The girls are happy when they arrive at the dining room because classes are finally over and especially because, for many of them, this will be the only real meal of the day besides the breakfast and snack which the school also provides for free.
One day at the end of lunch, two girls still hadn’t finished. It is the school’s rule that they can’t leave until they have finished everything on their plate. I was still in the lunchroom because it was my turn to eat and I saw the two girls approaching me. One of them was running to show me that her plate was cleaned and the other one to chat and finish her lunch with me. The girl who was running ran into her friend so hard that her plate, which was still full, went flying. The girls were silent, looking at the floor and waited for the scolding and punishment they deserved, for they knew it is forbidden to run in the lunchroom and that they are expected to finish their lunch with everyone else. And there was the full plate of food on floor.
We were all silent as I viewed the disaster. Then the two girls began to blame each other. But I explained that they were both to blame, one for having run, which is forbidden, and the other for not having finished her lunch on time. I gave each one her punishment, explaining that as they were both responsible, they both had to take care of it. I told them to go get the brooms and a dustpan. I helped them to clean it up and then thanked them for helping me with this. I saw their looks, first of surprise, then of gratitude. They gave me a hug and left hand-in-hand.