Nigeria is basically on lock-down right now, with the strike and protests against the government, so I have lots of free time on my hands. I know i said the next post would be on Arrival and Registration at the camp, but I want to throw in a WHAT NOT TO BRING TO CAMP for good measure...
- Mattress - From what I've heard and read from other blogs, if you bring in a mattress, it could potentially be seized by camp officials at the gate. In MY experience though, after 2 weeks of sleeping on the thinnest mattress ever, my dad brought in a new mattress for me. All I had to do was take it to the camp store and get it registered - they wrote my name and state code on the mattress, so I could leave with it when it was time to go home. I guess it depends on which camp you're in. I gave out the mattress the day we left camp, because I had no use for it at home.
- Cutlery - At the back of your Call Up letter, there's a list of items you can should come with, and cutlery's mentioned. However, they will seize it from you at the camp gate, because according to them, they can be used as weapons. If that's the case, then why ask us to bring them in the first place? *yet another thing about NYSC that makes no sense*
- Clippers - This is for the guys. They made guys turn in their clippers at the gate. Again, their reasoning was that they could be used as weapons. I wonder how though... *Give me your phone/money or else I'll cut your hair?* Beats me
- Plain clothes/shoes - Well, like I said in the last post, some camps allow corpers to wear plain clothes on Sundays for church. In my camp (Lagos), only the guys were allowed to wear their plain clothes. Maybe bring a pair of jeans and 3 tops, just in case you're allowed?
- iPad, iPod, iAnything and the like - For me, all I needed was my phone. Most smartphones these days hold movies, music, etc, so it's best to carry just one thing with you. It lessens the likelihood of something getting lost or stolen.
- A huge suitcase with lots of load - First reason? It's too much work having to lug around a big suitcase around when you get to camp. Second reason? If you get the top bunk, you might not have space to store said suitcase. I was lucky, I got the bottom bunk (there ARE downsides to getting the bottom bunk though). Third reason? I think it'll attract thieves. The more it looks like you have, the higher the chances you'll be targeted for theft.
- ATTITUDE - Being in Nigeria in general, will force you to gain or feign humility. This increases exponentially if you're a corper and is multiplied by infinity if you're a foreign-trained graduate (most people already think you're spoiled, so will do their best to cut you down to size). You WILL be treated like dirt by the camp officials at different junctures. So, if you're a MISS THANG with attitude, check it at the camp gate. A lot of "Yes Ma/Sir, No Ma/Sir, Please Ma/Sir, Thank you Ma/Sir" combined with smiles and puppy eyes will serve you better.