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The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story - Literature - Nairaland

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My Nysc Diary And 21 Days In Camp (season 2) / My Nysc Diary And 21 Days In Camp / Hills And Wills Nwokedi, Twin Authors Of Dominik's Diaries (2) (3) (4)

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The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 11:04am On Mar 12, 2016
After receiving so much "as you go to camp/NYSC" advice from friends, and family members, the much awaited day finally came. It was the 5th of May, 2015. That day was the official opening of the three weeks Orientation Camp of the NYSC.

With the sun just opening its eyes for the day and my Echolacc box clutched to my left hand, I was set for the journey. It was a journey to the South-Western state of Ekiti, where I was posted to do my mandatory one year service to the Fatherland (Nigeria). I was tensed, my heart beating faster. This was my first time of travelling to the "Fountain of Knowledge".

As I got to the park at University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), they were other prospective "corpers" hanging around, waiting for the white 18-seater bus to get filled. I was no surer that I was not the only one going to the land of "Oshokomole" (Dr. Ayodele Fayose), an unknown land. As we waited, hawkers were swarming around with their wares, convincing the passengers to buy sweating bottled drinks and "Gala".

"Bros, see this one! You go like am well, e sweet oooo!!", came the voice of one of the hawkers peering through the window of the bus to sell her goods to a passenger. The "agberos" were also there, with trousers struggling to stay on their waists, gulping liquor from rectangular sachets.

"Oya! Oya! Bring your money make you enter, the bus go soon full", an "agbero", told a passenger. In a twinkle of an eye, the bus was filled, "otondos" formed a majority of the passengers. "Vum!Vum!Vum! came the sound of the Hiace bus as it veered into the road.

http://vesselofinspiration.com, watch out for the rest .

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Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by wiloy2k8(m): 11:05am On Mar 12, 2016
...
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 11:08am On Mar 12, 2016
I served in emure, it wasn't a pleasant experience
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 2:23pm On Mar 12, 2016
Eyekandi:
I served in emure, it wasn't a pleasant experience
Eyekandi:
I served in emure, it wasn't a pleasant experience
.

Hmmmm, serving in Ado-Ekiti though. Don't know much bout the place but just camping.
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 3:37pm On Mar 12, 2016
Emmykego:
.

Hmmmm, serving in Ado-Ekiti though. Don't know much bout the place but just camping.


Ekiti generally ain't all that, but emure is a village, so ...
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 10:02pm On Mar 15, 2016
Eyekandi:
Ekiti generally ain't all that, but emure is a village, so ...
Yeah, still developing as a state.
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 10:06pm On Mar 15, 2016
PART 2

I was happy and anxious at same time. I have heard many stories, both good and bad ones, about the camping exercise. My plan was to maximise the once-in-a-life-time opportunity. Many thoughts ran through my mind as the bus meandered the road walled by tall and thick trees. After an hour on the road, our vehicle was now running as fast as a snail.

"Yes, we are on our way to the camp now", one passenger answered from the back.

"I no know where we dey now oooooo", he rechoed. This time we were in the thicket, a road so narrow that it can pass for a farm road. As the bumps on the road made to be jump and dance " shoki", we prayed silently to get to our destination safely. The dust oozing off the road was "killing".



Excerpt from pt.3
"I wanna see the captain! Somebody go call him for me! Tell him that Blacky wanna talk sense into
him."

As we struggled to settle down in the room, a soldier marched in. "Una don come, una don come. Off every light, it's light out!", his voice thundered

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Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 4:35am On Mar 16, 2016
Emmykego:


Yeah, still developing as a state.

True
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 7:51pm On Mar 17, 2016
PART . 3

Immediately we got to camp, the fierce looking security men, welcomed us to the 3 weeks of imprisonment in Emure's camp.

I quickly took my bag from the bus, dashed to the gate. There were photographers, trying to make brisk business, littered across the gate. The ladies bags were intimidating. I wondered if I was coming for same camp with them. Some carried bags and boxes as large as Zuma rock, which made them look like the biblical Goliath standing beside David.

As I got through the security checks, I headed to the store to pick up my mattress and locate a hostel where I would pass the night. The camp was yet to officially open. Everywhere was desolate save some persons who had arrived earlier.


MY FIRST NIGHT

While I settled down to my room, the sun was almost taking a pause for the day and more persons were trouping in to camp. To my greatest surprise, the room was filled with electrical cables, disconnected from the sources. Na dey I know say gbege don set. " where I go dey charge my phone now? ", I queried myself.

At that instance, a voice reveberrated inside the room. "Charge your phone here. Ose Charging, charge your phone, N50 !!!. Some corps members in the room cried foul. "So, na this thing dey wan make we suffer abi? Me no dey pay anything, Warri no dey carry last ooo!".

While ruminating on what had become our state, the night drew faster than lightning. The greeting ministry was still going on when a soldier marched in. "Una don come, una don come. Off every light, it's light out!", his voice thundered. The room which was noisier than a market melted in silence, faster than a candle light. The lights went off instanta and gross darkness 'ti take over' the room.

