First of all, I was in a boarding school in Kenya which means I was at school for eight months a year; the first three from January till March, then from May till July and finally from September till early November. In between the terms we had short breaks for four days before returning to school for the second half. That seems like quite a long time at school, right? Well it is L and you will not believe how much we missed home.
I remember the time I was a freshman in high school from a day middle school. I was homesick by like the second week of school and always wanted to call home just to talk to my parents and have them assure me that it will be fine. I said tried because having phones in school was illegal. Actually, having any electronic device for that matter was not allowed. Even having earbuds was illegal, even if you didn’t have a phone or iPod or anything. You were only required to have books and pens. But that doesn’t even hint for you what life was like so allow me to do the honors.
At MHSK, it was a rule to always have the full school uniform on. So strict was the rule that you could even get punished for not putting on your tie. * Currently shaking my head and rolling my eyes *. We were also expected to have our own supplies in school, enough to last you for 3 months. These included things like soap (for taking cold showers and washing your own clothes) , toilet paper, stationery, blankets, pillows and sheets ( which went on your bunk bed) and shoe polish. All these items would all be squeezed into your own 20 by 60-inch locker in your cubicle where you stayed with eight other students; 2 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 2 juniors, 2 seniors.
You get to live with those other 7 people so long that they become like brothers to you and share in most of your best high school memories. When I think of them remember how we used to tell many stories at night, dance and let out our frustrations about classes we didn’t enjoy. However, interactions did not end there because there were about 200 other people from the remaining 24 cubicles from different backgrounds and who you could socialize with and make lasting friendships with., like I did. J
I love being in a day school like Bearden simply because you come home every day, and eat cookies and ice cream, and watch Hawaii Five-0 before you sleep.
In contrast, most Kenyan high schools require that you be faithfully in class for most of the time. They don’t want you to go home for ‘unnecessary stuff that only makes you fail your exams’ like weddings and graduations and sickness.
Then there’s the food issue! You were to only eat the food provided in school which was mainly rice with something like beans or beef stew. For all suppers but Saturday’s, we had ‘ugali’ which is like African corn bread with kale and beef.
If you wanted however, you could bring your own food with you from home: fruits, bread, milk, jam or butter to put on your bread, sugar to put in your milk and maybe coffee or tea bags J. I know it doesn’t sound like much but trust me if you still had these by the time the school term was almost coming to a close, you were like a small ‘king’ or ‘queen’ and everybody wanted to make you happy so you could at least share some of your riches with them.