School Day

School starts at 7am, which means everyone is awake at least by 6:30. Most mornings I wake up to what smells of campfire, but it is the burning of trash. Everyone in the neighborhood burns their trash, at different times of day, but the smell is more prevalent in the mornings.

This is at the beginning of the day walking to the classrooms

School begins in the auditorium with some sort of assembly, there is singing of various songs but most often the Mozambique national anthem is sung. All the kids stand up straight with the arms to their sides singing  the anthem, that could also be a football (soccer) song as well.

This is an excerpt of the Mozambique national anthem.
Its normal length is about three minutes.

I have never in my life sung the American national anthem the way these kids sing in Mozambique. Their enthusiasm for the anthem changes as the school week goes on. One Friday morning, I can hear one kid in particular belting it out from Christina and Victor’s house next door.

Every 45 minutes somebody sounds the alarm  on a megaphone, and the quiet of the yard is broken up into noise and a brief escape from the classroom.

Lunch is provided by the school, and everyone comes back into the assembly room grade by grade. Setting up for lunch for about 200 kids there are three cooks who cook the school lunch. The assembly room is divided into sections of chairs with an aisle going down the center and multiple rows of 9 going across. On each chair a plate of food is set. No utensils.

Lunch set up

The lunch room is controlled chaos, as kids are sitting down to eat kids on the other side of the room are finishing and returning their plates to be washed. I am amazed at

School ends at 3 and the end of the day has been reached. Even I who attended no classes feels the finality of the day.

View from the entrance. With the girls dorm on the left and the school in the center and on the right.

By three thirty for the most part the yard is quiet, a majority of everyone has gone home. Orphanage kids are running around playing games and various chores are taking place.

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