This is Suzy Peacock highschool and this is where I spend my last couple of weeks. Suzy Peacock is a boarding school and and hosts more than 200 students. The other day I finally got the opportunity to just spend half a day going around the school taking photos. They are now at the end of their school year so no lessons were taking place this day, hence the empty classrooms.
The morning I had planned to go to the school I had been struggling with practical things that I had to organize for my departure and arrived at the school later than I had planned. As I approached the school I saw the priest standing on the stairs. He visitis the school every Tuesday to hold Bible study sessions with the teachers. Fuck, I thought, I had forgot it was Tuesday and the Bible study was just about to start. I had already sat through two of these sessions and I thought that I would literarily die of boredom and frustration if I were to sit through one more, constantly afraid that he would tell me to lead the prayers or to say something at all. I was determent to find a way to sneak away.
I managed to escape to the kitchen where i was warmly greeted by the staff and shown around. They make all their food over fire for more than 200 students each day. The usual meal is bean and corn stew, cabbage ugali, and sometimes meat. The kitchen staff wake up at four every morning to start preparing breakfast for the students.
I ate in the kitchen and then I was shown the lab by one of the chemistry teachers Mrs. Toto She proudly showed me the latest addition, bones from a goat. She told me how they had bought and slaughtered a goat so that the students could learn from observing the bones.
Later one of the students, Rose, took over the tour and I got to take some photos of the girls dormitory. They sleep 50 girls in one room. I was surprised at how clean and tidy it was and she told me that they sweep and mop the floors every morning. I tried to imagine any Swedish teenagers doing that, not happening…As I got inside the head of being a teenager imagined that some of the beds must be more popular than others. I was right, when I mentioned it to Rose she smiled and whispered pointing at the bed in the far back corner and told me that next semester she was going to make sure to arrive really early in the morning so that she could get it.
I also got to see all the animals at the school. The chicken, the cows and the calves. The four cows provide the school with all the milk they need and the chicken are their supplier for eggs. I also got to meet Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit. They are a school project where the students get to observe and handle rabbit breeding.
We continued and walked around in the classrooms to see what the other students were up to. This is the gang that takes care of the music during the sermons in the evenings. Just boys…
As I made my way home that day I thought about the experiences that I had and realized that the fact that I had a camera and came with the intention to document the school gave me a reason to interact with people with whom I had never interacted before and see corners of the school that I had not seen.