CHRONICLES OF NYSC CAMP - DAY 1

15 – 10 – 2007

Early 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 the camp that I was old that some Nigerian soldiers were posted to drill NYSC students. Noone ever mentioned it before, that Orientation camp was boot camp. They told us to carry our luggage on our head - whatever it was. Some people brought giant travelling bags and they had to carry it on their heads as well. At a particular stage we were told to put one of our shoes between our teeth while keeping the luggage balanced on our heads. At another stage we were told to chant "I am a Mumu!".

Anyway, we began registeration at 9.30 a.m. and by 6.30 p.m., it was finally finished. We made some friends along the way, especially the Babcock crowd, who turned out to by the set of those that were my juniors in high school by four years or so. See wetin Nigerian Education system cause?

We got rooms, but were dragging our feet, so we wouldn't have to join the drill. Yes, you read correctly, we were expected to just change to our whites, go to the field, and begin matching. Just like that.

Some did actually, at four, and were released to go to fellowship by 6.30 p.m. I was dog - gone tired by then. I just made sure Benny and Kanny were settled, that Tommy (another classmate that met us there) could locate either of them, and that I got a good room and bed. Then I got the shock of my life – one of the NYSC staff at the clinic is actually my ex – neighbor. We met and exchanged numbers. I told Mum later on the phone.

By 8p.m. I was ready to crash, but lay awake till late, even though I was really tired. I guess it’s the excitement, and the fact that the unknown has always kept me awake.

Comments

xi said…
Lol @ the part about carrying your load on your head.

When I was going for my camp, I had one big box (half the contents were chops, I wasnt about to go lose weight in the jungle) and I had one other small knapsack that contained the spillovers.

Na im I reach camp and they said we should carry our loads on our heads and do frog-jump.

Strat, without thinking twice, I denied my big, heavy box, picked up the knapsack and started my frogjump diligently ("...who get that big, black box wey dey lie fallow for there, no be me get am o, but sha no touch am....") Them threaten to lock the box for guardroom, but I still denied the box wella so tay, Peter for bible would have been proud of me!

Na so na, wetin I go do. Though that initial frogjump destabilised me for the next 4 days oh, I got a sneak preview of how old age is going to be, cos I was groaning at every step....
Daydah said…
@xi: you are a very hilarious person, you know that? There was this girl that brought a hip - high travelling box to camp, now she's very fragile - looking and slim, but they didnt pity her at all. She had to balance the box on her head all the same. So what happened after your box was locked up in the guard room? When did you get it back?
xi said…
Nah, all that one was demo, they didnt lock the box up.

I forgot to take passport pics when I was going to camp and at the camp gate, there were enough photographers looking for who wan take passport. Plenty of them who dey find customer.

So I used one of them. And he got my box for me. Simple something...!