My NYSC diary and 21 days in camp Ch. 1 Ep. 3
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My NYSC diary and 21 days in camp Ch. 1 Ep. 3


By Ola Olowo  Posted on 9th Oct 2018

Estimated reading time: 3 mins 1 secs



© Copyright notice: No part of this story should be produced in any other format or distributed elsewhere without the prior notice of management of Country Tales or the author.

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[8th of November]

On a typical Sunday morning, after I’d returned from church, the worms in my stomach didn’t spare me a moment of rest, so I prepared something to eat. After the meal, I picked my phones and headed straight to a nearby viewing center to get them charged, knowing fully well that there are some sharp guys over there who would always seize the opportunity to steal phones. Well, OYO is your case if you sleep at a viewing center when you have up to three phones in the socket charging.

[9th of November]

Still in bed, I pondered over the dream I had last night. I don’t usually have nightmares, but when I do, they always come to pass. In my dream, I saw myself with two other guys, one of whom I suspected to be Vision. They sat next to me while I drove. Along the journey, our car collapsed. Although no one was hurt, we couldn’t make it to our destination. This swung my mood throughout the day; I remained calm and careful.

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*****

Janelle and I continued to chat on a daily basis, except for that particular day. She didn’t show up online throughout, and I began to miss her company seriously. Upon reaching her via a phone call, she told me that she had some scores to settle at her school – University of Calabar – that meant I would have to go through the day alone.

As I was about to close for the day, I got an SMS notification on my phone. I thought it was one of these usual broadcast messages from my cellular network provider, until I saw NYSC. The message read, “All PCM deployed to Yobe State will now have their orientation course at Bauchi camp on 25th of November 2015. Please reprint your call-up letter. - DG.”

It wasn’t a surprise at all, but wetin man go do? Almost everyone in the group got the message. Ugo called me to confirm if I got it too.

Upon getting home, I informed my parents about it and they were extremely shocked. They suggested that I forget about serving this year and register for next year’s camp because Bauchi was not really safe. Janelle and I engaged in a chat later that evening when I got back from church. She also informed me that her parents were really scared of releasing her for the camp. Would you blame them? Of course not! Bauchi was one of the regions in the country that has suffered brutal terrorism in the hands of Boko haram.

*****

It was time to start buying the things I needed for the camp in Bauchi. Ella, one the few friends I made from the WhatsApp group, helped me with the list she had drawn for herself. The items on the list included three vests, two pair of shorts, a tooth brush, two pair of white socks, two padlocks, Vaseline, torch light, among others.

Even with the change of camp, West insisted that the transport fare to Bauchi remains unchanged – N6,500. Research and assumptions proved that Bauchi isn’t that far, compared to Jigawa. I got the bank details and made a part payment of N4,000.

Continued on next page...

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