I do not know what I expected. Maybe a better day than swearing-in day (day 4).
But no, today was far worse. With all the jubilation, shouting and war chants of yesterday, ninety-five percent of corpers slept at 12am and above. In my own case, I lay down to sleep at 11:30pm amidst the noise and loud talks of my roommates. I was roughly woken up at 2am to have my shower because apparently we would be chased out at 5am with all our baggage. I was less than impressed.
2:23am, I got up however grudgingly to begin my morning routine only to be met with two things. One, it was heavily raining. Two, the bathrooms had been locked yesterday night after being “washed” by the cleaners. The bathroom being locked wouldn’t have been a problem for me on other days because by day nine, I had learned how to play shot-put and bathing outside but in front of the bathroom. But today it is a problem because my usual spot in front of the bathroom has a long queue of unshowered and stinking corpers waiting to use the space, so I have to go properly outside, in front of the hostel and under the rain. Imagine having a cold shower, outside, and under the rain.
I swallowed the discomfort and took the bull by the horns; in this case, my bucket of cold water. First hurdle, where to keep my glasses? I was not used to the area, so I could not leave my glasses behind and figure out where to stand/keep things/walk etc. I opened my soapdish and used the cover as a makeshift glass case. Yes, I know I am quite smart.
Second hurdle, where to keep the small cloth I tied to cover a bit of my modesty on the long walk of shame from my hostel to the outside world. By the corner of my eye, I saw someone tying a headwrap and inspiration came like a flash. I tied my modesty apparel as a headwrap and proceeded with my shower.
So in conclusion, I had to stay under the f*****g rain… (I wish we were allowed to swear in professional settings). Excuse me, let me try that again.
In conclusion, after minutes of obfuscation and vexation caused by lack of foresight on the part of the powers that be, I stayed under the fracking showers bestowed upon us by the Good Lord to go through the process of an external body parts clean up.
The thing I am grateful for is that there is no light, so bathing in full glare of any “lucky” passer-by wasn’t so bad.
By 4:48am I was out of the room with my luggage. And the wait for the start of the passing out parade at 9am began. While waiting, I said soddy goodbyes, had my last breakfast on camp.
In typical Nigerian fashion, we started fifty minutes late. How lovely. Everything went okay. I could see the tension building around fellow corps members concerning postings. They were all scared of being posted to the waterside. And I wasn’t really bothered; #whentheCCisyourfriend. I was more bothered about if my PPA will accept me or not. Well fingers crossed till tomorrow.
After receiving my posting letter, I boarded a bus to get to my local government under a religious umbrella to stay in their lodge till I get “settled”. I didn’t stay there for more than a couple of hours. There were too many rules I couldn’t keep up with. And just like that I carried myself to a friend’s house.
I entered okada. This time properly. With a heavy suitcase as well. I am proud of myself. I’m becoming a street child already.
Wow I came to camp and I survived.
How do I feel? Relieved.
*shot put – a game majorly played in Africa of who can take a dump in plastic bags and throw it the farthest in the bush.
*okada – a motorbike
*PPA – Place of Primary Assignment