EP2: FIRST DAY IN HOSTEL
A wheel barrow was called for to move my things to my hostel( annex block). I was in purple house but there probably wasn’t space left in that hostel or they just signed everyone that was checked in on that day to annex hostel.First thing i realised was that every one was in js1( junior secondary school 1), am i a joke to these people? Do I look like a 9 or 10 year old? What is going on here? My sister came in with the food my dad bought for me – a very bland jellof rice i couldn’t eat.
She picked my bucket and keg( my name neatly inscribed by my dad) and said she wanted to fetch me some water. Horror alert! Wait they fetch water here too?! I had my first fetching water experience where we stayed in Umuahia, i almost lost my neck. But I thought it was OK since I would leaving for school soon ,so it would be the last. Now been informed that it would be a part of my daily routine? I was beyond horrified! I had a bucket and keg ,yes, I should have known ,no! I thought i was just one of those unnecessary things like the cutlass and rake . ( mumu me -stupid me).
My sister got back quick ,said she had to fetch from the kitchen tap since water doesn’t normally rush by that time and the general tap would have been crowded. I said thanks ,gave her the food I couldn’t eat and we went our to bid our dad goodbye. He introduced me to my guardians,I had 3( for starters,because as time went by i acquired more). He told me how much I had with each and they told me days i would be able to collect some money. The only thing i could think was ” this is absolutely unnecessary because I can keep my own money my self. Why all these unnecessary protocols?
Looking back again , all i can say is GOD BLESS MY FATHER!We said our goodbyes and I went back to my hostel.
Honestly, hostel life is just crazy. How long did I spend outside? I got back and met loosed hell. A girl was alleged to have run mad and another had just got her hand by a fan’s blade .There was blood every where and crying jss1( junior secondary school 1) girls . I was like what is all these now ? I haven’t even settled in ,why all these? On the spot I learnt terms like ‘bunkie’ -bunk mate, ‘sidy’ -the person that lives beside you,’leggy’-the person your leg stares at when you lay on your bed, ‘cornie’- the person that you share corner with,’headie’-the person your head faces and roomie – your roommate.Annex block was a large hall so we were hall mates-‘hallie’.
As my bunkie recounted the event that occurred in my absence, I shivered in fear, I was about to cry. She said the girl ran mad in our headie’s corner.I quickly brought out my new bible , I hugged it, I sought comfort. “This cannot be happening to me “, I thought. That night I couldn’t sleep, I cried all night waiting for the mad girl to come back.I didn’t want to be caught unprepared,I needed all the alertness adrenaline could give me .Most JSS1 girls didn’t sleep too ,they were super excited about the new phase of their lives and getting to know their neighbors.Some were also scared, like me.
It was barely 4 am on Saturday which was the inspection day when people started rushing for the bathroom, apparently it was first come ,first serve or survival of the smartest.I joined them, thank God I had water. My bunkie and I went out to meet a queue, already? I was shocked . She told me we were even lucky that the queue was actually really short.She didn’t lie because after some minutes more people appeared. It became hysterical,fight ensued ,people started pushing and struggling to get into the bathroom first. “So barbaric”, I thought . So I stepped out of the line ,I didn’t want wahala and I wasn’t raised to be barbaric. Mumu me!
It was around 6 am when I finally got a turn. “What is this? This isn’t even worthy to be called a bathroom”,but i needed to clean up though. The water and the weather was cold , I was trying to rush. That was how my panties fell,close to the drain but not in the drain, i was angry but I went on with my bathe.The girl beside me asked “won’t you pick it?”my already irritated self replied ,”why? who will wash it. In my head i’m like ,i mean i’m already disgusted by this whole place and you expect me to touch something that had direct contact with it? She laughed and said ,”you are new”. “Yes , I said.
Already too angry to converse with anyone. I do not deserve the shite life has decided to throw at me . She asked for my class ,I told her. We happened to be in the same class but I didn’t care at that moment . We were done with our bathe anyway , so why should the conversation continue? Mumu me! I should have known that i would need some one to show me around and help me learn the rope . When I got back to my corner ,my bunkie had had her bathe long ago,had dressed up and was eating her breakfast.
“What took you so long?” she asked .I felt too stupid to begin to explain to myself and how I was just a mumu. So hostel inspection was basically checking out hostels to know how clean they were and hostels were graded. The winning hostel was announced on Mondays.Every class has their duties, JSS1 girls in annex hostel just had to clean their corners .No one knew I was in SS1- senior secondary school 1 , even I didn’t know that tasks were shared like that . Thank God because I would have shown the mumu in me again .SS1 students are usually assigned wash the toilets and i cannot even begin to imagine washing hostel toilet after spending just one night in hostel.