NYSC Camp Diaries: Day 4

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Sundays are our free days so I kept sleeping and waking. Finally, at about 11/12 pm, Chuba and I decide to go out and grab a meal. Eating ends up being a myth as on our way out, we meet different people and just keep chatting. We head to Mammy market and start watching football and jisting.

I’m really hungry at this point so I decide to buy N500 worth of suya. I tell the vendor not to put any onion or pepper as one of my greatest fears here is having to take a dump. Pit latrines are not my lavatory of choice(Cries in shot put). The day is pretty relaxed, no soldiers trying to rub how much of a bloody civilian you are in your face, or bringing back long forgotten high school memories like having to frog jump.

One of the most interesting things about camp is that the rooms are dormitory style with about 80 people in each. The conversations work as an insight into the average Nigerian’s psyche. Sometimes, I almost tear up at the hilarity and other times I’m genuinely intrigued. Some of the one liners that I’ve overheard sessions include :

  • On Ethiopia and its greatness or lack of – “Them don win Nations cup?”, “That Oshiomole is the richest man there”, “Them get Shoprite?”
  • On University – “For our school, na electrical engineer dey fear electricity pass”
  • On rap music – “I like rappers wey dey jist”
  • On Empire – “That feem na to promote gay”
  • On Lara Oshiomole – “That Oshiomole wife, na someone like David Beckham she suppose marry”

I remember wanting to fill my bucket with water and finding out that I could send some kids to do it for me. Chuba and I gestured the kids and asked how much they charged. They said N20 per bucket so we gave them N50 for the two buckets. At the time we thought we’d been benevolent, N10 extra, they could get something to eat. But on second thought, how much can one do with N50 in Nigeria today? We guilt tripped ourselves into feeling like we had just partaken in child labour. I hope that the guilt is enough to get us filling our buckets by ourselves henceforth.

The 4 days have been an eye opener. I’ve learnt to pay attention to things I was previously oblivious to and (cries in privilege) learnt to make the most of situations irrespective of how dreadful they are. Looking forward to seeing how many more days I can survive for! (Jungle boy mode activated).