6 September 2012

Bonjour Mes Amis

All week, LouLou has been belting "Bonjour Mes Amis!!!!!" at the top of her little lungs.

That's cute.  Why?

Well, because of the guy with the guitar at preschool, of course.
Doesn't your school come with this perk?

On Monday, LouLou and Charlotte went for their very first day of Pré-Maternelle.  The decision to start French preschool was one of opportunity: we live in a place where we can actually afford French immersion preschool.  Done. Easy. Decision made.

So, along with a veritable entourage of mamas, drivers, cars, mothers, and fathers, we set off for their first day.  Charlotte went with a très classique blue-dress-plus-white-ankle-socks combo.  LouLou was in one of her own fashion-forward designs: a skirt with a dress over top.  Nice.

Photo by Jill.

While they were adorable, I couldn't stop semi-wishing that they were wearing the little pré-scolaire pinafores that most Congolese two-year-olds don for school days.  Sarah thinks I'm nuts.

After making our way through a classic Kinshasa emboutiage in front of the school, we unloaded and went to find the classroom.  Easily, the most impressive thing - to kids and adults alike - was the guy playing "Bonjour Mes Amis" on the guitar in the hallway.  Subway busker-style.

Sarah said something to him like, "Oh, hey, that's nice that you're here for the first day of school."  He said, "First day of school?  I'm here everyday!"

Photo by Sarah.  Don't you wish your preschool teachers dressed this well?

Student names were posted outside of each door and we looked to find our girls.  Pointing to my daughter's four names, the teacher, Madame Sidonie, asked me,"Are all of those names for her?  What do you call her at home?"  She seemed visibly relieved when I said, "Oh, just call her "LouLou.'" and made me carefully write it on the list.

Mme. Sidonie and her assistant, Mme. Bibi,  bustled around the room.  They tried to distract the sad ones with dolls and blocks (this strategy proved useful for Charlotte and Lou as well).

Photo by Jill. or Johan...

They answered questions.  They tried to encourage the clingy parents to just leave already.  They asked everyone to copy down the supply list...

The supply list.

I have no idea where to find these 5,000 items in Kinshasa.  Wish me luck.

On day two, the girls were eager to "aller à l'école."  Upon pick-up, Adam (who went to photograph them paparazzi-style and collect information as to their true feelings about pre-school), said they didn't want to come home.  Operation Pré-Maternelle success.

I'm thinking of hiring that guitar player for bedtime.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic article, MamaCongo! And really, why can't all schools have a troubador to welcome the children every morning?? They should ALL provide this celebration for kids. Thanks for telling us about the beginning of preschool for Charlotte and LouLou!


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