Beginning life as a boarder

After my tears rolled out of my eyes, I panned all over for my Mom but she had disappeared. I panicked and howled and tugged away from Brother Fonseca who held my hand firmly. He managed to control my hysterics and drew my attention to the small cake in my hand. Then he brought two or three small boys like me and we all held hands as in a rosary, as Brother led us to the Locker / Bathing rooms. I had never see so many showers in one place. I should’ve said I had never seen a shower at all. Then the lockers; strange boxes taller than me. Later we went to the dormitory which was a large hall with wooden flooring and only one metal cot in it.

We were told to put our bed rolls on the floor and shown the adjoining bathing area. My new friends Bedford and Brian eyed my cake, so we dug into it and it quickly vanished. All the novelty of the moment and the many many boys of all shapes and sizes served to distract me. Then we were herded into the refectory which was another large rectangular hall with many long wooden tables and long benches. On them were metal plates and bowls. This was where we would have our meals.

Later I was to learn that there were three divisions and that I was in the Third division for the small boys. I was small it became clear when I saw a pair of hairy knees. As I looked up slowly, the hairy legs had worn a short pant, and he had the first appearance of a hairy upper lip too. In almost thirteen years I was to learn a lot of things besides studies, but I did not know it then.

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