Like someone whose remote they are pressing from the village, one dark and slim as kpanla guy, obviously from Waffy, tossed up from his bed and almost got the room into a mess. "I wanna see the captain! Somebody go call him for me! Tell him that Blacky wanna talk sense into him", he yelled atop his voice.

The tongue lashing that followed was epic. One bros who should be thinking of his grandchildren and retirement benefits, gave him (Rukky) a stem warning. He would have be saying in his "na whey I come camp, this guy wan use him reggae spoil my blues? I must serve oooo, wear Khaki!!!

This was the reignition for the second round of comedy. I can't call it talk. Jokes flew in like swords in Shaolin Temple. Some said they've never been in such a room, others swearing that there pockets are loaded and they can never taste NYSC food (my brother, no mind them. Na dem use their meal ticket pass sef, even use other people ticket collect food). And yet many were boasting about their academic and sexual escapades in school, the latter wo wowing to extend it to camp.

I had prayed that mosquitoes would not be my bedmate in camp and God come do am, that night as all of them go me village meeting. The jokes were still jumping out from people's mouth when I remembered the bustle and hustle of registration the next day and called on sleep to take over
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Joyce21(f): 8:54pm On Mar 17, 2016
Intresting, i must follow this story to the very end! Am currently serving at emure:eporo
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 9:24pm On Mar 17, 2016
Joyce21:
Intresting, i must follow this story to the very end! Am currently serving at emure:eporo
.

Nice knowing that. Batch A or B?
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Joyce21(f): 11:18pm On Mar 17, 2016
Batch B o
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 5:14am On Mar 18, 2016
Joyce21:
Batch B o
. Okay, I'm batch A though. Hope ure enjoying it?
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Udochee(m): 11:34am On Mar 18, 2016
ekiti things..served ikere sha.wonderful experience all the same..ride on bro make I reminisce camp small
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 8:50am On Apr 01, 2016
PART 4.

REGISTRATIONS

Before I could close my eyes and embrace the night's inviting arms, my room had become a market square. People moved in and out of the poorly-lit room, dragging their feet on the floor, like a police man dragging a thief at Asuani market.

I thought I had overslept, woke up like someone being pursued in the dream as my hands reached to my towel and soap can on my wardrobe. While I did this, my hands etched to my phone. I decided to check the time. It was 3.am. "Jesus!", I said in my mind. My mouth was agape. Are we in any confraternity or witch gathering here? I asked myself.

Just as I pondered on that, my eyes peered through the window. What I saw further dumbfounded me. People were already moving in droves to the registration hall to "keep space". In order not to " carry last", I threw my towel on my shoulders, and marched to the bathroom.


On my way to the bathroom, people walled up the road like the Berlin Walls. There was no time to enter there. I immediately sought a convenient corner, took my bath and headed back to my room before I went to the registration hall and kept my own space too!

While the dark night gave more way to the rays of the early morning sun, my stomach had began to "sing a new song to the Lord". I left for Mami Market where I eat my to my fill before returning to the hall.

After we waited for hours, the NYSC officials showed up only to break our hearts. " Everyone should pack their things and move to t the next hall". I almost cried but I quickly remembered that if I delayed any more, others will take over the place even b before I get there.

While the pushing and shoving; jumping of queue lasted, I saw two of my course mates and CASORITES. I was happy, knowing I'm not alone, at least for the main time. When it got to my turn, I climbed the 4-steps-to-sucess, collected my tag (na wetin we wear carry for neck for 3 weeks ooo, like 18th century slaves). It had 0..5 written on it, which meant I belonged to Platoon 5 , rather 5 Platoon (make Aunty Rose no kill me ooo. "How can you, an OBS/Editorial member say Platoon 5, eeh" *in Aunty Rose's voice*).

I didn't take a blink of an eye before I found myself in the Pavilion, ready to get my Khaki and other kits. It was funny and same time intriguing when men turned to "Okrika" sellers.

COLLECTION OF KITS

"Abeg who get 45, I get 40 ?", "I get 44, who get 39?", were some of the shouts, rather cry for mercy, flying around the Pavilion, as people paced up an down. I was lucky, I saw someone who exchange mine in no time (even though say dey be gimme size 40 whey no fit enter my toe sef).

My Khaki trouser needed just a little amendment as I couldn't but laugh at the "mbunukwu" (a loosely tied wrapper worn by traditional men) given to some people. In fact, there was a young lady whose Khaki trouser almost swallowed her (na true I talk now, na people commot am from the thing sef *winks).

FIRST PARADE


"Pam pam pam pam pam pam; Pam pam pam pam pam pam!!!"


Before we could say Jack Robinson, the bingo, sorry beagle had sounded like the biblical end time trumpet. Soldiers whose eyes were blood shot, appeared from nowhere and began to march everyone who had collected their kits to the bald field; to march under the boiling sun. When I saw the handwriting on the wall, I didn't bother to come out of the Pavilion again (every dey forming activity for there!).

The soldiers were not happy that some people were at the Pavilion and intermittently came to raid the place. I stayed at the Pavilion until the first parade in camp ended, no need to go and join in the fainting feats being pulled up at the parade ground.

