Right now I am listening to my favorite songs in the world, I could do this for hours and never get bored. I do this whenever I remember moments in times past or I just I want to loose myself in music. Toni Braxton’s Breathe Again just finished and I am on Breathless by the Corrs. I love my songs from the early 90’s and a few oldies to the soothing blues of John Legend and the smooth moves of Chris Brown and Neyo and of course I couldn’t the forget the timeless voice of Mariah Carey forget her occasional foolishness and Brandy whom I feel like we grew together.
Sorry I didn’t update sooner, went to Lagos for some interviews which took most of last week and the first two days of this week. I spent my spare time in the cyber ecstasy world of Ubong Da. That was an expose. I had to concur with his blog title it is indeed the ‘memoirs of a randy Nigerian’, I read all his posts.
How time flies, I collected my clearance forms from NYSC today and I remember when I left Law School and went back to my university to collect my Call up Letter. Checking my name on the board the first time, only to discover it wasn’t there and that I will be in the next batch ‘Batch A2’ was pretty deflating.
Anyhoos went back to school two weeks later and found out I had been posted to Abuja. I was excited, that was what I wanted. I was the only one posted there amongst everyone and I knew this would be like starting my life all over again, no friends except some of the younger ladies in my Dad’s office whom I hang out with on several trips to Abuja.
So there I was at the airport on that Monday morning to buy a ticket to Abuja, I totally forgot going to Abuja on a Monday without booking a ticket earlier is just a waste of time. My brother took to the airport, finally purchased a ticket for 3:00pm and I got to the airport at 8:30am meaning I had several hours to kill in that boring place.
My brother stayed awhile spent like 2 hours with me before he left, I appreciated that. I had spent the previous weekend going round to all my friends and saying my goodbyes as I didn’t know when I would be returning. It wasn’t so bad because I hadn’t really seen anyone since I went to law school which turned out to be very time consuming leaving room for very little save sleep for me so it wasn’t like they had been seeing me all the while. The only difference was I was still in Lagos with them but this time I was going away.
A friend of mine called and said she will meet me at the airport after I checked in my luggage. She was in Batch A1 so she brought me her waist purse and white shorts. Also she was in Abuja so she gave the lowdown on all the horrors of camp. I followed her to a salon in Ikeja to kill time. She made her hair and we did our nails suffice to say it was a relaxing parting gift before I left for camp. She was wonderful, spending all that time with me and she followed me back to the airport and waited till I cleared security before she departed. I was deeply touched. My mum was calling constantly to make sure I was alright. I was already having problems with my ex so I wasn’t my usual bubbly self.
Landing at the airport in Abuja after exactly a year of leaving was memorable. I thought I would go to the Abuja Law School Campus so I was there when I saw I was posted to Lagos I was very upset.
My luggage had arrived with one of the earlier flights so I didn’t have to queue at the baggage claim for it. My dad was waiting at the airport to receive me. I was happy and excited. I thought I would get to go home, drop my luggage and go to camp but my father refused saying I was late enough as it were so I should just proceed to the camp.
He left me with his driver so off I went. The camp was in Kubwa unknown to me as I just headed to Dutse thinking it was there, we had to go back to Kubwa. I was tired and cranky. Saw several people at the gate and the soldiers were their usual boisterous mean self. I was asked to come down ‘Government pikin!’ I was told to put my box on my head and frog jump to where my fellow Otondos were waiting. I was made to sit on the bare ground. Luckily for me, I met this guy on the merry go round to Dutse who told me all the horrors I would suffer. I had two boxes, A large one and a smaller one. I am one of those ladies who just pack everything! The guy said I should just bring down the small one only as I would be made to carry it on my head. That he would help me swap the boxes later. I did as he told me otherwise I would have just died with the weight of that box. I thought I would drop a few things off at home first.
Didn’t get anything done that night. I was glad I didn’t arrive earlier at least it reduced the stress I would have gone through. The queue for registration was insane, so I didn’t bother; my number at the gate was #1762! Imagine all those people on 4 different stages of registration. Didn’t even know where to start, it was all so rowdy. I had to sleep in a classroom. The guy helped me get a mattress and pillow and found a good bunk for me in a nice class so I wouldn’t be disturbed. I was so thankful. I didn’t have any bucket, lent one from one of the girls that ended up in the classroom with me, suffice to say before I got back from fetching water, taking a bath in an open air while the guy stood guard was all very un-kosher and it reminded me of my boarding school days. I had to walk down a dark path so the guy wouldn’t see anything while afraid of snakes or anything that crawls in the dark! Some other girls had invaded the make shift room and scattered everything, to think they are supposed to be Graduates!
Got my mattress back after some small display of madness and got a tiny piece of quiet. Law school result was released that night. It was posted on the web. I was apprehensive. One of my friends sent me a text that her boyfriend checked for me and I had a 2:1. My friend from the airport sent someone to check for me she said I had a 2:2. I was tired and confused, didn’t know who to believe. I had already sent my mum a text with the result then I had to change it again. Did I mention it was around 2:30am? I was running on pure adrenalin no sleep. The girls woke up at 3:00 to get back to the queue to complete registration. I was exhausted had my bath with two sachets of pure water which I bought for 50 naira. The place was upside down with girls trying to get ahead of the queue at every opportunity, I was so angry I had to speak up at a point and go to the front to warn the guys and threatened them with calling the attention of the soldiers. They behaved for a while after that. I met one of my good friends today on that queue.
