Reaching Out 2 The World

My Weekend With the Kids

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Reading that title makes me feel like a single father who has custody of the children on the weekends. Wanna know what makes me feel even more like a single father who has custody of the children over the weekends… Just about every weekend I’ve spent with these kids haha. But to be more realistic, this expands far beyond the weekends. Of course I do so willingly and will miss it more than anything once I leave. I haven’t even left yet and I’m beginning to miss it.

These last few posts are proving harder and harder to write and I think it’s because they’re like the final chapter of your favorite book series. By finishing those last few pages you’re ending more than just a good book, your ending this ‘world’ you once lived in. Because of the fact that school has ended and many of the children are leaving the area throughout the coming days it’s made the farewell a bit easier. It’s more of a bittersweet feeling really. I’d like them all to be here for my remaining days, and for everyone to be able to see me off, but when it actually comes to that time I think it’ll be easier with less people.

Saturday was a special day because it was Mama Zulu’s birthday! I asked her if she wanted to go out for lunch but she told me she would be very busy preparing for the evenings supper. So the day consisted of swimming all morning and video chatting throughout the afternoon.

We headed to the pool much earlier than ever before. I think I was about 9am when they came to fetch me for the pool. There was maybe 10 of us in total that were heading down but the lifeguard let us all in for free. I’m not sure if it was because we were super early and it was a slightly chilly day or if he was just being nice since he’s seen me around a lot. Cold water or not, we still managed to have a great day at the pool, and a few interesting videos as a result of it.

Back at my place we were preparing for a video chat with Lindsay and Blaire. These two may be the only two people I know that are more animated than the Dragon Ball Z series itself! They kept us entertained for a good long while and got to meet many of my students. We had a brilliant time chatting away 🙂

As kids started to head out we started playing some soccer out in the small place in front of my shack. They were having competitions to see who could juggle the ball 50 the fastest. Some of them are really great at this and could get over 50 in one go! Most of them only use their dominant foot though and just hop around on their other foot while they kick it around. Still impressive though.

Before long it was time for dinner and the only remaining kids left were Mawande, his brother Onge, and his friend Khanysa. They hung back to play soccer while I went to go eat. Today’s dinner was by far the fanciest one I’ve had while here in Kayamandi. It was also the first time that the rest of the family joined us for diner rather then it just being myself and Papa Zulu. It was a big cookout and we had chicken, pork, and sausages as well as salad, rice, and potatoes. It was really nice being able to have a meal with everyone and celebrate Mama Zulu’s birthday. We sang the traditional birthday song that we all know and after dinner they brought out a big cake. At this point it was getting a bit late and I didn’t want those boys to have to wait for me for too long. I went out to say hello and let them know that I’d be back in just a bit. Since it was starting to get dark they decided they better get going but they wanted to say happy birthday to Mama Zulu first. Boy was that the right decision! Mama Zulu was so happy these three came to say happy birthday to her that she invited them in and gave them each some cake and drink. They actually ended up eating outside just because they seemed more comfortable with that but regardless they were very happy. You should have seen how fast they ate that cake, it was an unhealthy speed. After everything the boys headed home and we all went to sleep a little happier.

Sunday

On Sunday Mawande came over in the morning as I told him to because I was looking to go check out the cinema in Stellenbosch and didn’t really feel like going to the movies on my own. I told him he was allowed to bring his brother and friend if he wanted and it wasn’t until he showed up by himself that I realized it would just be us. Sundays are very dead because mostly everything is closed. Luckily the theater was one of the few things that were still open and we got in to the showing of, Puss in Boots. It was Mawande’s first time being to a cinema and he was pretty amazed by the size of the screen. Of course we had to get the full theater experience so we got popcorn, soda, and candy to go along with the film. I love the fact that here in Africa I can by two movie tickets, popcorn, soda, and candy for the same price as one ticket back home. I’m certainly going to miss prices like that. The movie also came with a small mask that looked like the cat from the movie so naturally Mawande wore that around for the rest of the day.

Back in Kayamandi Mawande headed back to his place to help his mother with some things while I went back to my place. When I got home there were a few kids waiting for me and most of the afternoon was spent playing soccer, and monitoring all my gadgets as they were in use. Good news about having a broken camera is that it’s unlikely that it will become more broken…

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