Flying over a certain highschool in a certain city, you will see a certain tree in-between certain prefabricated classes. On any given day of the school year, you will see a certain group of “matriek meisies” gathered underneath this tree’s shady leaves…
Celtis africana, wit stinkhout, white stinkwood. This tree is friendly, shade providing and easy to grow. It provides excellent green leaves which give thick shade during the summer. Small green berries are plentiful and provide exceptional ammunition for bombarding said “matriek meisies” with. In the autumn, the leaves change colour and gradually fall off. This colourful display provides much food for the eyes, while the brown, dry, fallen-off leaves are excellent for shredding between nerveless fingers and provide an excellent stress reliever before important tests. In winter, the tree becomes totally leaveless, providing a pleasing framework of branches through which the sun shines its warming rays.
Alight delicately on a branch of the tree and you will be able to observe all that these “matriek meisies” do. Watch them chatting, celebrating, doing homework and even sleeping under this same tree. Listen to them discuss food, religion, science, music, the amusing incident that occurred in class that morning… Savour with them the celebratory delicacy of Dorito chips (from the blue packet) dipped in condensed milk! Watch them pile grass or leaves on each other. See them feverishly cramming last-minute information before a test or hurriedly finishing a project. Feel the bond of friendship that exists between them.
And then the bell rings. Break’s over!