My point is, school lunch has changed.... At least here in Africa. Here it does not consist of pushing a peach colored plastic tray along a counter while pre-measured servings of luke warm food is plopped into the tray segments by women wearing white smocks, saggy nylons and hair nets. It is done African-style!
We toured Logan and Alexis' new school a few days ago to prep them for the new year. While touring AISA (american international academy of Abuja ) I asked about the cafeteria and how much the school lunch would cost. The director replied that N1000 (1000 Naira) would probably do the trick. New to the Naira, I didn't quite trust the conversion I figured out in my head..... If $1 equals N160, then lunch would be about $7.00! What the flip?! Did she not realize we were in Africa where you should be able to by three bunches of bananas and some new sandals for a nickel?! I was dumbfounded! She did go on to clarify that that would buy a snack and drink as well, calming me down a bit.
Here is the interesting part though. No trays, no tickets.... Lunch time brings 5-8 local food venders who have agreements with the school and have passed the rigid security requirements. They come sell their wares on campus in little huts that look just like the open market I bought fruit in yesterday. A Lebanese woman cooks on an open stove in one area, a Thai man apperantly makes noodles that are very popular with the students. They have a vendor who recognized Muslim food requirements as well as a stand with traditional Nigerian Fare (like shawarma, which I will tell you about another time).
I am unclear as to how the buying and selling takes place. I am imagining my Kindergartener who barely knows the worth of a dollar try to haggle for his lunch of hummus and kabbobs with Naira that are just as foreign to him as the flavors he will be trying!
To be on the safe side, I sent granola bars, fruit snacks and applesauce to keep them from being forced into the confusion too quickly!!!!
I will try to attach pictures when the Internet connection starts cooperating.
Other interesting facts about the first day of school madness
-kids are gone from 7:20 to 4:15.
-picked up in a large white van with a driver, monitor and armed guard... Gotta protect the driver from those crazy kids!
-school is 25% American kids, 30%Nigerians, 45% kids representing over 40 different countries.