With Chris here, handling the all the kids should prove to be much easier (and cheaper!). We could just split the time and costs for everything. Not to mention, all the other volunteers here that the kids have grown fond of. Last year I was by myself, so I pretty much restricted my time to only a handful of kids. But now with Chris around, it’s those same kids plus every other kid that lives in Kayamandi! On Sunday, we decided to take a few of them out to the cinema, along with all the other volunteers. Only problem was I started to grow pretty hungry. It’s definitely not polite to eat in front of children, which means I usually will buy them food also. Chris and I weren’t really looking to blow all our cash in one day so we ate in shifts. While the girls kept the boys busy in the park, Chris and I chowed down on Steers. Once we were finished, the girls went to KFC while Chris and I kept them busy. The tag team system is quite effective and something we will have down to a science pretty soon it seems.
At the park, I was introduced to the game of Ninja. A simple, yet highly amusing game where you only have a limited set of moves to hit your opponents hand and “kill” them. It’s a little difficult to explain on here but I’ll be sure to teach it everywhere I go now. After a few go’s at Ninja, we went to the cinema to see the movie “Turbo”. I never heard of the movie. It must have came out sometime while I was in Asia. It’s a DreamWorks film so the boys should enjoy it. Since there were seven kids and seven of us volunteers, it worked out perfectly that each volunteer could pay the admission for one kid! Works for me. 🙂
The next day, I made plans to visit the Ikaya Primary, the school I taught in last year. I wanted to see two of my old teachers, Pam Siwele and Zuki. Chris has already visited the school but came along too. It felt like yesterday when I walked inside the gates, seeing all of the familiar faces running about. I even remembered which classrooms the grade 6 children were in. As I walked by the rooms, I looked through the windows to see if I could spot Pam. I missed her once, but when I checked again there she was. “Ohh! Hello Dan!” she said. She remembered my name which made me very happy. “And Chris!” We caught up a bit as she tried to settle down her class. I asked her if Zuki was still around but unfortunately she transferred to a different job this past July. After a brief chat, I went around the classroom going over to different groups of kids, introducing myself. Some of them remember seeing me around their school last year. A couple of them asked me if I could help them with their assignment they were working on. No problem! That’s why I’m here. It was related to how the government should handle cigarettes and the health risks involved. It was mainly so the students can practice their English grammar. Before I knew it, the bell rang (which sounds like a normal bell in sync with an ambulance siren). Chris and I went outside where a bunch of familiar faces came up to us including three girls who were students of mine last year. “Dan, you still have to take us out for papas fritas!” one of the girls told me. Wow I completely forgot about that! Last year, I told them if they did well on an assignment I was grading, then I would take them out for papas fritas. By the way, ‘papas fritas’ is spanish for ‘french fries’. I taught the students last year some spanish words which I was really surprised they remembered! The deal was if they did well on an assignment, I would take them out. I don’t think they covered the deal but this time I agreed to take them, mostly because I was fairly impressed they still remembered that. But I was busy for the next two weeks, so I told them I would treat them afterwards.
Chris and I mingled a bit more with the kids and visited another classroom, the infamous Dume, before we decided to make an early exit. We headed straight to the Trust Center nearby the library in Kayamandi to use their WiFi. Unlike Southeast Asia, where I was always connected, here I am limited which is great! Not so great in the fact that it’s a little more difficult to update my blogs. (Don’t worry, I won’t fall behind!) Eric volunteers at the center, which is kind of like the YMCA of Kayamandi except at a much smaller scale and less activities. He was in the middle of doing busy work, before Chris and I left back to Zulu’s to take a much needed nap. The nap was short-lived when Chester came straight from school and let himself in as we were sleeping. He wanted to play with the iPad, so I gave it to him. Later on, another kid who I never met or seen in my life let himself in, but we told him and also Chester that we were leaving soon so they couldn’t stay. We were leaving to go to a Judo class that Chris and Eric got involved with before I arrived in South Africa, so I went with them to go check it out.
Chris and Eric wore the typical Gi, and were essentially practice dummies for the kids to beat up on. They were each paired up with probably the best students in the class, both green belts. Both Chris and Eric held their own, especially Chris who was able to end his bouts fairly quick. Fighting and wrestling are my thing and I was getting frustrated I wasn’t able to participate! My neck isn’t 100% yet and if I would of done this, my neck would of gotten destroyed and I would of ended up in the nearest emergency room for sure! All I could do was sit, watch, and be jealous. And also take pictures!
After about an hour, the class was over and we expected our ride to come pick us up at six but, another girl at the gym told us the ride wouldn’t arrive until 7! I was pretty hungry and I didn’t feel like waiting around an hour so I told everyone I was making a beeline to McDonalds and then I’d go straight home after. It was starting to get dark, which meant it could get a little dangerous walking around South Africa, so I left alone to avoid the possibility of them getting in any danger. I can handle myself! Especially since Chris had my valuables and all I had was my wallet. But after a tasty Big Mac and papas fritas, I made it home in one piece. The others were a little worried because it was dark and had no idea where I was. I keep forgetting my phone at home because I’ve grown used to not carrying one around. But I made sure to tell them to never worry about me; I’m pretty apt in dealing with the toughest of situations.
That night as Chris was in the room with some of the boys who were already there waiting for us, the rest of us decided to play a compelling game of Catan. But this time, only the people, who have never won before, aka the people who suck the most, would play which included myself, Hanneke, Eric, and Gesa. I got off to an early lead and had control of the game for awhile until Eric came out of nowhere and won in pretty much one turn. I will never win at this game unless I play with a bunch of kids who have never played before. Even then they can probably still beat me. Especially RiRi, who is extremely good at boardgames like Checkers and Monopoly. He beat me at both of those. Monopoly mainly because I grew impatient and didn’t care what I was doing.
It’s been a great few, easy going days here in South Africa so far. I was pretty pumped about what was in store for tomorrow. I would be showing Chris and Eric around my hometown of Muizenburg, South Africa. 🙂