Light curtains of beige hung around the windows. In one corner of the room, were lockers of ages made with very solid wood and gloom with various torn papers and drawings from past students. There were three bunks, six students, a reading table, and our rickety shabby boxes.
“I wanted to taste what boarding school feels like and have something to talk about like other school kids. I wanted for one, after a long stay from home, to be welcomed back home with ‘Banga soup and starch’ (my special native delicacy), as they did for other kids…. well, it wasn’t as I imagined”.
My room was looking all ancient, with cobwebs in every corner of the room, I was just in Jss 2, the smallest in the room and the smallest in my class, my tiny legs could barely carry my body. Skin like freshly brewed milk. I started removing my uniforms and arranging my books on the dusty shelf.
Once it was 9 pm, we are all to go to bed and the lights were turned off. Every morning apart from weekends when we are all subjected to cleaning the school premises and chapel, our callous seniors would wake us up as early as 5:30 am and take us to the field to cut grasses for an hour. That was suffering for me. Our teachers used those land spaces to farm. I developed a callus on my palms from time to time, my pure skin started looking malnourished and pale, I was losing color.
On weekdays including Saturdays, our breakfast was either watery pap and nutrient lacking bean cake or tea made in a very big drum and two slices of bread that looked like it had been exposed to breeze for days, while on Sundays we had rice. Everything I imagined the boarding house to be the direct opposite of what it was
The end of the session is anticipated, to be welcomed home the way I want with Banga soup and starch. I could not also wait to meet my friends who will come and asked me how boarding school life was and I will tell them the usual things everyone says, “it is very interesting, you make new friends, you have enough time to play and read” not one of those sentences is true, but just to keep the trend going just like my other friends did.
To be continued….