The group has expanded – it now comprises of Ben, Kanny, Lola, Hippy, Alcatraz (he calls himself that, seriously!), and me. We were given an HIV/AIDS lecture after meditation and prayer today. My platoon will be conducting the meditation on Tuesday next week. We did more drills today. I think my feet are bloodless right now. I called Big Mum’s cousin here in Ede – I think I might grab the opportunity to go out on Saturday if I can.the platoons that com last in the drill competition (the last three) will come back to the field to drill again on Saturday. God knows I need to rest instead.They gave us our first “alawi” today (Corper allowance) = just one thousand five hundred naira (N1500) but the queue was exceedingly long. Uncle Wasiu (my ex – neighbor) came to my rescue and helped…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY 3

17 – 10 – 200721 – 3 = 18 more days to go.This is Hell camp. If you ever watched ‘Major Pain’, you’ll understand a part of what we are being put through here. We were out by four again this morning, only that there was zero activity until almost 6 a.m. – imagine that! Back to the field to march (is it march or match?) some more then pick up the surroundings. We were sent to our halls at about 9 a.m. to eat and get dressed. By 10 we were chased to the field to await the Governor’s arrival, the Governor that had not even had his bath by then.Finally the Deputy Governor showed. By noon we were through with the swearing in. The NYSC anthem has funny lyrics – let me give you some: Youth obey the clarion call (clarion?)Let us lift our nation highUnder the sun or in the rainWith dedication and selflessnessNigeria’s oursNigeria we serve.Now that is just the first stanza. The other three are worse, not worth mentioning at all. It seemed nice at first, and has a nice tone to it, but its “under …

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY 2

16 – 10 – 2007We were woken up by 4 a.m. and told to file out. Did I tell you I made a new friend? Actually I made many, but I stuck with a fellow Lagos Corper – Lola. She is also a Unilag graduate. I introduced her to Benny and Kanny, and eventually Tommy. After the morning prayer, we were taken on a drill. Its been long since I matched for AYM (Adventist Youth Ministry) and that was even voluntary. This is stress! We spent about four hours matching up and down, and learning how to come to attention – by number. I hate that procedure: the Drill Instructor shouts, “Attention by number!” and you raise your left leg, shouting, “One!”. When he shouts “Two!”, you reply “Two” and hit your foot hard on the ground. Aaaaarrrrggghhh!After the drill, it was time for breakfast and I was on the queue faithfully, only to discover that we were being served “Rock Buns” (that is what I could call the Akara (bean cakes) that we were given), and water – akamu (it was actually yellow lumpy pap). I took …

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY 1

15 – 10 – 2007Early rising. Benny and Kanny (two of my classmates were posted to the same camp but they didn't know how to get there, so I suggested they go with me. They are two dorks actually). The driver that Mum contracted to take us to camp also arrived early. By 6.45 a.m. we were on our way. Mum loaded us with disposable platefuls of rice and dodo and chicken (can you beat that?). The boys fell in love with her instantly. She also gave them garri. By a few minutes pas t 9 a.m. we had arrived. We passed through Ogun, Oyo and Osun states to get to Ede.Its ironic how I did my university education in Lagos and I'm now being posted to Lagos, then I'm from Osun state and I'm doing my Orientation in Osun state.Anyway, we got on our way and then the rigorous began at the camp gate. When we Lagos Corpers were seperated at the first part, I thought it was good, only to discover that they wanted to "show" us. By "they" I mean the soldiers here. It was at…

CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY -1

14-10-2007Well, tomorrow is the D - Day. I’m going to NYSC camp tomorrow. I still can’t believe it. And the one I can’t believe is Tit’s case. She’s not going for the third time she’s not going. Actually it’s the sixth time, you know, twice a year. And through no fault of her own. Her department in her school has been withdrawing the list of results that contains her name for three years in a row. Why, we don’t know. This time, her call – up letter is right there in the Student Affairs Office, and all the other twenty – nine students’. They can see it, but unless the department sends a copy of their results to the Students Affairs Office, they cannot be given their call – up letters.It’s a sad situation because its so obvious that its purely an act of wickedness. The problem is that the other twenty – nine are all suffering along with whoever the bastard lecturer(s) [ forgive my French here, but the word is the most appropriate I can find right now] want to punish. Now what started ou…

NYSC - Camp

Hi!
I actually thought I notified the authorities here that I was going to Orientation camp, but reading through now I see that I didn't. I wonder what my punishment will be.
I did as promised. I wrote everything that happened to me and several others at camp. And I am prepared to pour it all out. It was a bit awkward at first, having to write instead of type. I have some 13 pages to type for y'all, so be patient.

I got back on Monday, and it was a relief that I was finally home. I could not breathe properly due to severe catarrh, I was coughing from deep within my chest, my headache was now a normal occurrence, the gums on the right hand side of my jaw were swollen, and my body was extremely weak, but I was home. I was in my father's house, finally. Today's Wednesday, and I am finally able to chew, but I thank God.
I'll be back.........Soon.