My first day in NYSC camp!

by - 2:12 AM

I left home for camp at about 10 am on the 10th of March. My parents had assured me that the journey from Ota to Iseyin, Oyo State was a short one. My older brother who was a Corp member last year promised me camp was fun but somehow, from the moment I woke up till I stepped foot on the camp ground, my stomach growled. I was so nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I had asked ex-corp members about the camp experience but something wasn’t quite right with me. It was everything I disliked, from long road trips to queueing and getting lost in crowds. How was I going to cope with the food?
What about the bathrooms? Would there be water? I couldn’t stop thinking of all the things that could hinder me from enjoying my time in camp.

I arrived at about 2pm and luckily for me, I met somebody just as clueless as I was. At the gate, there were uniformed men ready to receive us. They searched our bags and confiscated contraband items but luckily for me, I didn’t have any. I wonder why every other advice my brother (the ex-corp member) gave me helped except the part where I’d have fun. 
Anyways, I didn’t have any contraband item but I came with a lot of medication. One of the reasons I was really nervous about camp was my health. I do not have a life threatening sickness but when my stomach pains get serious, I become almost useless. My drugs were checked thoroughly by different members of the medical staff probably to ensure that they were actually needed. 
After checking in, we all gathered at the pavilion for a brief orientation on what we would be doing for the next three weeks. 

It was soon time for the registration and this was a lot of work as there were already a lot of prospective corp members around. The queue was endless and the growling in my stomach was getting louder. I was so hungry but I couldn’t leave the line because that would mean I had to start all over. The sun wasn’t smiling at all and the line wasn’t moving. We were there for a really long time but one thing I noticed was that the staff were friendly, well at least the ones that attended to me. We couldn’t finish the registration and so we had to retire to our rooms and continue the next day.

Nigeria wakes up at 6am but corpers need to be up by 4am, well that’s if you can get any sleep at all amidst the noise made by your many roommates. The bugle, a brass instrument that looks like a trumpet, was blown at 4am to get us ready for the morning meditation and rehearsal at 5am. This was the point my mindset about everything changed. We got to the pavilion and on the parade ground, there were corp members in their all white attire. They were all neatly lined up as directed by the soldiers. The feeling the parade gave me gradually silenced the growling in my tummy and that was exactly all it took. It was beautiful and I just wanted to be a part of it. It made me realise the many reasons why this program was created. It is going to be tough but nothing good comes easy.

Hi guys! It’s been too long and I miss y’all so much! I haven’t posted in a while cos I had to obey the clarion call o!  Anyways, this was my entry for the role of a reporter at the OBS. You don’t get? I’d gist y’all in my next post!

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