Every day this week the Year 8 students are taking a National Exam. This will determine which college (high school) they’ll be allowed to attend. The children have been preparing for the exam for weeks.
Three teachers came from other schools to proctor the test. Three of our teachers are working at other schools for the week to administer the tests there. For the last two weeks we had numerous meetings with all the students to discuss who would bring which food. My job for the day was to eat.
Here’s how the day went. At 7:30 I arrived and some teachers were already there, which is unusual. They were accepting the food that parents were bringing for breakfast. I spent some time doing a quick review with the kids and trying to help them relax.
At 8:30 the three visiting teachers, our Infant Supervisor who teaches Year 1 and I sat down for breakfast. There were crackers sandwiches with butter or peanut butter (sent my Mary Margaret in one of my packages), hardboiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, koko Samoa, and koko esi (soup made with papaya, coconut cream and koko Samoa). When we finished eating, the other teachers ate, then the kids got to eat.
After we ate, we sat around while the kids took their English test. There were five Year 7 students and 1 Year six girl there to serve/do dishes. I gave them each a tattoo (thanks, Heidi) as thanks for coming to help. They were happy with the tattoos, but even more excited that they got to eat the food that we didn’t.
At 11:15 the kids were done with the test and it was time for lunch. Before we ate, though, the Year 8 kids met with the Year 1 teacher to discuss the food they were bringing the next day. The day was all about the food.
We ate in the same order, with me in the first group. Lunch included octopus in coconut cream, oka (raw fish in coconut cream), taro and green bananas which were boiled then cooked with coconut cream, fried chicken, hot dogs dipped in batter and deep fried, chop suey, and egg fu yung (which we’d call scrambled eggs).
After we ate, we gave baskets of food to the three visiting teachers as they left. After we finished watching the kids clean up, we left. It’s going to be a week of eating and sitting.