Saturday, April 25, 2009

ThE BiTtEr SweEt ExPeRiEnCe cAlLeD cAmP

I havent updated my blog in way too long and i know that's kinda bad. First, i had no opportunity to write and when the opportunity came, procrastination joined in.

So much has happened in my life since the last time i blogged. So much like:
I am now a youth corper! Corper shun! What's worse is I was posted to Kano state!!! After all the money i spent trying to influence my posting! I didnt want to leave Lagos for anything but i had no choice. And so i packed my bags and Kano i went in March.

I had heard so much about Kano, the heat, the flies, sharia...i was so scared. Everyone in my house was scared that I was going alone to Kano. they were so scared of Sharia that they made me sew a very long ankara/Nigerian wax gown, they wanted me to look northern, so i would blend with the northern crowd when i got there. I really didnt want to wear the gown but my brothers insisted. And being the good girl that i wanna believe i am, i obeyed. I even had a shawl. I looked more northern than the noortherners. When i got to the airport, i met a lot of people going to camp and they were dressed in regular jeans. i wished i could change clothes, but you know they say about wishers and beggers. i was stuck! I hated the way i was dressed. the dress was badly sewn.Cant blame the taylor much cos she made the dress in two days.

I expected so much from camp cos a lot of people had put it in my head that camp was soooo much fun and all i wanted to go there to do was have a lot of fun. Everyone i met in camp had that same expectation and boy were we dulled!

The fun for me didnt start until i made a lot of friends. My first friends were a group of girls i met at the airport. we had been on the same flight from lagos. They were fun people. Then in camp, i met the boysss!

In my camp there werent so many goodlooking boys and i simply wasnt interested in the goodlooking few. Before i got to camp, i was told about the high rate of promiscuity in camp. A friend and i even had a bet, he said he didnt believe that i would stay in camp for three weeks without having a camp boyfriend and "doing the do" or even making out. I was so positive i would prove him wrong.
Proudly, I really did prove him wrong.

i dont really like to do the whole girl groupie/click thingy. so even though i had a group of female friends, i prefered hanging out with guys. No offense to other ladies..for me its just way easier being friends with guys, they have less dramaa and they do take care of me.

I took loads of pictures in camp...all my female friends accused me of taking pictures with only guys. that made me feel bad. i wanted to take pictures with them but we were hardly ever together and they said i chose boys over them. I didnt do that, at least not intentionally, i just always go with who is rocking my boat.

I really wanted to make the most out of my camp experience and so i took part in a lot of activities. i joined the match parade. that wasnt easy o cos we had our rehearsals under the very hoooot sun daily for hours unend. u cannot imagine how hot the northern part of Nigeria is until u have been there. I joined a dance group.....even though my platoon members were uncordinated. and i took part in the Miss NYSC pageant.
I won.

I was crowned Miss NYSC about the highlight of my camp experience!

There was the endurance trek....that was a bitter sweet experince..... we walked for miles under the scorching sun. i got blisters on my feet afterwards.

The things i hated about camp;
the weather in the north is confused. In the wee hours of the morning, the cold is unimaginable and just when one is adjusting to the cold comes the heat in the afternoon. That was horrible. the dust was also terrible. everywhere was always dusty. the weather often made my nose bleed.
There was supposed to be lights out from ten pm until dawn but NEPA or Power Holding-bla bla bla always held the power so there was perpetual lights out in camp. I paid daily to change my phone. Another annoying thing was i didnt have access to the internet, so for three weeks, there was no facebook for me...sad... The nights in camp were always so short and i hated the sound of the biegel cos it meant wake up and go to the parade ground.

I learnt a lot of songs and slangs in camp. the singing was fun, hanging out in the mami market was fun but the general punishments we got when a few people misbehaved wasnt. once all the girls were asked to lie on the dusty field. i almost cried cos the white vest i was wearing was new. i ended up falling alseep on the floor and was upset when the punishment ended. i really needed to sleep. Once i pretended to be sick just so i wouldnt get punished for going to parade late. while all the other late commers were punished, i faked tears and i walked with a limp.....the camp commandent had mercy on my poor legs and he let me go. i limped all the way back to my room in smiles...some people who were really sick got punished cos they didnt act sick enough.

