LIFE IN BAUCHI CAMP, KANGERE……THE FIRST DAY IN CAMP
[25th of November, 2015]
I couldn’t sleep all through the night because I had to keep watch over the phones I was charging. After my alarm had rang at 5am, I got up from my bunk bed and woke Ugo and the other guys up. I was surprised when I heard people rushing just to queue at the registration ground.
We could only wash our legs and hands because the harmattan was at it’s peak. We got to the registration lane around 5:15am and I was extremely surprised to see how long the queue was: From the main entrance to the female hostel. We joined the queue too, and just like ‘snake xenzia’, the queue got longer and longer by the minute, in the cold weather, with our bags hanging on our shoulder.
We stayed in the cold till some few minutes past 7am before it was announced that we should leave the premises to a nearby field where we will be re-searched again, before the registration procedure will commence. It took us four good hours to get out of the long queue. We stood in the sun throughout the duration until a set of ‘man o war’ squad assisted in controlling the queue.
The registration took over three hours and we got a printout at the end of the exercise. We were given a Zenith bank opening form which we were told to fill before joining our respective platoons, where we will get our kits. NYSC finally separated Ugo and I for the first time: I was in platoon 6 while he was in platoon 4. The kits in platoon 6 got finished but we were given meal tickets; Ugo on the other hand got his kits, but he was without a meal ticket. Instead of waiting for the supplementary kits to arrive, Ugo and I decided to book down our hostel room before it got full. We begged the aboki in charge to fix us in the same room and after much pleading, he obliged and we were fixed in Block A hostel, ROOM 10.
NYSC kits are never accurate, but the good thing is that, it comprises of all sizes. No matter how fat, short, tall, huge or thin you are, your size is always available, and if you need any amendment, just contact the abokis at the mamee.
I haven’t mentioned Janelle in a while and you might be wondering why. She had some issues with me. Truth be told, I didn’t open up to her about my plans – traveling by air wasn’t something I had planned to begin with. She really got angry with me, which made me wonder what kind of human being she be sef. Few minutes past 2pm, she got to the camp. I wasn’t shocked when I finally saw her: She is tall, fair, round faced, slim and beautiful, just as I had seen from her display photos.
At 4:00pm, the trumpet was blown and we were made to know that we had to run to the parade ground with our new white-on-white kits. That was when my dear friend Ugo suggested that we visit the camp kitchen to get our lunch. We were served a tasteless beans which was roughly cooked. Chai! Camp kitchen!
By the time Ugo and I rushed back to our room to consume the food, two soldiers stormed our blocks and forced us out. They punished us for a while before instructing us to rush down to the parade ground.
Captain Aminu was assigned as the platoon commander. He took charge of our training for the evening. At exactly 6pm, a trumpet was blown, but we were told to remain still, with the explanation that Nigeria was about to sleep, so anytime we heard that particular bugle being blown, we need to remain in attention position, irrespective of where we were.
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