I did not know it then but in retrospect, this place is where I spent some of the happiest times of my childhood. Compared to most of the schools around at that time, we seemed to exist in a cocoon of idyllic separation. We enjoyed activities seldom found in other schools, we had a library, visited “sister” schools, put on events at the end of each term and when we graduated we got a proper send off.
Although we started off with about 30 students in year 3, at our exit in year 6 we were 15: 9 boys and 6 girls and I can name them all. Boys: George, Aka, Nkeng, Claude, Fritz, Nsangou, Leo, Billy and Kang. Girls: Yvonne, Yaya, Candy, Sandrine, Doreen and myself. We did have tiffs and disagreements but we were close. In our last year after evening classes, we would walk home together and sometimes even use the long way so that we could spend more time together. I can even recall…my diary can recall us starting a school paper called “Class 6 on Echo”, I have no recollection of what we wrote about but I remember I was president; more nods to my creative writing genius. It may speak to my age that I have been getting very nostalgic about the past of late and maybe idealizing my experiences in this school but I do not think so. I consider myself a grinch of sorts and believe I suffer from a disability to hold on to friends in my adult life, however I am proud to say that I am still in touch with friends I made in PNEU.