Yesterday evening we unpacked new clothes and shoes for him, his school bag, writing books, pencils normal and coloured, his juice bottle and snack box and he was so happy!
Normally, recourse to tyre levers is the only way to get him out of bed at six in the morning. This morning he was up at five, tugging at my hair shouting, 'Daddy! Daddy! It's time to go to school!'
We left the Barra de Kwanza at seven and arrived in front of the school at ten to eight.
Would he go in? Would he hell!
|If looks could kill!|
Marcia went in with him to help him settle. Ten minutes later, she came out again assuring me that everything was OK. Thirty seconds later, Alex bolted out the gate with a member of staff in hot pursuit.
'I am sorry!' she said as Alex clung to his mother, 'I only took my eye off him for a second and he was gone!'
Picking him up, it was a different story; he didn't want to leave.
'Daddy! They have a crocodile! They have lots of birds!' he ran back inside.
They also have an ostrich, I discovered, but the crocodile was quite small, only about three feet long.
Class sizes are acceptable, there are sixteen pupils in Alex's class. For children his age, apart from the 'Three R's', they concentrate on physical education (on their own playing field), swimming (in their own pool), music lessons, drama, singing and field trips using their own buses. It is Angolan fare but the food is good, prepared as it is in their own restaurant. It is a longish school run every day, a hundred kilometres there and back but, because of its location in the southern suburbs of Luanda, I can dive off the main road before I hit the traffic and go cross country through the bush and do the trip in less than an hour. I say I can; Marcia goes up to town three times a week so she can do it on those days!
Alex has already invited two of his new friends to come and stay for the weekend which I think is a smashing idea. Naturally I have already offered to host his year group here at the Barra where I can knock them up a decent nosh and take them on a fossil hunt down the beach.
Alex had a great time today and I am pleased. I had a miserable time. This house and garden is a bloody big and lonely place without Alex getting under my feet and up to all sorts of mischief.