I appreciate that not all people in the universe think and act in same manner. This is what constitute the difference between one person and the next person.This difference is de facto apparent when it comes to the six-letter word-luxury. Some people want to have luxurious assets and commodities on their profile-good modern house, an extraordinary smartphone perhaps operating on 4G network or may be the most beautiful partner to settle down with. On the other hand there are just people who are int luxurious experience. I dare say I belong to the later.
Unlike luxurious material which means good and expensive, luxurious experience to me just means new experience which one doesn’t encounter with often in daily life. It could be the first time you kissed or the first time you smoked pot. Perhaps it could mean even risking your life on a war front-recently a doctor in UK gave up his job in the UK and went to have luxurious experience (his own words) of treating free of charge in a war-torn Syria. A luxurious experience can be the best thing that happens to you or even the worst and potentially fatal thing happening to you. Point is whether good or bad, it remains a mark in life without which your life would be boring.
That said, I knew that I was heading for a luxurious experience when I got an invitation to the andela boot camp. My first move was to the fellowship website to find out what boot camp was all about. The description was quite intimidating because it contained phrases like “most important stage” and “vigorous training”. Then I was off to wikipedia to find out if boot camp is even a known term or it was just cooked up. Among other descriptions, wikipedia called it a military recruit training. Intimidating too because we all know what goes on there. So this was going to be some sort drilling tech soldiers, right? Let’s find out.
The arrival at the campus was interesting, thanks to the fact that tea was served right at the entrance of the self-learning clinic. In fact, taking tea seemed like a procedure because the instructions were “take tea first then get in”. I chose to relieve myself first by visiting the small rooms. That too wasn’t easy because opening the door needed effort and commitment. I was however helped out and everything went right and I finally took tea as instructed and got into the room to meet the forty four or so friends.
The thirty or so minutes in the outdoor stretch was just incredible. I realized after the “concentration is the game keep the rhythm if you can” thing everyone appeared more friendly and harmless than before. I later noticed I said hi to more people after that than when I arrived earlier in the morning. I even shook hands intimately with Mariah who had scared me off earlier when I arrived.
Back indoor, the speeches were encouraging and inspiring (except for “not everyone will make it at the end of the boot camp” phrase). I loved it that Professor Jackson learnt and remembered my name the first time I mentioned it because it sounded like his.But what made me like him was that he sarcastically described me as having high faith for asking about week two project in week one. He is awesome when it comes to driving points home and that made me get a clue on what is expected of me as I listened to him.
I found myself under Masila ( pronounced Maslah) facilitation. She is one person that can make you relax when you feel tensed or so I think. I dare say she made the “vigorous” attribute of the boot camp apparent. I mean she would ask you to to push your repo to github and before you figure out what that means she would be asking you if you have created the trello account. And still mention inviting you to the board before you type trello in the address bar. She is however patient and doesn’t mind if you said no after being asked “understood?” for the fifth time.
Associating with friends on the first day was one thing that came with double edges. I loved them because for the fist time I was with people who shared same interest and spoke same language as I. I remember last year when I told my dad how passionate I was with computers and he asked me if my dream was to work in cyber cafe or wanted to be a computer teacher. I sincerely needed people who understand me when I express my passion in this field and here I had found them.That was a pro, but the cone was I could not blow the trumpet about anything. Everyone in the room knew everything that I knew. The solution was just to work together.
Since day one until now, I have been trying to learn as much as possible about my friends in this cohort and about andela as a whole. I have just realized that boot camp needs an open mind and collaboration is not just spoken but it is real and essential. On day one alone, I found myself signing up with four new accounts I had never known-God knows how many accounts I will have to sign up with by the end of the boot camp. Friends however made the whole thing easier and I believe they are still there for me. I remember Mariah helped me deal with git when I was stuck and facilitators had left. Collins taught me how to forward my link to medium blog and I in turn taught it to Norman (don’t worry about the names if you don’t know them, they are just friends in the cohort 11). This group of friends is just awesome.
Most of my friends are busy people I guess but that’s alright. I happened to change the profile picture for the cohort 11 whatsApp group and no one commented. I decided to share an inspirational video by Steve Jobs. Stil no one said a thing. During the short warm up on day one, people responded to the tune “concentration is the game keep the rhythm if you can” but when I started the same on the whatsApp group, no one responded. But I again I think it’s alright, we are dealing with something bigger than that. And I am looking forward to more experience as the boot camp progresses.