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?