I will be celebrating my 31st birthday in two days with a camping trip. Confession #1: I didn’t want to go camping on my birthday but when I booked the campsite three months ago, that was the only weekend that was available. Confession #2: I am Nigerian and I love camping! I don’t know a lot of Africans, talk less Nigerians, who would list camping as one of their favourite summer activities but maybe I’m wrong. Do you camp?
I remember two camping trips with my family, soon after we arrived in Canada. The first time was about 23 years ago (gosh! some of you weren’t even born yet!). Friends at the church we were attending at the time loaned my parents their RV (recreational vehicle) which is basically a mini-house on wheels. It was lovely, and my sister and I were impressed with how the various compartments of the RV were convertible: the dining room doubled as a bed, for example. During the second camping trip one or two years later, we camped in tents. My parents shared a tent with my brothers while my sister and I had our own tent (if I recall correctly).
So it’s my parents’ fault that I love camping. In the last ten years, I’ve gone camping five or six times (aka “not often enough”). This will be my fourth year camping with this particular group that includes my sister and we always have a good time. But those of you who haven’t gone camping are probably wondering why I would voluntarily subject myself to mosquitos, sleeping on hard, uneven ground and cooking over the fire.
For one, because it’s a great break from “regular life” and is very relaxing. When the weather cooperates the weekend away feels a lot longer. You stay up late gisting around a campfire, you wake up early yet feel rested (until you get home and realize that you’re actually sleep-deprived), you lie on the beach, toes submerged in the softest sand ever, reading a magazine and you’re free to fall asleep. You shower if you want to (yes, there are shower facilities where we go, thank God! I’m not really into “roughing it” without flushing toilets and running water) and being lazy is a major rule of the time away.
And secondly, since I didn’t grow up cooking over a fire, there’s an aspect of novelty for me. If I had to do this every day, I’d resent it but once or twice a year, it’s fun. (Oh, and we have a propane stove that we also use so cooking over the fire is a real novelty).
Please join me in praying for good weather for this weekend. The meteorologists always get it wrong and I’m hoping the rain they have predicted for Saturday (rainstorm with thunder and lightning) is an error.
And in case you missed it, Group B nominations of the Nigerian Blog Awards are being accepted for the next 11 days! Have a look at the categories and nominate some of your favourite bloggers for categories such as Friendliest Blogger, Houdini Blogger or TMI Blogger. Go to the site and find out what these categories mean!