They said it will be fun, they said it would rock, I say, they all lied. Well, maybe partially.
Like every new place I was headed, I was definitely expectant.
But different journies always have their own stories to hold.
Before I arrived my state of deployment to serve my country,
I encountered the longest journey ever, without exaggeration. It took approximately 36hours on a road journey that was usually 17hours. It wasn’t only further than I thought, Nigerian bus transport services were worse than I imagined.
A fast foward to my arrival at the Obubra Nysc camp, crossriver, a place safely described as a remote village. The hustle began from usual registration and completing the endless paper work on seemingly endless queues; to starting our days as early as 3.30am and being on your feet for at least 10 hours of the day.
There’s the unforgettable hassle of washing white clothing constantly or paying for them to be laundered; sharing a room with 119 people (which shed light on the work it is to get along with strangers) may have even been the worst but best part of the 3weeks camp. I wasn’t expecting paradise but I certainly wasn’t expecting a place without spaghetti or my beloved amala. My first meal tasted like rice and salt, the second meal was another epic fail to my disappointment as I presumed I was in the land of excellent chefs.
Later days gave me an understanding that calabar cooking cannot be based solely on the many migrants in Obubra camp markets.
There was the unforgettable Warrior-like drills of jumping, crawling, climbing and all that pizzazz, acquiring skills, social nights that didnt exactly serve its purpose as they were too programmed and routine and always oozed ‘boring’.
It was always easy to spot weak bodies, stressed minds and tired eyes sitting, standing, wandering, through compulsory lectures that more than half of us can’t hear or comprehend.
It somehow managed to be a primary, secondary and college school experience all at the same time in such a short space of time.
Another of the 119 roomies I had may have some other views but with not much difference.
Did I forget to say that the prices of things were amazingly expensive but no one to run to. Ten percent is deducted from our account on every withdrawal at the POS -which poses as an ATM.
It is weakening as one cannot even give a proper account of how money disappears from the purse. Plastic coke drink is #200, alcohol has ridiculous hype in prices but the work must go on as if there is nothing wrong with the system.
Written by Ihcego 2017.