Just Another Day in Africa

PC organized a workshop for our principals and us, and for the Vryburg 7, ours was held Thursday and Friday, Feb 23-24, in the Boereplass resort (for lack of better word….sketch resort?) near Vryburg. Now, being SA, details for this were finalized about 2 weeks in advance. But I told both of my principals, and they knew they had to organize transport for the 3 of us.

I knew on Wednesday that transport was posing a slight problem. You see, one principal owns a bakke, but it only has 2 seats. Shoving the three of us in it for the 1.5+hour ride to town was not really an option. We also couldn’t go with Lorato’s schools because their vehicles only held 5 people, and we would be 6. (Man, SA English is getting to me….”we would be 6”, not “there were 6 of us”) However, I went home to pack, trusting my principals and knowing I had no power to fix the problem anyways.
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Instead of going to KPS (and walking 5km with my heavy bag), I head to MPS on Thursday as we were planning to leave around 10am and get a computer fixed at the district office in Vryburg. Win-win, nee? I get to school and Mma Makobo informs me that we still didn’t have transport. Sigh. Then Mr. Maretela (my other principal) drives over and informs us that he is not going, and he isn’t sending anyone in his place. Now, it was really REALLY important that both schools were respresented, so I sms my APCD Lydia to warn her. She was not happy.

So, I putter around the school all day in a state of uncertainty while Mma Makobo tries to find us a ride to Vryburg. I knew it was quite unlikely that the computer would be fixed, and I was just hoping to GET there at some point. Finally, at about 2pm, she pulls an educator over and (probably just) tells him he is taking us to Ganyesa, where we would meet up with our transport. Of course, we stop in Phaposane so Mma Makobo could change her shoes, which is not quite on the way to Ganyesa.

We bump down the terrible roads, all the way to Ganyesa and Mr. Kgoatla leaves us at the Ganyesa police station, where we would meet the transport. After TWO HOURS of sitting in the police station, we finally get the car and head towards Vryburg. It is 4:30pm, the workshop starts at 5pm, and we are 1.5 hours away. I sms Lydia, and she tells me not to worry or rush, and to grab tea and sammies (sandwiches) when we get here.

After stopping to pick up a hitchhiker in Ganyesa-seriously, do not worry, this is BEYOND normal in Africa-we speed out of Ganyesa, reaching a top speed of 145kmph. As we leave Ganyesa, I see a billboard that has pictures of wildlife and foliage and says “Just Another Day in Africa”. I laugh to myself, realizing that all the waiting, being stared at, frustration, sweating, bumping, and desires to bash my head against the wall are indeed “just another day in Africa”.

We reach Vryburg, drop the hitchhiker off at the hospital, then stop at the Pick N Pay complex so Mma Makobo can buy airtime. Even though we are about an hour late, I’m happy because I can get money from the ATM and mail a few letters (Vic, Meg, and Alicia B, you are the lucky ones this week!). Then we zoom off down the road to Boereplaas, getting lucky with a short wait at the construction. We pull up about 6pm, when the PCVs and principals are working separately, discussing frustrations and whatnot. I walk up and say “African Time” in a weary voice.

Just another day in Africa. But I love it.

-Jen

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About Jen Lamos

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

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