Wednesday was a great day. The day started with a meeting with Johan, the man who started Hotspots2C. Hotspots is the company we are working with for the trip we’ll be taking the kids on. He has gone to great lengths to help us bring down our costs and we are both really excited about the opportunity we are offering the kids. We discussed the itinerary and he provided me with the permission slips that I would need to take with me around the township getting signatures from the parents. While we were talking he told me there was someone he wanted me to meet.
Songo Fipaza was born and raised in Kayamandi. He has since started his own organization which is all about getting the children off the streets and keeping active. His program is called, Epic, and the name is very fitting. He provides the kids with loads of awesome activities that are both fun and very inviting. They just built a new building near the primary school and Johan brought me over to check it out. I was really impressed with all the different activities he was offering. Songo is really into biking, and running, so his main attraction is a BMX track that has been built next door to his office. He trains kids to ride on the track and when they are good enough he takes them on races and courses through the mountains. His program has been really successful and he’s been able to take kids to participate in races all over the world. It’s completely free for kids to participate in, and all they need is a parent signature. Johan and I were both thinking this would be a great place for the students I worked with to check out. I also had the thought that maybe I’d be able to get some support either from Songo or Johan with transporting kids to the Frisbee practices I’m looking to set up. We’ll see if we can make that happen.
It was still midday after our meetings so I decided I’d pay a visit to Ikaya Primary School. This is the school I worked at 2 years ago. I wasn’t really able to keep in touch with any of the teachers so it was also a big surprise for them to see me. Pam is the teacher I worked with the most, so I went to her classroom. She is still teaching grade 6 but I didn’t know many of her kids. I spent a sometime in her classroom and saw a few things I thought were noteworthy. Her class was fairly small sized with just 38 students. Never having enough chairs many students have to share. At one point I saw a boy reach into his pants and pull out a shard of mirror. It was triangular shape and differently looked to be sharp. He was pretty casual about the whole thing and proceeded to check himself out in the reflection. When he was finished he shoved it right back into his pants. A few minutes later I guess a friend had asked if they could use it because I saw him passing it to the next person. During this same time a young girl was applying that flavor lip balm that girls often carry around. I think it might taste good and provides that shiny look on your lips. The mirror made its way across the classroom so she could use it. Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the back of the classroom with Pam. She had just given an assignment and was waiting for the students to come back so she could grade them. I guess she noticed what was taking place with the lip balm as well because she said something to the young girl and then took it from her. I thought maybe she had taken it from her because the young girl should have been doing her school work but I quickly found that it had been taken because Pam was looking to apply it to her own lips. Even better, one of the students that saw this happening retrieved the mirror shard so that Pam could accurately apply the lip balm.
Later on in the day, Pam was introducing me to a new class but I was only able to understand pieces of what she was saying. I’m not positive but I think she told the class about the trip I was taking the students on. I’m not trying to keep it a secret or anything but I wasn’t planning on just announcing it to a class I didn’t know. I’d hate for students to become jealous over something they didn’t even know about moments ago. It didn’t seem like an issue or anything, and like I said, I’m not actually positive what she was saying in the first place. Either way what’s said is said.
On the walk home from the school I took some pictures of the Kayamandi. A few students came around the bend and were looking to get their pictures taken. Actually what they said was, “Umlugu! Umlugu! Shoot me! Shoot me!” Umlugu, and I apologize if the spelling is off, means white… or in my case, white man. As I walk about the township I’ll either be called Umlugu, or Teacher. When I heard them yelling I was more taken aback by what they were inquiring from me? Shoot me? As they started posing I realized they wanted their photo taken. Pretty obvious as I look back on it now.
In the evening I had Frisbee practice. This practice was held at a different field than on Sunday but I think it might be closer to where the mini buses go. That’s good news if I want to pay for a mini bus to take all the students down to the fields some night. If feels so great to being out there playing Ultimate, and I’m really looking forward to getting back into shape. It’s weird, I feel like no matter how long I take off from Frisbee I still have my speed. My endurance is crap, but there still isn’t a throw I feel I can’t run down. Lucky for me there are tons of things going on this time of year for Frisbee. This Sunday is the start of a beach league in Cape Town. I remember this from 2 years ago as being the equivalent to Ultimate Frisbee Paradise. It’s ultimate on the beautiful Clifton beaches in Cape Town. There are giant cliffs at the back of the beach which help a great deal on cutting down the wind. Wind is generally the biggest factor when playing beach ultimate and having these cliffs is a blessing! The team I’m playing with in Stellenbosch is also hosting a tournament later this month that they want me to play in. It’s the day after Dan arrives so I’m not sure we’ll be up for it but I told them I’d definitely consider it. I’m sure I’ll swing by if I can.
On the way home from Frisbee we stopped at a convenience store because I had to withdraw some more money. I also decided I wanted to buy some cheese for my crackers. A week ago in England I was sitting around with Sean eating cheese and crackers and I was desperately craving that again!
Wednesday was a pretty great day and I absolutely have been feasting on cheese and crackers ever since!