The weekend turned out to be super busy and lots of fun!
The tennis camp went well, 17 children turned up which was a relief as it was a manageable number, specially considering we were on a space with no lines and no nets and only had 16 rackets!! Those that played loved it and are all coming back next weekend, when we are going to a different venue which actually has courts and hopefully may have nets as well.
The wedding was a real experience, it took place in the Pretoria City Hall and was a big occasion, just as well I splashed out on a new dress! I left at 6pm when the party was in full swing to get home in daylight, but it was lots of fun till then. I was quite a novelty with the little ones being the only white face in the building, but I am getting used to it now.
Church on Sunday at St Pauls (George the acting Directors church)was full of singing, dancing and music and lasted 3 hours compared to last week which was done exactly in 1 hour. I have now been to a service all in Afrikaans, one all in Tswana, I think it is time I went to a service in English, so will join June at St Francis next weekend. The choir festival was fantastic, the singing, dancing and music was all wonderful.
Tennis rounded off a great weekend perfectly!!
Click on the links below to see the dance rehearsals at Ga-Rankuwa:
Hi and dumela my friends!
To start with I had a prang in the hire car when a bakkie shunted me into a flatbed truck, so Monday morning Modise and I spent most of our time at the police station reporting the accident, we also visited a few panel beaters to see if they could repair the damage for less than the excess but it was not to be, so I will be taking the hit on the excess, no one was hurt as far as I could tell, which is the main thing!! Well I didn’t actually hang around too long once I realised my car was still fit to drive, as I didn’t think a discussion as to who was at fault was going to be of any use specially as it was me versus the truck driver and his buddy and a bakkie full of men. The afternoon was spent in the office carrying on where I left off with the website and trying to upload some pieces on Tumelong, as already mentioned it is a slow process with the internet often going down or not quick enough to upload photos, but I am trying to be patient and go at its’ speed! I have now also started work on the History of the Mother’s Union, this is a 40 page document detailing the entire movement from its’ beginnings in Winchester in 1876 by Mary Sumner to the present day, it too is a slow process with some hand written and some typed pages all with amendments and changes, but so far has made interesting reading. By the end there will be nothing I do not know about the Mother’s Union of South Africa!
Day 9 Tuesday was spent with Lucas going to Ga-Rankuwa again to help Tshego and the team with the after school care, it was a hot food day and Tshego had cooked a curry and rice which was enjoyed by all the children. I was very relieved to find the kittens had survived and are still alive and well, the children have named them Bontle (Beautiful), Lerato (Love) and Botlhokwa (Precious). I left some kitten food and bowls for them and will check in again next week and have given the task of their welfare to 3 of the older children who must make sure the water bowl is kept full and they are fed every day. I had fun playing with the children and attempting to help with maths homework but failed miserably on 68 x 37 without a calculator, hopefully next week it will be a subject I can help with like English. The family I am staying with had an old scooter and a pushbike that their children had grown out of which I took along with me, they were a hit, with all the children having a go and loving it (see photos). They also gave me some swings that will be put up soon. There is a good size plot of waste ground to the side of the building that Tshego and I talked about getting cleared up and in a fit state to make into a vegetable garden. It will need a good, strong working gang but it could be done in a day, so we are going to try and organise a group and the tools we will need to help on a day before I leave. Another mini project before I leave is also to try and help organise a Christmas party for the children of which there are about 60-80 regulars, to have a special lunch, play some games and each to go home with a small present.
Day 10 Wednesday I had the day off from Tumelong and had a glimpse of how the other half live when I went to Crawford School in Lonehill (a suburb of Joburg) to give a talk to school children on my experiences at the Olympics and Paralympics. Iain came with me as he had arranged the talk and also talked to the students, we both wore out Olympic uniform, I had my Games Maker outfit on and Iain, as he was an International Technical Official wore his full formal outfit including jacket and tie! It was the most amazing school I have ever been to. The talk was given in an auditorium with cinema style seating and a big screen for the power point presentation with full video and audio (that worked perfectly), there were around 100 students from Grade 4 (+/- 10 year olds) and one of the classes had specific interest as their class project was on the Olympics and Paralympics. We visited their class afterwards to see all the work on the project it was very impressive, some of them possibly knew more about the Olympics than I did??
Crawford School (Grade 4 class)
The afternoon was spent with Iain visiting the Arthur Ashe tennis centre in Soweto where in April 2013 there will be an ATP Challenger and a women’s ITF tournament, it is a great facility with 16 hard courts ready and waiting to be used.
Arthur Ashe tennis centre Soweto outside courts
Day 11 Thursday, Lucas, George and I all went for morning tea with June van de Merwe from St Francis, Waterkloof. June was a parishioner from when my Dad was the priest and still 60 years on regularly attends the church. Lucas and I then headed off to Maboloka where Corpus Christi Chuch, Garsfontein were holding a Christmas party for the children of Tumelong Haven, bouncy castle and all. It was amazing to see the joy on the faces of all the little ones each receiving a personal gift that Leezal Pietersen had made possible with great organisation, effort and support from all the parishioners in her church. There will be more details on the day itself and photos from Leezal very soon, but well done to her and all that helped contribute to making each and every one of the children at Maboloka feel special for the day.
Day 12 Friday, a day in the office with all the staff, to catch up on some admin and work on the website. For lunch I treated myself to a meat pie from the tip top bakery round the corner from the office and a fresh passion fruit yogurt from the dairy next door. We are nearly all up to date for the week and have a busy weekend ahead with the first tennis camp in Hammanskraal tomorrow morning, a wedding in the afternoon, Church in Saulsville on Sunday morning and a choir festival in the afternoon!!
So the week has flown by and I am now half way through my time at Tumelong, it is a great experience but I fear 1 month is not going to be long enough to make a difference, but I will give it my best shot.