Hello again. Last post was basically introduction and we talked about registration and related stuff.
This time, it’s a bit longer and I’ll start with food.
Honestly, I can’t write about camp food. I didn’t eat it. I tried to take my bread each time they gave it but even that I didn’t keep up with. Here’s why. My first experience with camp food was Eba and egusi soup which on a normal day should be fine. But what I saw was a woman in my room who put both the eba and the soup in one plate and was eating it in the messiest way possible. That was it for me.
However, breakfast is usually bread and egg or butter with tea. I don’t think I need to explain the ‘tea’. 😂 Some mornings, they serve akara (bean cake) and pap. There was even a time they served beans and pap in the morning. And beans is my best food but I wasn’t going near that thing.
Lunch and dinner is served by 1:30 to 2:30pm and 6:30 to 7:30pm respectively. Ranging from rice to yams and all the other common food. Breakfast is by 7:30am.
Go with a good flask. I didn’t go with one, I really don’t know what I was thinking. Buying one on camp was going to cost me #500 and I wasn’t going to spend that money. So go with your own. Saves a lot of stress and it’s the only way to collect your food from the kitchen.
That’s for the kitchen business. Some of us will not eat kitchen food. We are not trying to form butty or anything like that. So for this category, your stomach and sanity is dependent on Mammy.
Mammy would have different food stalls. Find one and stick to it. Seriously. A lot of benefits come from being a known ‘customer’. For example, I picked this restaurant simply because they answered me on time. I ate everything there. I drink tea a lot and at some point I could just enter and start making my tea myself. Because I was a customer, I could go away with their cup, get free hot water, extra plantain and discounts on everything. Be a nice customer. It pays well.
Again, go with your food flask. Even if you want to buy food in Mammy, you would need a flask if you want to take the food back to your room. Unless of course you are a customer. 😂 Before I got customer status, I had to eat at Mammy all the time. There are disposable plates but they cost #50 per plate and Yours Truly wasn’t going to be spending money on anything not absolutely necessary.
Do not be deceived by anybody that tells you that you have to be boxed up to survive camp or that you have to find a mugu. Especially for you girls. I won’t tell you not to have a camp boyfriend (which is a very very silly thing to do) but give yourself some prestige. OK this is not a sermon. Let’s just say I didn’t spend so much money on food and I ate well. Again I was in Bauchi. Which is very cheap.
Apart from regular food, there are suya sellers and people doing fries. In Nigeria, fries do not mean Irish potato chips. Fries is a general name for akara, fried sweet potatoes and fried yam.
Because I was in Bauchi, I had access to Kunu (local drink made from millet basically. Contact me for a recipe 🤗). There was masa (another local dish which I really have no idea how it’s made), zobo (another local drink I love) and fura de nono, which is basically unprocessed raw milk mixed with millet. I don’t like it but I can swear by it. Nutritious to the last spoon. I just don’t like it. Those in other parts of Nigeria would get some other culture specific delicacies like Ukpa (bambara nut cake) for those in the East.
So whether you decide to eat from the kitchen or be a mammy regular, your stomach is covered.
Fruit sellers were all over the place so we could get our fruits. Drinks are more expensive in camp than they are in the real world. For example, in Wailo, a bottle of coke was #170 and a bottle of malt was #200. Enough said.
MEDICALS AND HEALTH
Once you get to camp, medical clearance comes first before other parts of registration. Once this is done, you can receive treatment at the clinic. Most of the medical personnel would be Corp members like you so be nice.
Drugs are not always available and they are given on a daily basis. So if you have to take vitamin c twice daily for 3 days, you would only be given the dose for a day. You have to come back the next day for the dose of that day. If you have to take a cough or any other syrup, you have to come 3 times a day because ain’t nobody gonna give you the whole bottle. 😂
I had a bad cold throughout my stay in camp. I was treated twice and nothing happened. I am still coughing as I write this. Also, in the final week of camp, I fell really sick. Injections and drugs by drip had me in the Clinic all day. At some point, I had to spend the night in the Clinic. But everybody was nice so it was bearable. Thanks to my constantly blocked nose, I couldn’t smell any of the normal hospital smells.
That said, if you can, go to a good pharmacy and get good drugs before you come to camp. They won’t be seized. I’m not for self medication so go to the clinic if you feel ill and when you are diagnosed, let them instruct you on how to take your drugs. You are not a doctor if you are not a doctor. Period.
Other than serious drugs, go with the normal pain killers and laxatives. If you are expecting your period and you get all the pains, please go with your usual drugs. Remember that all you wear is white on white on white. If the Crimson Tide is gonna come while you are in camp, pack good old we-cover-every-damn-thing pants. You do not want to be stuck with a thong when the tide flows. I’m so sorry but we just gotta tell it as it is.
Dettol should be the love of your life for those three weeks. Buy a big bottle. Use it all the time. Keep it safe because it can be stolen. My small bottle was. I almost cried. Few days after that, I got urinary tract infection. That thing is not funny. Put dettol in your water right after you plead the Blood of Jesus. Very necessary and important.
If things get to bad, you might have to spend a night in the Clinic. Ours had mosquito nets and pillows but I had to come with my blanket.
I think I should just end by saying Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Try to be as neat as possible. Which leads us to Laundry.
LAUNDRY AND STICHES
In light of the fact that you would be wearing a lot of white, I don’t need to say how often you would be needing to wash.
I did all my washing myself and I went with my clothes line and pegs so life was chilled.
However, there are laundry guys who would do your laundry for a fee. If you decide to do your laundry yourself, I’ll advice you go with your own line. Just to avoid stories that touch.
These laundry guys can also do ironing for you. Lemme just add here that I never ironed my clothes in camp and I didn’t do so badly. Let’s just say it does not affect your popularity. 🤓
Everything you are given in terms of clothes would have need of some adjustment unless you are very lucky. There are tailors who would do a very poor and sloppy job of adjusting your khaki. The khaki material given at camp is not so good. First of all, get ready to spend money adjusting because it would probably be to big for you. The price is about 1500 but I paid 800. 😇
Go to camp with your needle and thread. You will probably need it. I did. My trousers kept having small tears that I needed to stitch together.
If your cap doesn’t fit, these tailors can make a new one from the old one. Nothing is fixed, learn to negotiate unless of course, you have money to spend.
I think that’s that on food, health and laundry. Of course, there’s more to share and I would do just that in future posts.
Till then, all my love,
I owe y’all a very big apology. I got to camp and I just couldn’t take enough pictures. I am so sorry for depriving you guys of some wonderful scenes. 😖🙏