I probably should have written this earlier on when it was a lot fresher but I was trying to escape from the trauma it had caused me, oh well here it comes! It was pure anxiety in the days leading up to the Tuesday I was to go to my NYSC camp. We had to wait till Monday to find out where we had been posted to and we were to leave Tuesday morning. It seemed crazy, but it was what it was. Midday Monday and the lists were finally pasted on the Student’s Affairs notice board. While in-between trying to get the necessary documents for camp from the faculty, we were waiting for the sheet that contained our department’s postings to be put up. There were some people making jokes about one being posted somewhere in the north. It was nerve wrecking fathoming that thought. I found out eventually that I had been posted to Ogun state and I was grateful, at least it wasn’t far from home. Some others got northern states, some the east, some the west and some were lucky enough to stay in Lagos. Some people cried as well at the thought of their assigned location and the “horrors” that waited for them. Really I could feel their pain being one who doesn’t like being out of my comfort zone.
Ergo, we set off on Tuesday morning and luckily I met up with a mate on my way to camp. This was great! At least I’d have someone familiar through the experience. Well I wouldn’t want to get into details for brevity’s sake, but camp was a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. The good part is that the Ogun state camp was one of the best in the country. It is a recent project and so the environment was well structured with its own standard stadium, volleyball court, basketball court and a tennis court. The hostels were decent as well which was very good. The food wasn’t…hmmm, let me keep some of that till the end of my service year as we aren’t to comment on certain things as the rules of service demands. With a population of 2,100 people and 21 days to spend, meeting one’s type of person is something that seems unachievable. I did meet some really cool people, some of which I’m still very in touch with and who might end up being lifelong friends from the looks of things. Well there goes the “what happens in camp stays in camp” mindset. The variety night was a really good highlight but the camp fire night was too short. The fact that I was in one of the best camps and had fun is enough reason not to complain, at least as compared to other camps mine would seem like heaven but then let’s go now to the bad and the ugly.
Welcome to the dark side! Electricity! Or rather the lack of it, I often woke up drenched in sweat, my own sweat. The boys in the room would keep you up all night especially on the nights when there was a relevant football match even with the fact it was dark and hot and we were to wake by 4am to bath before we go out by 5am. There were crazy guys who’d keep you up with the type of things they did and discussed. It was hilarious, and sometimes downright outrageous. I was passive most of the time except for a few occasions an example was one where some UI boys decided to claim king just because they outnumbered any other university in the room. A few Unilag boys and I stood up to them and then other guys from other universities joined us, it was epic and we were able to silence them. The bad side were guys coming back drunk! It was a sore sight most times but also hilarious. One particular episode got me laughing for over thirty minutes till I developed a headache, truly something to experience rather than describe.
Another thing that caught my attention where the beards, I mean this has nothing to do with the age of the fellows in camp, but with the ladies! All my life I have never seen as many ladies with beards! I know it’s not their making or their fault they have them but as one who sees things in detail, it was hard not noticing. Mainly eastern ladies but not limited to them, some had really long strands! Oh my, I felt like a child standing next to some, because mine was little compared to theirs. Ladies please, cut the beards just as you shave your legs! It’s really not sexy, really it isn’t. I know what a man can do, a woman can do better, but really there is the rule and the exception. That’s an exception! It’s not your fault it grows but it’s your fault if it stays, especially if it stays for long. It felt like hell staying under the sun, hours on end, matching, sitting or just standing there waiting for whatever was to come. Thankfully I seemed to have gotten my usual complexion back, so “All iz well”. Camp really is about taking the good with the bad. It was an experience though, one you should look forward to IF you haven’t done yours. Phase two now and its better left for later :(.
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