My first Guyanese fire drill experience started at 10 am when a teacher walked up and down the school hallway ringing a bell. Students energetically shout “Fire! Fire!” and stampeded out the doorway. Many of them kept running until they got home.
As a result, in my afternoon class only 7 of 44 the students were present. Frustrated at the rampant truancy, I asked my condensed class why everyone thought it was ok to skip school.
“It’s just the Guyanese way, Miss. You just have to get used to it.”
“Well then I don’t know why I even come to teach when no one ever shows up. I should just stay home.”
“Alright Miss. If you want, I can sign you in everyday.”