Morning Assembly

Assembly was weird this morning. It’s always weird, but today it was exceptionally bizarre and I thought of how a stranger (an American, specifically) would perceive it.
First, Sarah (class 7, maybe 16 years old) and little Maxwell (class 1, probably 6) led songs and prayer. Maxweel has a swollen shut eye. They were signing ridiculously slow to please Mr. Ambalo. Then a few students “storied” the usual tattling and asking if they cleaned, called out the slow ones, etc. While this was going on, two young boys – Clyde (nursery, probably 5) and Maxwell (the one with the swollen shut eye) began examining the contents of each other’s nostrils. Maxwell tilted Clyde’s head back to get a better view using his good eye, then began trying to assist Clyde by clearing the passage with his own fingers. This continued for a while until apparently Maxwell decided it was unreachable, then Clyde deliberately started exaggerating his need to breathe nasally, causing his nostrils to constrict and wheeze with every inhale.
This continued as Mr. Ambalo came to the speaker’s position in the opening of the circle for his announcements. Ambalo began telling an unusually long story about a hyena and a rabbit, which none of the kids seemed to be particularly interested in. Especially Clyde. Baby girl Immaculate was standing directly opposite of Mr. Ambalo, near me, and she just turned and started to walk away, which never happens during assembly. She took a few steps behind the circle, hiked up her dress and popped a squat right next to me while Ambalo continued his tall tale. She must have an abnormally large, adult size bladder, because it seemed never ending. Finally she stood up and just resumed her position amongst the other kids in the circle around the flagpole, just in time to be dismissed to class.
The whole thing just seemed bizarre. Funny how sometimes I forget how different life here is compared to home.

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