School was never this complicated


The street children have been attending school for a month now and we have even heard comments about how polite and well-behaved they are. Somehow, I have my doubts.

The daily routine isn’t easy for the staff in the house though. There are several schools in the local area and our kids attend four of them. Because of a shortage of classrooms, there are two shifts. The first set is up with the crickets (we don’t have larks in Kigali) and at their desks by half past seven each morning. When they arrive home at lunchtime, they are fed along with the second shift who then head off to sit in front of their blackboards until five in the evening. In the meantime, the morning crowd have had a sleep in bed before getting up to play football in the afternoon. Every other day, the two groups swap so that each child does both mornings and afternoons.

What used to be the lunchtime porridge is now dished out in the evening when everyone is home. Darkness falls early here and if life at the house is anything like our own domestic arrangements, the sound of soft snoring can be heard from the corner shortly after the sun has gone down.