NYSC Journal: Getting To Camp

I was awake at 5am that Monday morning. I grabbed my phone and headed straight to twitter. I checked for tweets relating to NYSC and I saw a few people already lamenting about where they were posted to.

I headed over to the portal to check mine and I couldn’t get in. By 7am, I asked my friend Damola to check mine. Damola was already doing laps around the 6 stages of grief. They posted her to Borno and her Dad was already booking her flight. Damola sent me a screenshot and it changed my life. They’d posted me to Kaduna. I joined Damola on her next lap round the grief track.

I didnt have long to cry, I was supposed to be in Kaduna camp that Thursday and I started making logistical arrangements. I think they deliberately give you a short space of time between getting posted and resuming at camp to make your life hell.

I hooked up with a number of people posted to Kaduna but Misan, Jonathan and Favour would literally become family in the process.

By Monday night we had booked Arik on hold. It was a terrible mistake because by the time we wanted to pay on Tuesday morning, Arik told us they only kept the flights on hold for two hours and we started running around because they were sold out. Like who keeps booked tickets on hold for two hours!

I called their customer care they sent me to Sheraton, I got there and I was told they no longer had an office there. I ran to the airport and met a queue that would become the first in a long line of NYSC queues.

Eventually we managed to still get Arik but after the complimentary two hours delay they flew us to Jos first. Don’t ask. To be honest, I was happy they delayed the flights, I wasn’t eager to get to camp.

By Wednesday night we were in Kaduna, with small boxes filled of whites shirts and shorts, documents and cash. Favour had a toothache from the devil and a free headache from NYSC. Misan was worried that after making the official cross to team light skin she was about to get a literal burning.

We spent the night in a cheap but very nice hotel and early Thursday morning we were on our way to camp. Everyone had packed light except Favour and we heard gist that we were going to carry our boxes on our heads. She wasn’t finding it funny. I just kept making more useless jokes, it was either that or crying in Chinese.

Suddenly we were at camp, Military men fully kitted, fully armed, Police , NSCDC all waiting for us at the gate smiling and shouting at the same time. I didn’t carry my box on my head, I did drop my dignity at the gate, one of the wisest things I did. We got into the gate from there it was all…

…”ATTENTION BY NUMBER!”…

 

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