Thursday, October 4, 2012

Boarding School - 1

If you know anything about the Lebanese wars and the living conditions starting in the 70s and well after that you would know it was not very fun growing up in a war ravaged country. It's so hard growing up in a country where you don't know when you wake up the next day if you will be able to go to school or not. If your friends will be alive a month from today so you can have that birthday party you were always wanting. If there will be electricity tomorrow so you can iron your school uniform or dry your hair when you shower. I'm not going to even start talking about the days, months spent in a crowded shelter and the only games you get to play are guessing where the bombs are falling, making bets if there will be a cease fire and playing board games while all the adults are shushing you because they want to hear the radio hoping when the announcer is going through the names of the deceased in the hospitals they don't say the name of someone they know.

Our mom wanted to spare us some of the misery and sent us to boarding schools for quite a while. She did what she had to do and i love her for making the effort to give us a relatively peaceful upbringing and an education. My sister and i were in the same school. The boys were together in a different school. I was in boarding school for 6 years, my sister 7 years, i can't even remember how many years my brothers were away but they were away for at least 3 years more than us girls. Growing up i believe we thought this was normal but looking back right now i know different. To break it down to you, this means for 6 years out of my life i only got to see my brothers during the holidays and 3 months in the summer. I got to see my mom only for holidays and 3 months in the summer. I got to see my grandma, aunts, uncles only for holidays and 3 months in the summer. They tried to visit us on some weekends when they could but my mom didn't have a car and the school was over an hour away. Writing this is making me want to cry. My sister and i had a strong bond but also we were trying to develop our own personalities. We loved each other but we also fought a lot. Talking with my brothers when we were older it seems they had a similar experience. I love my siblings to pieces and i can't imagine life without them. Sometimes i wonder how different (better or worse) our relationship would have been if we grew up in the same house like a normal family does. But to us this was our Normal. Being away made us appreciate more the time we had together.

As i find the courage to remember the stories from those days i plan on sharing some. It wasn't all fun. I think my sister and i could write a book and it would be a best seller but we're not gonna go there. I wish i had more pictures from those days. The few pictures i do have are not much. Maybe it's better this way.

Random Thought: I resent the nuns for making my mom cut our hair short cause it was easier to maintain. 





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