The third day, I was beginning to feel it. I knew some of my schedules; so it was beginning to get easier. I knew times I should eat heavy and when the time we’d spend at the parade ground would be very long. We were asked by the soldiers, “how was our night?”. Some of the crowd echoed “not good” while others echoed “short” as they tried to express how awful a night it had been by the loudness of their voices. It turned out funny when the officer in charge had corrected us to always reply, “no option”. So, the next time he asked us a question; the reply was always, “no option, Sir!”
The soldiers were in a way pleading to us that we actually make them proud, by putting our all in the swearing-in parade. To them; we were not yet corps members rather we were still PCMs (prospective corps members) until we’ve taken the oath of allegiance and sworn in by the Chief Judge of the state. It was actually fun to watch and it seemed very serious. I stood under the sun, but it appeared like I was solar powered; the more intense the sunshine, the more intense I was. I read and digested every word from the oath; and there and then I decided I was going to be obvious in this camp.
Meanwhile, my beautiful friend whom I thought wasn’t so strong pulled of a very strong one during the parade. She stood firm all through; one only needed to look at her, to be fueled. Her infectious smile and laughter puffed out by the soldiers; but she still had the smouldering intensity. But the sun was really really harsh and we were told it was easy as Ondo is know as the sunshine state.
After the swearing in; it was a jamboree for about three hours, before we were called to the parade ground. I remember one guy asking me if I think I’d find my wife here (laughs); his parents had met from camp according to him, so he believed his wife was here. Well, (smiles) what do I know? There were lots of ladies; all bright and beautiful in their own definitions.
When we came back to the parade ground in the evening; turns out this is when the whole business starts. We were divided into ten platoons. Soldiers as drill instructors, Man O’ war coordinators and administrative staff shared amongst us; till it got to time for elections for positions. I had never contested for a position among people of this huge differences on tribes, religion, states and beliefs. I looked behind and see huge people and didn’t know if I’d win. But I didn’t want to sit back and watch someone who I’d do better than, be our leader. So, I campaigned and election came and I won (smiles).
Well, it turns out business was really business. We were going to be busy. I had intended joining the department on broadcasting and the music department had made me join them when they caught me and some friends rehearsing together. I guess I could say, I was beginning to enjoy the camp. It was a once in a life time thing; so I guess I was not willing to let it slide by; I had to be in it!
The Camp commandant had given us more dos and don’ts to further regiment our stay. I guess punctuality was to be a watchword for me. I wanted to join the military; even the U. S. Military, but I was an only son. So, that dream was quashed; I guess that’s why I love being a corps member. We were told to never walk on a particular tarred road. Always be ‘on the double’ when on that road. Sometimes, I did feel these soldiers weren’t harsh but feigned to be so, lest we take them for a ride.
I lay gappy on my bed, in anticipation of the next day. I wanted tomorrow to come; but after a perfect night rest of course (smiles).
Thanks for sticking through. I’ll be coming up with a better one! Stay glued (smiles).