Reaching Out 2 The World

My First Judo Class

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I woke up this morning with the sudden realization that I’ve been giving everyone I meet my SA phone number from 2 year ago! I confirmed this when I went to check how much air time I had left and noticed that the 50 rand I added just two days ago was nowhere to be found. This is completely my fault and a pretty idiotic mistake but it’s one I made and now had to fix. I entered my name and number into my own contacts, two years ago, so I could have quick access to it when I needed to add more air time or when I needed to provide someone with my number. When I got a new Sim card and new number one week ago I guess it slipped my mind to change out my own contact. So into Stellenbosch I went, a bit gingerly because my hamstring was still bothering me.

While in the mall I also realized there are a lot of stores I’ve never been into and decided I’d check a few out. I found a much nicer grocery store, a store comparable to a Target, a nice book store, and a food and wellness store. I think this part of the mall might have been under construction when I was here in 2011. I didn’t buy anything but I definitely discovered the stores where I’d be buying things in the future.IMG_3554

When I got home I decided I would spend my time getting as much work done as I could. This consisted of returning emails, writing post cards, sorting through videos, and updating my blog.

Around 4pm Hanneke and Mieke came by to greet me. They had just finished their first day with Prochorus, and were interested in walking to the trust center to see how Eric’s second day went. I decided to go with them and when we got there we saw Eric waiting outside. We thought his day would be finished but he had just been informed that he’d be accompanying a group of students into Stellenbosch where they would practice Judo. Many of the younger kids were running around practicing their judo moves. IMG_3557Since the three of us didn’t have anything else going on we decided to jump at the opportunity to join. A few minutes later a truck pulled up. It was the type of truck that had a covering over the bed. Myself, Eric, and 11 other students piled into the bed of this truck while the girls took the front seat. This proved to be one of the craziest rides I’ve been on yet. On the way there Eric and I couldn’t get over the craziness that the kids have just accepted as normal. Never would you see something like this in the states or throughout Europe.IMG_3559

When we arrived at the facility where they’d be practicing Judo the kids all hopped out and ran into the building. Actually most of them ran in every which way because I guess they had a few minutes to kill. The class was mixed between white children from Stellenbosch and black children from Kayamandi. It was actually really nice to see everyone coming together to exercise in this way… even if it meant organized fighting. The instructors we met were very nice and accommodating. Had my hamstring not been bothering me I would have absolutely participated! I think I may give it a try on Wednesday. Out of the 11 children from Kayamandi that made the trip to the center, only a handful of them actually participated. It reminded me a bit of high school gym class when a few students would “forget” their uniforms. After everyone was warmed up and stretched they paired off by height and began practice holds and grips. We happened to have the two smallest, and probably newest, youngsters right in front of us. The highlight of my day was watching these two attempt to keep up and practice their moves with the rest of the class. There were plenty of times where I couldn’t contain myself from laughing, it was too good. Even though there is a bit of a language barrier between the young Kayamandi kids and the young kids from Stellenbosch, and definitely a difference in where they live, and how they look, they all got along really well. It was great seeing everyone come together and just act like kids.IMG_3556

At 6pm our driver came back to pick us up. The ride home was even more exciting than the ride there as the kids were all showing off their vocal skills. They sang so many songs and were so good! The kid sitting next to me could easily be the next teen pop idol. Towards the end of the ride I decided this was well worth getting a video of. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in checking it out you’ll have to remind me once I get home.

Back in Kayamandi we headed to Mama Zulus because it was approaching dinner time. Tonights meal consisted of rice, fried chicken, and for the first time… salad!! It’s been too long since I ate a salad! Of course with that being said it’s Monday and back in the USA that means Monday Night Football! I was really craving some buffalo chicken wings! I did get a text very early the next morning from my dad telling me that the Eagles won!

Riri with his bling

Riri with his bling

After dinner Riri, and Mawande were back in my room waiting for me. Mawande showed me the bracelet he’s been working on. He’s definitely starting to get the hang of it! Riri challenged me to checkers. Last time we played he beat me pretty bad, this time wasn’t much different. On the third and fourth games we had a draw though.

Around 9 I walked the them up the street before saying goodbye. I know my time here is going to be over before I know it and I’m really valuing every minute of it!

IMG_3563When I got back Eric informed me that they were all ready for another game of Catan. Mieke and I shared a bit more strategy with Eric and Hanneke and the game proved to be much closer. In the end I was still victorious. It’ll feel better for them to earn their first win, not have it given to them.

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One thought on “My First Judo Class

  1. Much enjoyed reading your blogs Chris xx

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