I’ve become rather addicted to walking around Levuka early in the morning as the children flit about in their school-coded blouses and shirts—pink for one school, blue for another, and green for a third—like flocks of bright-colored birds.
Dawdling seems natural; two young boys use sticks to poke at paper boats they float down the ditch in front of the Marist Convent school; several girls stop in at Emily’s to grab a roll for breakfast; a group of older students linger along the sea wall, flirting and gossiping.
The trip from home to school may be only a block or two, but it drags on for the better part of the morning. There are no scolding parents (or at least none I’ve come across) telling children to hurry up and get to school. In fact, the adults seem to hold themselves apart from this little morning ritual, unlike helicopter parents back home.
The children have organized themselves into little packs and determined how long it will take them to get where they have to go, and sometimes it’s five minutes and sometimes it’s the better part of an hour, but when the French clock atop Sacred Heart Church strikes the hour, everyone is, somehow, exactly where they need to be. And on time.
No matter how long it took to get there.
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