At the Table
Clicking sounds of cutlery, laughter and endless chatting. A scene of our eight
seater dining table on the first evening of the school holidays. There were many
of us, our extended family, my three siblings and I, three cousins from my father’s
family and a cousin from my mother’s. We were all teenagers in our
household and most of us were in boarding schools, spread across three different
regions of Ghana.
The variety of stories, after our meal was as engaging as the schools we attended.
These were very special tines. We learned a lot from each other, life at boarding
schools in the 1980s could be quite challenging. The stories that stuck in my mind
were very radiant and life-changing. We can all admit now that the experiences and
friendships we made in those years are long-lasting.
My brothers narrated stories of their sports events, when they went out of school to
a local stadium and convened with hundreds of other students. The colored pavilions
represented the different schools. They told us about the competitive sports events and
the best sprinters, some of whom we knew. They sang some of the rhythmic anthems and
choruses to us and shared how animated they all were on the buses riding back to school,
especially if their school had won any medals.
My sister and I reported stories about the vegetable gardens each house made and the
long distance we walked to tend them. My cousins described the selection of entertainment
and many more captivating stories. My cousin Kwabena in particular was a natural comedian
he embellished his stories so much that we were always in fits of laughter.
Our evening at the table was enchanting and left us feeling excited about the rest of the
holidays. This became a regular reunion. It also made us appreciate the privilege of
going to boarding school, washing away the somewhat difficult circumstances
we encountered there.