Like so many other days I woke up Tuesday to a knock at my door. I wasn’t expecting anyone since it was a school day but I heard Papa Zulu calling my name. The next thing I knew Isaac was walking in through the door. I was hoping he’d be coming by today but had no idea that he’d be over first thing in the morning.
We chatted for a while and caught up. Neither Dan nor I had seen Isaac since the end of September so we spent the morning filling him in on our big trip. The three of us went into Stellenbosch around 10:30 for an early lunch before taking a scenic drive to Gordon’s Bay. Gordan’s Bay is located next to Strand along the coast of False Bay. I think I’ve driven by there before because I remembered the nice hotels along the coast line but I’ve never spent any real amount of time there. Most of the buildings went up just before the world cup in 2010 to help make more for the overflow of people staying in Cape Town. Our trip today was just about hanging out. Isaac treated us to some ice cream and we talked and relaxed by the beach.
Since I’m leaving on Thursday I was anxious to get back to Kayamandi and spend time with the kids. Mawande was one of the first guys to come over and he reminded me of two things. The first of which was that all the students have major exams that will be beginning on Friday and last for nearly two weeks. He brought some of his work books along with him so we could study some and told me that he’d be heading over to the library for some time just after 3. The second thing he reminded me was that today was Guy Fawkes Day. This is an annual commemoration started by the Brits to celebrate the fact that King James I (not Lebron) had survived the attempt on his life. Guy Fawkes was a member of the Gunpowder Plot and was arrested why guarding explosives that were placed beneath the House of Lords (This info is brought to you by Wikipedia). Anyway, it’s a day where people light fireworks, wear masks, and mischief occurs. South African Townships have adapted this holiday as a day similar to our mischief night… only more intense. The next boy to come over was Luthando who was breathing very heavy. He had just been chased all the way to our house. The front of his shirt had a few dark stains on it and I came to find out that it was oil. Basically in the township the older boys use this day to torment the younger boys… more so than usual. Kids are nervous about leaving their homes and know that if they do they risk getting beat up or having things thrown at them. From what I heard the oil was the least troubling thing they were throwing at each other. The boys did make it over, but very sporadically (I think they had to wade through war to make it over). Once at our place they showed no interest in leaving and we could hardly blame them.
Riri showed up sometime in the middle of this completely unscathed. He strolled in cool as a cucumber. I’m really not too surprised because anyone that knows Riri likes Riri and anyone that doesn’t know him wants to get to know him. He’s only 13 which doesn’t make him the oldest or the youngest of the group but he is probably the most respected amongst the bunch. I was thrilled to see him because I needed him to put the final touches on a personal letter him and I have been working on. He’s worked so hard on this letter and I’m thrilled to pass it on to the recipient once I get home.
I reminded all the guys that I’d be making dinner for everyone the following night and asked Riri to come by early. I found out a while ago that Riri is pretty good at cooking and requested his help on the preparations. I also promised Ski and Mawande that they could help shave my beard off and figured Wednesday would be the perfect day.
Our evening was pretty quiet because the Dutch girls had gone into Cape Town to watch a soccer match. They contacted us later on in the night to let us know that their team won and that they’d be home earlier than expected. Dan and I seized the opportunity and asked if they’d be so kind to pick us up a snack on the way home. That night we all dined to a delicious meal of McDonalds before calling it a night and heading to bed. Wednesday was going to be a busy day.