Even though camp didnt start on a very high note, it ended well. I am glad i was a part of it. Camp was a bitter sweet experience. But that doesnt mean i dont think the Nigerian government should scrap NYSC or if they dont want to, they should make the whole NYSC programme consist of only three weeks orientation camp, rather than the one year punishment they give to all university graduates. One year is a long time to be stuck in a strange village or town.

I have to go back to Kano next week and i am not really looking forward to it. cos Camp which was the bitter-sweet experience is over and now is time for the real service, would resume work as a banker in Kano next week. I wonder why they wouldnt let me serve Nigeria from my father's house!


mizchif said...

Hmmm, loooooooooooongest time!

Good to know you managed to have a little fun at least in camp. I'm still praying the whole NYSC institution is scraped before it's my turn abeg.

LMAO @ you limping to ur room in smiles, and falling asleep while serving punishment, sounds like the kind of stunt i would pull.

Goodluck with the rest of yuor service yr!

Rose said...

LOL @ the trickery you applied to evade punishment...That's a good one..
Most express their disappointment upon being posted to the northern states...but you do bring good news...
We've missed you on here...Now we know what you've been up to...LOL!!
Good luck with work..Stay Safe...

~Sirius~ said...

LOL.......Miss NYSC...*sad as it is, we have that in common.........he he he.

What did they give you for it?

As far as the promiscuity.heard all of that too. but didn't see nothing- Maybe I just kept counting my getaway. you can't redeploy?
That sucks!

The Girl with the Red Hair said...

Girl longest time! so good to have you back and I hope it is for good. Can see that you had a great time at camp. Imagine wining miss NYSC, dat is some cool achievement. This is the best Northern camp gist i have heard. Nice to have you back

rayo said...

not surprised at the miss nysc part. i hope when my turn comes i will have an attitude lyk urs (enjoying camp)

HeavyFeathers said...

seems we both took a long hiatus. As usual I love reading your writing and you my friend have encouraged me so much today that I will make a conscious attempt at sharing more on my blog. Thank you and remain Blessed in every way.

exschoolnerd said...

i think i spoted one cutie in ur pics..hmmmm!!! u get eye..but gud thing u didnt fall into temptation dear..ud have just been one more girl..

hmm..funny enuf m really looking forward to camp..outside lagos..may i not eat my words later on o!!

take care o!!!

oh yeah and congrats on wining Miss NYSC...i remember SIRIUS also won..hmm blogville girls r hotting up everywhere..

Tairebabs said...

I met my best friend at camp. I was initially reluctant to go for the whole program but more than 3 years later we are going strong. I agree with you that NYSC should be limited to camp sha,one year is too much.

Congrats Miss NYSC!!

Tisha said...

its part of life
enjoy it!

Cidersweet said...

man, that brings bac a rush of memories... camp + the entire yr. I wish you the very best. I loved service bcuz of the ppl i met. (Served in zamfara so I can relate).
but the northern dress is not so bad naa!

RocNaija said...

You actually won Miss Kano? Dang..
I served in Katsina.. Still have good memories from my time there..

At least you're making the best of a bad situation.. Considering you tried to stay in Lagos.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

....and when we believe not everything we hear, the beauties comes to us in full glory.

Camp was a bitter-sweet experience and i say, the service year won't be any different. However, 'tis not a one year of waste but, a 'final' year one can sit and make descisions (life-definig ones, i daresay).

More importantly, i can tell you that in service year you can get to forge some great relationships. Relationships not bound by, academic course of study, religion, tribe & tongue, social status, or otherwise. Relationships that transcends the imaginary lines, relationships that can last a life-time.

...walk confidently to serve your fatherland in Kano for you may not realise what great opportunities lie ahead for you.

Have fun serving....

Lady X said...

Oh no! I'm really scared of this NYSC thing o!
Kano = Dusty, noise filled air+ Flies and mosquitoes + soil filled with plastic bags.
Good Luck!!

Severus Snape said...

Long live the Queen!
Glad your NYSC experience was better than you imagined.
Funny enough, I want to serve in the north: Jos or Abj.

Aphrodite said...

Still serving?

HeavyFeathers said...

mmmhhh.. where are u? no access during youth service? Wishing you a happy new year!

Miss Natural said...

wow its been a while, i guess life has happened. come back soon