Words are Gifts

The Hall

This slice is about a memory that I want to hold onto, one that reminds me of some of the pre – Covid era, at school.

There are occasions when you visit places that just spark distinct memories for you. We’ve been supervising our few students at school in our Multipurpose hall.

One morning, on entering, I just had a feeling that was quite interesting. Walking in, I remembered all the different events that I’ve either participated in or watched in the multipurpose hall.The images that came to me were extremely vivid, lively, colourful and sometimes brought aromas that whiff around the event or occasion. To reminisce I’m going to list some of the events here. Interestingly, I can clearly remember what took place on each of those occasions. 

We have photographic memories and I hope they last as long as possible as they release welcome feelings that should not be lost. 

International Festival: What I remember are the many colourful clothes, flags and images that share the sixty or so countries that are represented at our school. Always a phenomenal day with a cultural blast. We are normally taken round the world, tasting food from all around the world , experiencing dances, language, music and a rainbow of clothing. The frenzy is sometimes overwhelming as parents join their children and staff to begin an extremely electric parade. An image that is one to behold. On such occasions you wish the day would never end. The few speeches that are shared in this hall affirms the unity and celebrated diversity of the strong community.

All Staff Meeting: This normally happened on the last day of school, when we celebrated staff leaving and long serving members. Images of the blue kente stoles folded pristinely come to me.

All staff buffet: This buffet was always confusing with the different aroma: local, spicy food and the mild alternatives. What I remember clearly are the white table cloth on islands of tables surrounded by a few chairs.

Middle School Theatre: One that stands out and was beautifully choreographed, The Lion King. It was perfect. The students overdid it and the pride that I felt as part of the congregation was inexplicable.

High School Pop Chain:This one stood out, it took me to my childhood days, when music, dances and hairstyles from the past decades were displayed and performed. 

P.E: Colourful balls, students’ voices and movement, fast manouevres.

Field Day: Groups made up of students from different grade levels, wearing their house colours playing different games, I was sometimes the sweaty teacher with the whistle in hand.

Local Teacher Seminars; When we had to use this hall because our numbers had risen over the years from 150 to almost 600 local teachers. They started their day here with a warm breakfast and a lecture about Education generally and Teaching in our Ghanaian local schools in particular.

Holiday Concerts: Oh those were so cute. Students in their Sunday best, some with a little make-up or glitter for the occasion. The lights and colours were  extremely impressive. One that stands out was when the Elementary school sang different parts of a French song: “La Ballade”. The rendition that sparks goosebumps all over you.

Basketball matches: That was where I peeked to watch E play a match. My middle schooler gets so embarrassed seeing Mum watch her team.

Many of these events and celebrations happened multiple times. I’m sure there are more and more events that I will remember and hold onto. Oops I forgot the celebration before inter-school middle and high school team sports competitions when our Elementary classes created banners and chants for teams from other West African countries. The memories will keep pouring in.


6 responses to “The Hall”

  1. What a lovely idea for a Slice. I love how you rooted it in place + memories. Thank you for bringing us in the room with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if we will always divide time into before Covid and after. It is great to take the time to write down so many memories of one special place. I love that although our schools are far apart we definitely have similarities and differences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this is a great year to write these school memories. In this case, you are celebrating uses of your “hall” over the years- where the spirit of the school so often lived. But it’s not happening there now, and we can’t be sure we will go back to how we were. I think it will be so interesting to read this in another year and see how your school hall is used in the future. Hopefully we can keep all those feelings and alive and create new memories for our school communities.
    My favorite images- some of the children allowed to wear a little make-up or glitter for holiday concerts, and at the end, the banners created for other West African countries!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post reminds me of the shared experiences and my favourite line that I linger with “The rendition that sparks goosebumps all over you.” gave me goosebumps. Thank you for writing about the time before with such vividness, for listing the ways that a place can create a community, and the human need for belonging.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Juliette, reading this blog post was bittersweet for me. I deeply enjoyed reading about all of the different things that happened in your multipurpose room, and you allowed me to connect to all of the spaces that people gather together in our school: the library, the multipurpose room, the gym. All of the events, the JOY contained in those walls. And it’s sad that we’re missing all of that right now. Thank you, thank you, for bringing me some warm memories. It’s a good reminder that we’ll get back to that someday. Someday….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When we had to use this hall because our numbers had risen over the years from 150 to almost 600 local teachers.

    You just transported me back onto campus. Wish I could sit under the mango tree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


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