Cluster Sports Day

A big wind storm blowing through

A big wind storm blowing through

Last week I posted about our “Interhouse” Sport Day at KPS, when we had races that determined which learners would move on to the cluster competition. I was told earlier in the week that the area races would be held in Tlakgameng today, and I wanted to go check it out. Also, I knew that if I was left at school, I would be forced into a crazy classroom for the whole day, with not prep time or guidance on activities, which I was NOT wanting to do. So as soon as I got to KPS today, I asked the principal if I could go, and he gave me the green light-yay!

After a bit of a wait-I was told we were leaving “just now” not “now now”, so I should have expected the wait-and some crazy-last-minute-prep work for the competition, I hopped in the front of a bakke with the driver, a teacher, and her grandson. I kid you not, 20 learners were in the back of the bakke. Insanity! We bumped our way to a secondary school in Tlakgameng where the event was being held.

At first I attempted to help the teachers in organizing the learners, but as nearly all of the conversations were in rapid-fire Setswana, I soon gave up and grabbed a chair. My principal came a bit later with a big tent that was set up. It was a lifesaver-instant shade.

The competition was for ages 7-18, and had many different races. I tried to keep up with what was happening at my schools, but all I know is that some of them have moved on to the district races-yay! So on Saturday I’ll be headed to the “desert” village of Mma Dinonyane (Ma-dee-no-NYAH-nee), which translates directly into Mother Birds. I kinda wish I lived there.

Anywho, the day was kind of like a huge festival. There were probably a dozen or so schools represented, all in their respective uniforms. A bunch of people from the community came and sold fruit, crisps/chips, cookies/biscuits, and amazing icee things made out of guava nectar. My new absolutely favorite thing to buy at shops and on a kombi. So good! I ended up eating two and contemplated having more.

I was mostly confused about what was happening all day long, as it did not seem to be well-organized. No surprise. The kids had an awesome time though, running and cheering each other on, and being a part of something “bigger”. Bigger than school and the village, etc. That doesn’t happen often, so I was happy to be a part of it.

By the end of the day a crazy windstorm blew through, eventually blowing in lightning, thunder, ominous clouds, and rain right as I was in a bakke on the way home. A teacher drove me home in her bakke. She doesn’t have a nice cover of the back, like most that make it possible to pick up people on the side of the road and make some spare change as an informal taxi driver. She essentially has a big tarp that straps over her bed. So, imagine my surprise when we arrive at my home, she tells me to tell the guy in the back to come up front. I was like “There’s someone in the back?!”, completely flummoxed. And sure enough, when I pulled back the tarp, a young man was laying down in the bed. Oh Africa.

I’m sure I’ll have another post after the trip to Mma Dinonyane-this really is a tongue twister-so keep an eye out. I found out tonight from my host mom that my host brother Keletso made it to the district races. Woot! Go lelapa la me!


A kid sitting under a desk, attempting to keep out of the hot sun

A kid sitting under a desk, attempting to keep out of the hot sun

Kids from one of my schools waiting to compete

Kids from one of my schools waiting to compete

20+ kids shoved into the back of a bakke-official school transport!

20+ kids shoved into the back of a bakke-official school transport!


About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

2 thoughts on “Cluster Sports Day

  1. Hi Jen,

    I am ateacher of languages from Brazil, and I am really that crazy about African languages. Of the languages I am really into is Setswana, but you know, getting material over the internet is almost impossible. Surfing the net trying to find material such as grammar books and dictionaries, I came across your blog. I saw you have really good material to study Setswnana, especially the one THE FIRST STEPS.

    By the way, could you help me learning a little bit of this language?

    Hope to hear from you
    Francicso Jose

    • I’m not sure how much help I can be! I speak the Setswana I learn mostly orally in the village. It often is localized to the area, has strong Botswana influences, and likely isn’t grammatically correct. But it’s what the locals speak. Feel free to email me at to talk more.

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