I know I have posted a lot on Sports recently, but it is the play-offs (run-offs) for the schools, and I was invited to attend the Area Sports Day last weekend. In case you are confused, it goes school-cluster-area-district…then maybe provincial and national. I’m not too sure about what goes on beyond the district competition.
Anywho, I went to the Area Sports Day last Saturday, in a teeny little desert village called Madinonyane (Mother Birds, ka Setswana). I had to arrive at school at 6am-on a Saturday! We left half an hour behind schedule, but for African time, that’s pretty good. Two teachers, 11 learners, and I hopped in a hired kombi with the uniforms and lunches, then set off on an hour and a half long dirt-road trip. Bumpity bump bump BUMP!
I was told that Madinonyane is in the desert, but it looked a lot like my village. I’m not sure what the difference is.
They had two fields, one for long distance and field events, and one for short distance races. For awhile I was bouncing between the two fields, then I wandered over to where Lorato was to watch the high jump. Dispite broken equipment and kids who didn’t really know what they were doing, it went alright and I only saw one kid skid off the mat and onto the hard dirt after jumping (into Lorato, incidentally). I watched that for awhile, then after a trip to a nearby tuck shop for chips and a soda, headed over to the starting line for the 1200m races. My host brother Keletso was running that race, and I didn’t want to miss it. I had already watched him run and win the 100m race (yay) and was excited to see how he would do in a long distance race.
After a long while, some confusion, wishing for a chair, and wilting in the hot sun, the boy 11 year old 1200 m race started, and ZOOM! It was exciting to watch! Keletso placed first or second (I’m not sure) and is moving onto the district meet in two events. Speedy Gonzales!
We had one more race, then all of our learners were finished. We headed over to the van, where Mr. Komape began serving lunch. The learners received a piece of cheese, a piece of polony (SA bologna), a piece of fried chicken, a juice, and 8 slices of bread. Seriously. SAfricans LOVE their bread! I had a piece of fried chicken, as I had brought some PB&J with me and had eaten them earlier. After another waiting period, we rounded up the kids and bumped out of Madinonyane.
We passed through Ganyesa on the way home and stopped by the Shoprite. Kids rushed out of the kombi in the parking lot. The driver and other teachers disappeared, leaving me with the kids and kombi. After a few men stopped to talk to me (one asking if he could “visit” me-read that as “sleep with me”) I gave up being a good chaperone, abandoned the kids, and did a bit of shopping to last me until I go to town next. Don’t worry, chaperones don’t seem to exist here, so the fact that I was attempting to be one is laughable.
We made it home by mid-afternoon, and sheesh I was exhausted! But it was a unique and interesting day!