Later than evening, the eagle, ooooh eagle, cried and food ( I no know if this one na dinner sha, no be my mouth you wan hear am sha. *blinks corner of eyes).


http://vesselofinspiration.com/the-hills-of-emure-my-camp-story-pt-4/
Re: The Hills Of Emure: My Nysc Camp Story by Nobody: 4:41pm On Apr 06, 2016
http://vesselofinspiration.com/the-hills-of-emure-my-camp-story-pt-6/

SAED LECTURES AND SNAKE ISLAND

Surrounded by trees which embraced themselves, and danced gloriously to the melodious tune of the wind, the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), lecture venue, embodied myriad of things.

To some, it was a sleeping venue with the NYSC face cap being a helpmate in that. It was to others a waste of time, listening to sugarcoated marketers and their starched clothes whose "gettos" cut as keen as knives sell their products. Ekiti Batch A 2015 camp wouldn't be complete without reference to the snakes which terrorised corps members.

There's never a day that a snake wouldn't be seen wriggling its body atop the trees, and corps members "Ben Johnson" to safety. I could recall a "Baba", traditional ruler who came one day to lecture us on Yoruba tradition, telling us that the snakes don't bit and in a flip of the eyes, the snakes went still.

I can't forget the language lectures with the trademark introduction of "Ekaro oooo" by the tutor and the "oooo, ekaro ooo", response from "corpers". Learning about Yoruba culture was fun though. The mention of "Magun" was the dawn of fear in many corps members. It sounded absurd and they were some people who vowed to take the adventurous road of trying "Magun's" effectiveness once freed from the chains of camping.


INTER-PLATOON GAMES

Despite the rocky and bald terrain of the playing turf in camp, there was no going back on the inter-platoon games. Football, volleyball and athletics were the games. I had it in mind to join in the games, nay football but seeing the gravely field, my enthusiasm quenched.

I became a spectator watching the artistic display of skills and penning the beautiful goals as an OBS crew member. The girls did volleyball, it equally came in enthralling encounters. My platoon later emerged the football champions and we painted the camp "red" with celebration.

There wasn't any better comedy than watching NYSC officials and soldiers trade tackles with their potbellies drawing them back like a magnet on the football pitch. Captain Ralph, our camp commandant whose presence melted the hardest hearts, even " Yakubued" a clear goal, to the amazement of all. As one guy chipped in them, "E think say football na to squat down or do hunches!"


MAMMY MARKET

Camping wouldn't be complete without mentioning it. It was the heaven for saliva-dropping chops and eye-popping drinks. Mammy market embodied a typical Nigerian market. A step and your wallet will never remain the same. "Corper, you no go buy this one so that you go give them for house?", was the usual greeting in Mammy.

Towards the end of the camping, some of my roommates, having received their "allowee", went to Mammy, only to come back staggering around.

Some of them began to parade in the room, others told their lives' stories of how they would have had first class in school and reciting their matriculation numbers. One bros, even vomit on top im bed, sleep go only for am to wake up the following day begin ask " who vomit for my bed? ".

There were phone chargers also in Mammy. They came in different names and methods. " Ose Charging " , "BB Charging", " T.Y Charger " to list a few were some of the leading brands in that line of business. Corps members flooded them more than the 2012 great flood in Nigeria; they often bombarded us in our rooms with their compelling voice to "charge your phone here!".

POSTING LETTERS AND END OF CAMP

After the camp fire night on Friday, Saturday morning was a tad boring. No Endurance Trek, just light jugging and preparation for last Sunday service in NCCF. Sundays were free days. No parade, fewer hutches and freedom to dress in "mufty".

As Sunday drew to a close, the camp was in a sober mood.

People sat down in groups. Under the eaves. Discussing in hoarse voices. Posting letter will soon come. "Where dey go post me go?" was the question on everyone's lips. When I got back to my room, the atmosphere was tense, faces were wriggled in anxiety. We didn't sleep that night, every where was rowdy.


There were songs flying from all angles in the room. After what looked like eternity, silence permeated the room, sleep came in full swing. But it was short lived, like public power supply. At about 2.am, the noise decibels jacked up.

People began to prepare for the day, end of camp. There was even a corps member who carried his mattress and stood at attention till the camp officials started collection of mattresses. The queue there was longer than Methuselah's age.

I was busy, with other OBS crew, putting final touches to the Pavilion for the closing ceremony. After waiting for eternity for the closing parade to start, there was worry painted on some faces. They had eaten , played, cracked dry jokes but there seemed to be no end in sight.

Alas the moment of reckoning came. The. Moment. Of . Truth. The parade had ended and the posting letters out. There was wailing . There was gnashing of teeth. There were smiles. Friends, glued like bread and butter were severed. Eyes were red-hot with tears, mouths opened with cries. I was happy and sad.

As I collected my letter, I was elated to leave the regimented lifestyle but still knew that once I cross the gates, it would be the beginning of a good bye not just to Ise-Emure Orientation Camp but to NYSC!

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