Hello! Its been awhile! Katsina has been peaceful, thank God. I’m sure you learned a few things about this ‘Home of Hospitality’ in my last post. Now, I’d like to take you back to the day I arrived in this wonderful State.
It was a long journey to Katsina State from Ondo State; at least 12 hours not to mention the pit stops and all the other stops along the way. I left the park in Akure 7am. The journey wasn’t direct of course. I travelled from Akure to Kaduna about 8 hours, from Kaduna to Zaria about an hour then from Zaria to Katsina about 3 hours. Almost everyone in the bus from Akure were heading to orientation camp. Four were going to Zamfara, two of us were going to Katsina, and others were going to Kano. We all became friends and the journey consisted of discussions on why the NYSC should post graduates so far from home. Also, the fact that redeployment was the first thing that they were going to look into once they arrived at Camp. They had reports from the doctor and other documents. I was a bit quiet. I wasn’t thinking about that at all. I was looking forward to the adventure!
The first thing I noticed when we got to Kaduna was the dressing. Ladies with ‘Abaya’, or what we know as “Hijab’. It’s the cloth the ladies use for covering and the shortest usually reach below the knees. In the South, some Hijabs just cover abound the neck or to the elbows. The men were in the native Hausa attire. And there were more men on the streets than women. The next thing I noticed was the large expanse of land and I mean LARGE. I wish it were possible to transfer some down South. We were within Kaduna for over an hour before we arrived at the park. The distance from the border of Kaduna to the interior was surprising. It was already getting dark by the time we began to head to Katsina. And of course, there was more expanse of land. You could see expansive farmlands, then a cluster of houses. Another thing was that the roads were better than most roads in the South.
I entered the Orientation Camp gate some minutes after 9 with the friend I made on the bus who was also heading to the Camp. I was exhausted and excited. There wasn’t much I could do that night. My bag was checked for any electronic device and sharp object. I was then given a four digit tally. I took this tally to receive a mattress. I hauled my bag with one hand and lifted the mattress with the other (no, not trying to be macho. I had no choice). Most of the mattresses were considerably flat but it was manageable. I secured a bunk in the hostel then I proceeded to get some things from the Maami Market. Yeah, I’m sure you would have heard it from a number of Corp Members. More about it later. I took in the view of the area that was lighted since some parts of the camp were dark. Some participants were already in their white shorts and white shirt. Some were still on mufti like me. I bought a bucket and joined the queue at the tap. I then called my family members and told them that I had arrived safely. There was a stream of prayers and advice- ‘God be with you o, be careful o, make sure you have money on you at all times so that if anything happens you can find your way to the nearest park and return home.’ (Lol! But that was really a piece of advice) I waited patiently for my turn to fetch water. The ladies there were also making phone calls and generally trying to make conversations. Some were already discussing about redeployment, the stress of the journey and the likes. I carried my bucket back to my room. I lay on my bed, grateful for the journey and excited about what the morning will bring. I made up my mind there and then to enjoy the camp, no matter how stressful or tedious it may be.
That was my first night in Katsina. The following morning dawned bright and beautiful. To be continued…
To those who don’t know, the graduates mobilized for the Batch C Orientation exercise have been posted. In case you know anyone posted to Katsina State, kindly let me know and link me with the person. I can assure you that the person(s) would be warmly welcomed at the gate of the Orientation Camp. Also there is no need to fear. Katsina is safe. Asides that, God is our security. It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as God is with us, we are safe. Thank you so much! Later!