When my uncle and I arrived at the NYSC camp and I walked into the campus, I knew right there and then there was no way I wanted to stay behind. I resolved in my mind to do everything possible to not stay at camp. I mean it's one thing being at camp with friends but it's a whole different story when you're in a different state and you know absolutely no one on camp. Plus you came late so you missed the "making friends session" that usually occurs on the first day.
So I started with the up and down, trying to stay positive and calm. One hour down, no problem. After all, it was just 11am.
But when 6pm clocked and I barely finished registration, I knew I wanted to kill someone. I had cried, gotten angry, prayed, felt depressed and finally gave up. I was going to have to spend the night despite my "health conditions" that would get me out of camp. The absolute worst.
Camp was hideous. It was filthy. The staff were not the friendliest, well except one lady in my platoon who managed to make us feel at home despite how strange our new surrounding was. The hostel had an awful smell and don't get me started on the bathrooms. But I was glad I hadn't been subjected to the humiliation of carrying my box on my head, frog jumping or kneeling down with my hands up/holding my lips. How any on those contribute to "serving the nation", I do not know.
Fortunately I was entrusted in the care of a soldier who we had met at the gate and hit it off with. I was somewhat embarrassed with the attention it got me, he barked at everyone in my way and led me everywhere, "chancing" people at the bathroom, food stalls and the electronic stall for charging your phone. After a shower and a good cry later, I told myself it wasn't that bad. I mean camp isn't the worst thing at night when you get to hang out at mammy market. Everyone's loosed and relaxed with no soldiers barking down commands/insults at you. Plus, the sun's gone down and the temperature is just perfect to be out at night.
Regardless... I told myself one night and that was it. I had had enough camp experience, after all I did do man-o-war. I had gone through all the emotions one could in just a day and I was just about prepared to get out. Imagine my horror when one night turned to .....