My mum finally checked my result for me later in the day and I was so happy it was a 2:1 after all. Later saw some of my Law school mates on the parade ground we were all so excited with our results we were practically jumping at every opportunity. The news of my result made up for every stupid thing that happened on that camp (the disgustingly dirty habits of some of the girls, the ridiculous beagle blowing of the soldiers at 4:00am, taking more baths on a freezing morning in the open field as the bathrooms were to dirty to even step into, the tiny spaces between the bunks-we were 62 in my room! And all the other irritating minute details the soldiers pay attention to like bursting into the female hostel after an impatient knock without waiting for an answer to chase people to the parade ground, the endless lectures, the early morning songs, this is one
‘Dem go born mumu
Dem go born mumu
If corper marry corper dem go born mumu’
Etc The song is used to mock sexual relationships between corpers in camp) My knee knocked off again once during preparation for one of their stupid (did I say stupid again?) endless parades and I was exempted from further activities (My knee cap rolls out of its socket every once in a while if stressed. Stomping on the ground for hours in the name of marching is taking it too far, so I didn’t do any of those tortuous rope climbing exercises and I wasn’t around for the endurance trek! That was aptly named that trek surely tests your endurance level). Had a run in with one of the soldiers who said in Hausa to his subordinate to take me to the guard room, they call him Mad Dog because of his rabid behavior! I heard the words yarinya and guard room, I disappeared fast and mixed with the crowd in spite of my painful knee.
This is turning out to be one long post hope it isn’t too boring sha.
My birthday came while I was in camp. Still upset over my boyfriend he sent me one very blasé text message. My parents made my day. My dad sent me a cake with cartons of my favorite juice. The cake was so beautiful and it was covered in whipped cream with handfuls of red sugar crumbles. I was a loner in camp except for the people around my bunk, I didn’t mix. I shared the goodies with these people. My mum wrapped up my gift and cards from my siblings in a package taped to one of the outside pockets of my box. Didn’t even know it was there until she called to tell me, I was so happy and very surprised. I met more friends on the parade ground when people kept calling me to wish me a happy birthday. Left camp 2 days later after spending like 8 days to prepare for my Call to the Nigerian Bar. I didn’t go back o merely went for the passing out parade and collected my posting. If I remove all the annoying deets of camp it wasn’t so bad in the end I enjoyed a few of the times spent there.
The year itself has been a blast met some wonderful friends along the way. I met up with one of my closest friends in secondary school, Omotee after years of been apart.
This post is getting too long.
I am dedicating this post to thousands (I should say millions, the scheme started in 1975) of graduates who have gone through this scheme before me including my parents (imagine?!). It gave me an opportunity to further discover myself, love myself more, have more people in my circle of friends, wheedle out people I would rather live without, learn new traditions, value my true friends, be thankful for all the people in my life and all the things I have and lots more. To those currently serving have a blast during your service year. For me it has been fun and I am glad I ‘obeyed the clarion’s call’. God bless Nigeria!
I have to start packing my things soon not looking forward to it at all and I have to regulate my system back to the high strung life in Las giddy (Lagos) that wouldn’t be bad. I have already started saying my goodbyes to all of my favorite places here, in my special way of taking loads of pictures to last a lifetime.
Signing off with one of Enrique’s songs in Spanish totally love the song even though I don’t understand a word he is saying, he is such a passionate singer, The song just changed to Dan Seal’s Everything that glitters. My songs are arranged in alphabetical order.
P.S. 1-Otondo: Name the soldiers call the corps members
2- Beagle: A trumpet-like thing blown for every occasion in camp
3- Yarinya: Hausa for female
4- Guard room: A room kept by the soldiers for punishing people
Update: This post was written on Thursday. Its Saturday now, I am having problems with my wireless card. I will post this when I get it to work.
I got a job! All the Firms told me they would get back to me so I was checking my mails everyday only to be disappointed as I got nothing from them. I then decided I wouldn’t check for a few days. That was torture I tell you, staying away from the internet. Alas, I checked on Friday evening and voila, I got a mail from one of them, actually the Firm I liked best amongst all the ones I interviewed with. I was told to resume on the 2nd of February and to pick up my appointment letter. I was so surprised I didn’t know what to say.
I called the Managing partner and explained my situation that I haven’t finished NYSC clearance and it will take two weeks, plus packing up and coming back to Lagos would take another week and she said I could resume in March, that she will modify my appointment letter and she will forward it to me if I can’t pick it up. Imagine!
I was so happy until I called my dad and he gave me news of some foolishness a certain family member of mine has committed. It overshadowed my happiness but like my father said, good and evil sometimes move together and there was nothing I could do but be thankful to Almighty God and that I shouldn’t let it bother me, I should just be happy keep being at my best.
So I have resolved to feel blessed and I will simply pray more for my family member. To think this time last week, my sister and I were lamenting over our jobless status Yes, my sister has relocated back to the country. I pray she gets a job soon as well. It would be so cool playing dress up with her in the mornings. I can see the cat fights already, say wearing the same outfits on the same day, we have several items of clothing in common.
I am so thankful for you guys. The feeling I get, knowing I can share my innermost thoughts without having to speak is indescribable. May all your wishes come true. Wish me luck in my new job, I know I am going to need it.
Imagine its Monday evening! I had to visit my ISP’s office and reinstall the data card before I got hooked up again.