P.3A Musings – First Day of School

Back in the day, 1996 to be exact, I transitioned from a day primary school to a boarding primary school. It was all sorts of exciting my first day. It was Wednesday and I checked into P.3A at around 3:00pm that afternoon. Ms Nabwire my class teacher welcomed me with open arms. I look different from most of my classmates. My eyes had life yet theirs looked like the lunch they had just an hour ago was there no more.

Boarding school had been a big dream of mine. I had spent the whole of my first term of P.3 in Kitante Primary school convincing my parents that boarding school would be the best thing that happened to me. I doubt they actually knew the reasons why I wanted to go to boarding school so bad. I’d spent the holiday with my friend James, and from how he described boarding school, it sounded a lot like Jesus’ second coming – paradise.

James had told me that he was given pocket money and was allowed to carry grab, and he had proof to show. He had returned home that holiday with 800/- shillings of the 1,000/- shillings he was given at the beginning of the term. While standing at the neighbourhood canteen with James narrating what boarding school was like, while buying ball gum for 50/- shillings, I knew I had to join too. He then told me how he still had some of the g.nuts, small daddies, biscuits and quencher left over from the previous term at home. I was even more sold. Boarding school was a must. He also told me that there was a visiting day where parents brought all sorts of food when they came to see you and you could eat all you want. What? This was the nail, the hammer at that point was useless.

And here I was now, looking at a bunch of starved kids, looking back at me like their next prey. It was then that I realized that I had made a very very huge mistake. To top all that, my parents left for home without leaving me any pocket money. Nor did they leave me with g.nuts, small daddies, biscuits or even quencher. Remembering, James had told me that they carried lear, or was it layer, maybe leah? Oh well, there was no leah in this school. Layer was clothes you carried from home that was not uniform and was worn when you were done with the main school stuff. Well, St. Savio had a bunch of red clothes I had to put on when all the school stuff was done.

Was the dream James sold me different from what my reality was? Where was James? I thought there was only one boarding primary school? Did he go to a different one? At that moment, standing in front of Ms Nabwire, I was not going to school, I was walking into jail. It was then that I realized I had made the biggest mistake of my life, thinking like an adult. Was this really boarding school?

29

I have had a lot to write about recently but where my mind has been, even I could not dig it out. But today, I must write because today begins a transition, significantly more important, or less, because I was born 29 years ago (some still say I am 24! Thanks Kylie). As I begin this rather exciting journey, I honestly look back at some significant things that have happened in my life. Also, I feel old albeit still feeling young. Life is but a paradox! 

1. I’d like to thank my parents. Honestly, I sometimes think they look at me and wonder, is this what we made? I don’t think I have disappointed them yet, or have I? Nonetheless, I am here because of them and now that I am old, and know how babies are made, eeeewwwww mum and dad.

2. Being a first born is dope. Till you get competition, and some more, and then you just stop being relevant when the fifth comes along. Yes, I am talking about my siblings who took my limelight year after year. Those idiots surprisingly are good company till they take some of the love that was originally yours.

3. I was born on Easter Sunday these many years ago. And 3 is my fave number. Sometimes I feel like Jesus, because of my birthday. Well, my point is that 3 is my fave number.

4. I once escaped from home – Makerere, when I was 4 to go for my cousin’s birthday in Kamwokya. My mum claims, I am not too sure or even remember doing this but hey, my big head got beaten because of that. 

5. My neigbour once gave me a toy car for my birthday and after we cut the cake, this dude took back his toy car. Apparently the father hadn’t given him permission to. I know, it’s been this long but hey, I can forgive but not forget. Got circumcised too! Lol.

6. I had my first crush.

7. I once got drunk and passed out in a banana plantation at a baptism party somewhere in Nabbingo. The coke tasted different. My uncle gave me some of his punch and I was KOed before I knew it. Luckily, I woke up in time for the cake cutting. I love cake too.

8. I joined boarding school.

9. Mehn, I was still in boarding school and it sucked but hey, I had made the decision all because my cousin was given pocket money.

10. I was in a heist. Bun robbers to be precise. Our buns has been locked up by the class teacher because we were noise makers. So, I decided to take the initiative and break into the cupboard. That’s how I met my best friend, then. 

11. Boarding school had refused to end, but I was just a year away from P.7, I had to hung in there. The system had broken me. And then my class teacher comes to tell us that we shall never stop learning. This hurt, seeing as I was tired of school. Little did I know that I would understand this when I was finally done with school.

12. Finally! Done with boarding school, candidate of the millennium. And then my arch rival was born. The last of five, first of they took all the love from us! My baby brother. 

13. I thought I grew up a little here. Oh the famed secondary school level! And my passion for writing was thus ignited. I started to write in a journal. I should look up some of these journals and see where my mind was!

14. Secondary school was easy. And my innate passion for Architecture was triggered. I was rather fascinated by buildings.

15. I read my first Novel. Not sure what the title was, but it was a Sydney Sheldon book. Thought him to be a lady seeing as most of his protagonists were ladies.

16. Of crushes and love letters. Hello, CLAK! I also learnt to drive. I once stole my father’s car just to drive around the nieghbourhood before I was caught and told to write an apology letter and within it reasons as to why I stole the car! Aha!

17. Almost there. I can finally see the light. Almost done with tertiary education. Honestly, my high school was not as impressive as some people say theirs were! I was a laid back chilled guy trying to live another day. 

18. Uhm. Grown up woot woot. Honestly, it was the first time I realized that I was grown up and I could get jailed. I also went to cooking school because I had the driving thing locked down 😎! 

19. Hello campus and all the bad decisions! Very frightening bad decisions. First successful surgery! First relationship. I remember telling her we were going to get married! 

20. First break up! Who knew relationships were not as rosy as what I watched in the Notebook! 

21. Maybe Architecture is not as easy as I thought it was. 

22. Who am I and why am I here! The famed introspective question hits me. What is life? And the sickness kicks in! Depression also kicks in. There was a lot of anger in me that never seemed to have an outlet! 

23. Hummmm? Life happened. 

24. Isn’t love a beautiful thing. MMMKR!

25. The typical midlife crisis! For Ugandans that is. Isn’t adulting a trap. Got my first job as a client service personnel in an advertising firm. I was tired of Architecture and need a mental break. 

26. Maybe Architecture is not that bad at all. I also started and owned a restaurant, and also failed. 2014 was a year of many things. I also registered my first company!

27. I honestly felt I had been through a lot. Three jobs in three years and a failed restaurant, and a project that took me deep deep into the village was also the reason I needed to officially start my own company.

28. Last year was amazing. C.E.O things aside, I just realized that time is something we barely grasp, and I needed to get myself in order. I also met some really amazing people. I won’t mention them, but they know themselves. They have made my rather mundane life a little thrilling. They’ve got my back even when I fall off the chair. They’ve propped me up and reminded me that I am special. But what can I say, Lulu and Lula have really been awesome. Eve, Mark, and Justin. Robert and Marvin are the other musketeers. There’s one who went but she won’t be forgotten, Julie – we got your back! 

29. I don’t think I’ve said much, but I am just grateful for the gift of life, for the gift of family, for the gift of friends, for the gift of tomorrow, for the gift of work. The older I grow, the more I realize that the things I held most significant might not matter tomorrow but as long as I stay true to myself, and believe in doing the right thing, and giving my most, I shall be happy. As I start this new year, I don’t believe there can be a new me, but rather a refined me, from the lessons I have learnt these past few years. Like my maths teacher said when I was 10 or 11, we never stop learning. And he should have added something, we never stop growing. Spread love, peace and a little laughter here and there.

Happy birthday Conrad.