There were a couple of class reunion celebrations down Canyon Acres this past week. Oh, how I yearned to have attended an American High School—American Graffiti, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club.
Instead, I went to Kitwe High School, with its strict, no-nonsense British teachers in the middle of the Zambian bush, where the boys dropped tomato and cheese sandwiches on your head from the second floor and the girls got “cuts” across the knuckles with a ruler, the boys across the seat of their pants for things like repeatedly forgetting to do homework, fighting in the yard, or punching someone’s arm while passing on the staircase—I was caught doing the latter.
And then the reunion where one could have an opportunity to see how everyone else turned out. A reunion would never be possible for me. Any trace of my high school life was obliterated after the country gained independence, amidst rioting, death and uncertainty. Everyone left, scattered across Africa, England, Australia and America. Lamentable as it was, and not the American one I’d always dreamed of, I wanted that reunion.