Life is such a beautiful place to be. It is an honor to be born and live out the journey of life. To be born is to get the chance to learn, and to learn is to get the chance to grow. And in this life, growth is imminent if we must enjoy every phase of our journey and fulfill our purpose. 

We get to meet people and bask in the atmosphere of their cultures, ideologies, and perspectives. 

I was called to serve the nation of my birth, and I decided to heed the call. And this took me to Bayelsa state. A land praised for its wildlife and refinery—a land of fish and plantain. 

The journey was fascinating. I took a charter bus from Lagos with a couple of graduates deployed to Bayelsa. A lady sat beside me, fair and slim, with golden hair nicely framing her face. She was afraid. I noticed it when we passed through road stations patrolled by soldiers and military officers. So, I engaged her in conversations throughout the journey. It was interesting talking to her, she had a rich personality, and her perspective about life was contagious! 

We stopped along the way to refuel, eat and stretch our legs. It took us two hours to reach Ore. We spent another two hours to reach Edo state, two hours to reach Benin, two hours to reach Delta, and half an hour later, we got to Bayelsa. 

We got to the orientation camp located in the Kolokuma-Opokuma district of Bayelsa state ten hours after departure from our park in Lagos.

I was welcomed into camp by the camp security, who proceeded to check my luggage for contraband. After this, I proceeded to the registration desk to register and receive my state code number. 

The air in Bayelsa smelt different from what I was used to. Even the water carried traces of the land's oily touch.  I asked myself, what am I doing here? So, I took my time to study the indigenes of the land that sold groceries and foods to us in mammy market. 

It was evident that their way of life was different from what I was used to. Their smiles bespoke their strength to live in such a developing region.  

I remember how I felt the first time I was called a Corper by one of the vendors at mammy market. I felt shocked! I didn't know I would ever decide to serve my nation or that I would wear khaki—what an incredible revelation for me. 

Do you know Bayelsa women can cook? I remember the first food I ate on camp. It was rice and fish stew, and it made maamy market my centre for eating throughout my stay in camp. So, I went on the journey of sampling foods prepared by Bayelsa women at maamy market. I ate their rice, fried, Jollof and pepper soup. I even ate their chicken and chips. They all settled well in my stomach and brought a satisfied smile to my face, as my taste buds came alive with every bite. There was this particular Bayelsa woman, short but stoically built. Her name was Dorcas. She prepares African dishes very well. I ate Amala with gbegiri soup and goat meat at her shop. She didn't have to tell me to come again! The meal was expensive, but it was worth it.  

My registration took two whole days to complete, after which I immersed myself in the activities on camp. I also joined one of the units on camp, Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS). Surprisingly, my press team elected to make me their leader. It was fun learning about press news, news mining, and radio shows. I had the privilege of working with Folashade Owoeye, Damola Thomas, Martins Isaac, Onah, Fisayo, Mishael, Adedayo, Chizzy, lekan and many more. 

One eventful day after I had completed my duty at the OBS studio, I decided to head to NCCF tent to pray and worship with other believers. I was invited by a friend. I remembered my entry into the tent. I saw believers praying and worshipping in the presence of God, and it brought a fresh revelation about the omnipresent nature of God.

The difference between God and man is that He is everywhere. He can be called upon any time. He is close, even closer than a friend.

Yes! He is with me and you at all the time. Call on him, he is eager to fellowship with you.

In God's love,

Peace Okunola.