‘You get happy times and sad times too’

2013-07-31 00:00

Schools category winner

MY name is Gary. I am 10 years old.

My life changed when I had to go to boarding school in January this year. I arrived at Cordwalles for the first time. I unpacked my bags into my locker with my parents, knowing that they were leaving soon. I was meeting new people by the minute.

I said “Bye” to Mom and Dad with tears running down my cheeks. With my older brother by my side, I watched them leaving. I knew it was a new beginning for me.

I went to my bed all on my own, with my heart full of tears. I did not want to have a bad start to school, so I kept cool and calm. Some of the people still had their parents with them, offering to help. You could see the look on their faces. I knew they were feeling the same as me. Soon all the parents had left and we all looked like our lives were over. But our lives were just beginning; I think deep down we all knew that.

I had to go to sleep with the sound of sadness. I was sad inside, but was trying to act cool. It felt strange sleeping next to strangers. Everything was new and smelt different, a smell I’d soon get used to. I woke up at midnight to the sound of vomiting and crying. It upset me and I started crying too. It was a long night of sadness and sickness.

Eventually, it was time to wake up. First I made my bed and folded my clothes. Then it was inspection time. Luckily, I passed my first inspection, but I thought I would fail one day. Seven months later, I still haven’t failed inspection.

I still do get a little bit homesick, but my dad tells me to keep busy and it helps me a lot. Now I have a lot of friends. Their names are John, Jono, Samkelo, Sebego, Siyanda, Zibusiso, Scott and Nduduzo. We call each other family. On our free days, we go to the stream to play.

One night, we played hide and seek after lights out. I was feeling cheerful. Then our dorm captain came in and played with us. It was such fun and was very funny to see the different hiding places. John hid in his locker and no one could find him. We were all very hyper. It was like we had ants in our pants. Soon we heard the door open and there was silence, but not for long because Sir started shouting. You could hear everyone’s heart beating. It was such a fun evening.

My best nights of all are Wednesdays because it’s Wacky Wednesday and our dorm captains let us talk after lights out. We talk about the day and funny stuff. Some of it is funny enough to make into a good comedy movie. We would call it Cordies Hogwarts and other Warts.

We also like Tuesday and Thursday nights because we are allowed to speak to our wonderful parents and our little brothers. We really look forward to talking to them. When we have finished, we can play in the games room.

At school we have big brothers. They are not really our big brothers, they are just boarder masters who are there for you. My big brother’s name is Mr Evans. He is very kind to me. Our big brothers take us out once a term. I’ve been to the movies and to Spur. My best outing was the movies. We watched a really cool movie. It started at 8.30 pm and finished at 10.30 pm. During the movie, my big brother was on his phone and he got a huge fright and threw his phone into the air and it landed on the chair behind him. We all burst out laughing. It was hilarious! When we got back to the dorm, everyone was fast asleep. John was snoring so loudly that we threw a pillow at him. That stopped the snoring.

Now, I want to tell you about my friends.

Jono is the funniest one. He can make weird noises with his mouth. He is kind-hearted and is always there for you.

Scott is the naughty one, who likes to mess around.

Zibu is the good one. He’s always there for you.

Samkelo is the clever one. If you have work to do, he’ll always be willing to help.

John has always been my friend. He lives next to me in Underberg.

Ndu is also very funny. He always makes us laugh.

Sebego is the one who always gets sick.

Siyanda laughs at everything.

That is what it is like to be at boarding school. You get happy times and sad times, too. But we have lots of fun.

About the writer

I LIVE in Underberg on our family farm, Lammington. I live with my mom and dad and two brothers. I am the middle child. My brother, Craig, is at boarding school with me and my younger brother still lives at home. We have eight dogs, two cats, geese, guinea pigs and a pet house snake. I went to Underberg Pre-primary School and Underberg Primary School. At the beginning of this year, I moved to Cordwalles Preparatory School for Boys. I am in Grade 4.

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