Life as a corps member in Nigeria comes with many challenges. Well, if you have no idea what a corps member is in Nigeria, you can look up NYSC here.
I was part of the 2020 batch A1, who COVID – 19 had disrupted their orientation activities, so I had been at home, back in Southern Nigeria. But now, I had to be here. So then, let me fill you in on my trip.
I had embarked on this journey to the west not so early, but I was hoping to somehow get there in time. The journey was an estimated eight hours. But it was quite an experience.
THE ROAD TRAVELER’S MYTH
I had met someone who is going to the same Ondo state as me, and whilst I complained about distance, she told me something that awed me. I was told there is a way that we could actually get to Ondo state in about four hours.
We would somehow find ourselves so close to our destination in record time, and at night while we’re sleeping, we’d be having dreams of travelling and by morning we will be having body pains. When I doubted she gave a personal experience that happened to her during Lagos.
THE COVID-19 SCARE
Back home in Port Harcourt, it seemed like the whole COVID-19 scare was dying off, but then, inside this Toyota Sienna vehicle, was a sick man with his wife in front of me, coughing and shaking vigorously, I won’t lie to you, I made sure my face mask was on till the end of the journey.
I saw flooded houses, plenty flooded houses, in Delta state. I wondered how this people could survive in such harsh conditions. It seemed like some river close by had overflowed. But how amazed I was, to find out people could still be happy here.
I had seen some teenagers swimming and playing happily and then it dawned on me, that happiness comes from within, and then the little worries I had beamed into little smiles.
THE LANGUAGE BARRIER
As at 5pm, it turned out that I may not get to my PPA (Primary Place of Assignment) till about 8pm or 9pm. I was in a taxi, in which there were seven of us, and I was the only one who could not speak the Yoruba Language. I had never felt as vulnerable as I did that time in a long while.
T’was at this point I knew that I would not be able to complete my journey that day and I started calling on anyone I could call at that time, for shelter, and luckily my lovely friend turned up.
The distance was something else, something that I could term unbearable, but my time at the state capital, Akure, was quite a nice one and while I headed for my ‘village’, I knew I would surely visit again.
I do hope that my sojourn here goes kindly, and maybe I learn some of the language.