Reaching Out 2 The World

Monday to Wednesday

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The plan for Monday was that my friend Tina and her Dad would be coming to visit Kayamandi and they were looking for me to show them around a bit. For the best tours I recruited the help of whichever students came over for the day, which happened to be about 7 of them. Tina and her Father arrived around noon and we were on our way. This isn’t my first time giving a tour of this community and I must say, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Like a great tour guide, what I don’t know I make up. Of course I gave as accurate information as I could.

We first headed to the school I worked at and took the same path that I took every day to school. I showed them in the classrooms and we met many more students along the way. From there we headed deeper into the township and proceeded to take a full loop of the place. Meanwhile our hosts of students were with us telling us which shacks represented churches and which shacks represented stores. We visited some of their homes and met some of their families and throughout much of this they had possession of my video camera and Tina’s camera and were taking lots and lots of pictures. I found out afterwards that they were playing music from a cell phone while recording the videos and it actually looks and sounds pretty good. Watching back on it, it looks as if we were followed by a camera crew who through together an edited video for us after the tour. It’s too bad I’m not staying longer because this is for sure a great way to make some money!

After our tour I had the option of going to town with Tina and her dad for lunch, but I had also promised the guys I would take them swimming. They were nice enough to walk with us all around Kayamandi and the day was real hot so I decided on taking them to the pool. It wasn’t until we got there that I remember that the pool isn’t always open on Mondays; because that’s the day they use to clean the pool. This was unfortunate too because it was easily the nicest day of the whole week. We were all disappointed and after spending some time kicking the soccer ball around we headed back to my place. We played around on Google some and searched pictures of Dragon Ball Z characters. I really think these kids would be content to playing with Google for the rest of their lives.

Rethabile, Athabile, and Simankele asked me if they could go to the cinema one of these days. I figured since only Mawande ended up going the day before it’d be fine to take these three. The decision was easy with the weather also not looking to be nice on Tuesday. The plan was to go see the 11:50am showing of Real Steel, and then grab some lunch before heading back in to Kayamandi, where if the weather was nice we were going try and go swimming.

They showed up at my house just past 10:30 and by 11 we were on our way. On Sunday when I went we actually showed up to the movie minutes after it started so in this case it was going to be nice to get there on time. Again, it was all of their first times going to the cinema and their reactions were priceless as they stepped in to see the massive screen. Between the 4 of us we also got two popcorns, two drinks, and two bags of candy. Even though we were seeing Real Steel they also all insisted on getting the masks that went along with Puss in Boots.

Between the three of them I was least concerned about Rethabile following along as his English would suit him enough for the movie. The other two I wasn’t too sure about. I knew the movie would be action packed and just hoped that would be enough because I also knew they probably wouldn’t understand all the talking parts. Seeing a bunch of previews before the movie did nothing but confuse them too. By the time our movie was ready to play they had no idea what they had been watching and what our movie was going to be about. As a perfect example of this; Shortly after our movie was underway and they first showed the young boy, who was one of the main characters in our film, Simankele turned to me and asked me in confirming sort of manner, “That’s Spider Man?” Besides saying “no” I wasn’t really sure how to even go about explaining to him how far off he was haha. I figured by letting the movie play out he’d figure it out one way or another. And luckily it wasn’t long before the first action packed scene.

The movie ended up being really cool, and we loved it! It was far better than I ever thought it was going to be and for the next few hours the boys were running around Stellenbosch reenacting the fight scenes (still wearing their Puss in Boots masks). Seeing how excited they were to see the movie and how much they loved it made it all worth it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m spending too much or if it’s on the right stuff but going to the cinema, especially one of my last days here, was picture perfect.

With high spirits and way too much energy we all headed to Steers for a quick lunch. As we ate I thought it might be worth stopping by the bookstore so I could check to see if my book had arrived. I also knew there would be a book there for me to pick up for Debbie so I had no reason not to stop by. I told the boys we’d be stopping there for just a minute while I pick some stuff up and they can look through the books while they wait.

When we got there I found out things were going to be different. Julia, the owner of the bookstore, told me that my book had not yet arrived but that Debbie’s has. She then went on to tell me that Debbie left some money available so that my students could get some books. Neither myself nor the boys saw that coming and all of a sudden they were looking for a book to take home rather than to just sit and look at.

After a great afternoon in town we headed back to Kayamandi. They wanted to go swimming but it was still cold and cloudy outside. Instead we spent the afternoon hanging out and were soon joined by Mawande and others. At one point we had an epic wrestling match, which was much harder than any previous wrestling matches I’ve ever had with kids. These kids know how to fight! They also work together really well which made my job that much harder.

Later on after they all left I was clearing space on my computer to make room for the videos they took. Most of these videos are of the ground or the inside of a pocket but I’ll go through that stuff later on. I did a search on my computer for files larger than 10,000Kb and found that I had 3 movies on my computer! I had Role Models, Slum Dog Millionaire, and Pineapple Express!!! This was awesome because my nights have been a bit boring and those are 3 really great movies. So, my Tuesday night ended with Pineapple Express 🙂


It rained all Wednesday morning which meant I spent the morning by myself. I took the time to do some much needed packing. Once the rain slowed down Rethabile and Simankele came over. It was again too cold and wet to go swimming at the pool so we hung back at my place and they watched some Dragon Ball Z while I continued to pack. They were both leaving the following day for the Eastern Cape so as the day drew closer to an end we said our goodbyes. As promised I gave Rethabile monopoly and I walked them out to the gate for the final time. Or at least what I thought would be the final time.

Around 4 I headed into town for one last Frisbee practice. Because the university was already closed it ended up just being myself and Hendri that showed up to practice. Neither of us were that surprised and were really just looking to throw around anyway. We ended up playing Frisbee golf all evening and I was more than happy with the way things worked out, especially because we had already had our farewell Frisbee night prior to my overland trip.

That night I had my last supper with Papa Zulu and it was great as always. After helping clean everything up I went back to my place to continue packing. I was a bit worried at this point that Thursday was going to come and go and I wouldn’t get to say goodbye to the rest of the kids that were still around.

As I was packing and getting everything ready for the following day Yandisa showed up at my door. I hadn’t seen him in a while and it nice to not have to spend my last night of packing by myself. Before he left I told him that if he saw any of the other kids that he should remind them that I’ll be leaving the following day. He confirmed he knew what I meant and he went on this way. That night I spent a few hours looking at pictures and videos from my trip thus far. I guess you could say I was reliving everything one last time before I left.


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