Diary - South Africa - ABC - week 5
As it worked easier last week, i shall put the days, day by day.
Friday 11th - We had to be up early to go to Oranjekloof, I have come to the conclusion that I am definitely not a morning person. We rode to the school and shock, they still do not have the schedule. They said they thought we were coming Tuesday and Thursday, I remain unsure but we didn't want to wait around so we took a class, we were only teaching from 10-12 so it was 2 classes split in half so we had 4 different groups of children for half an hour each. These guys were pretty good, it was better being on the grass because when people fell over, they weren't hurting themselves! The children were older, so they were more interested in the football side of the sessions, we took turns leading the sessions, it made the workload even and also meant we could see each others strengths and weaknesses. From Oranjekloof, we went back to the flat and stayed there for an hour or so, whilst I wrote last weeks diary, not annoyed at all! we went down to the beach to see Michaela there with her son, she couldn't get enough of us! As only one girl turned up, we did a session with her, Michaela and her son, with his friend and even Cheryl joined in. We played a game of crab football, I hadn't played it in years!.. Still got it. It was a lot harder on the beach though. We went from that to a Game, I can say that I nutmegged Michaela, skills. That session was a good session, I can see this being the most enjoyable part of the programme in terms of success, just if we can get the girls to turn up, Marquerithe said something about running a bus from the school down, that'd get more people down hopefully. From there we went back home and got things ready for another photo session at the field and doing some more players for the evening. We went back to the flat to get ready to meet the new volunteers at the Mariner's wharf market, the place we went on one of the first days. There was a lot less people there this time, the volunteers were there for about 30 minutes and left, we stayed for a bit longer and then went back home. Me, Liam and Patrick were in a weird mood and were just acting strange, doing the puns and just acting crazy! We went back and I spoke with Gerry for a bit and went into the flat chilled with Gabriella and Carla at ours and after they left, I fell asleep straight away!
Saturday 12th - We were up early the next day as we had the girl's Tournament at the waterfront, the tournament set up by AMANDLA, one of the other placements. We had to be at the police station near the township for 7:15. We got there and they were there, waiting for the buses. We were there for another hour. In that time we saw dirt cheap the food in the township shops were and also a man in a car losing control and skidding down the township, smashing into a wall and totalling the front end of his car, it gathered a crowd, he got out unscathed, just getting out to collect the parts that had fallen off of it. Eventually, the people decided the bus wasn't come so we got a minibus from the township. There was 25 of us, piled into this bus, it was a tight squeeze. We were meant to be coaching the two girls teams but 4 coaches came, including Patrick and Kenny. Kenny was definitely high or drunk, it was rather frustrating because we are friendly with him and he was just being annoying, the annoying kind of drunk you realise a lot more when you're stone cold sober. It was definitely the most unsafe journey I've taken here. We eventually found the place we needed to be. We were the first team there. Me and Liam had a team each but what made the whole thing more difficult was that the coaches that came with us kept interrupting our drills and made it harder to get the girls to concentrate because they were being told two different things. One thing I have realised is the coaches here like the title of coach, they just don't know how to, it's the thing here with a lot of people also, they like to think they know what they're doing and to people that don't know any better, they probably think these people know what they are doing, it's tragic. Back to the point, my team and Liam's team were alright but both had one really good girl on each team. Liam's team had a girl who probably shared my level of testosterone and was a good around player. My team had a girl who had a shot harder then a lot of boys her age, it hurt my hand to save! The tournament on a whole went well out teams came 2nd and 4th. They could have done better but for some odd decisions by officials. There were plenty of photos from the day though. We finished here at around 3 and went back to marsh for a bit, me and Liam threw a rugby ball to each other like an american football and just hung out there until the evening. Spent some time playing football and eating and went back to Hout bay, even though we were back in Rondebosch early the next day for an all day braai (barbecue).
Sunday 13th - We got back to marsh to be picked up in the morning for the braai. It was about 30 minutes away, not sure where abouts it was. The event is sort of like an excuse for white people to say they've been in a township. There were around 90% white people here. I was drinking wine whilst I was on the coach and as it was the cheap kind, in a carton, I was rather intoxicated that I bought a pair of fake raybans, they were only 40 rand though (£3.50) they were pretty rascal though! All the tables there were taken so we made a circle at the side with chairs. Me and Patrick got a plate of different meats, sausages, steaks and stuff and it came to 100 rand, it was very cheap for meat, for the amount we had! To get drink, there were these places called shabeens (probably not how it's spelt) that we're pretty much houses that sell alcohol. The price here was decent. Big bottles of beer and cider for 15 rand (around £1.20). In these places they had the Manchester City game on, it didn't really sink in as I was drunk but what a finish to a season! We stayed at this place till about 7 and went back, as people had been drinking and we were coming back early evening, it felt a lot later as it was dark and it was just like coming in from a night out! We stayed till quite late as Patrick fell asleep. It was a fun weekend and a great experience.
Monday 14th - We didn't have to be up early as we didn't have schools, we went down to the field to see if the restaurant team were playing but it had been raining so it was a write off. We had until 3:15 so we had a big clean up of the flat, it makes such a difference being in a clean area. That took around an hour, so we did our weekly shop, bought a huge number of noodles again, I took a picture of the receipt to show how many! From there we dropped everything off and went to the workshop at Mariner's wharf, we had a turn out of 8 boys. They were more unruly then other groups we have had before, mainly because they were showing off in front of each other, the session itself wasn't bad, Patrick destroyed the pitch I marked out in sand with his warm up with the guys and we did a few drills followed by a game. After the drill, we rode back to Gerry's in a rush to get down to the field to make the young eagles training session. This session, we started off with tunnel tag after a brief warm up, yes tunnel tag is branching out from schools to clubs! And did a few passing drills, and moved into a game, you can see small improvements, mainly just in movement and spacing. After the session we got back to the flat and Norman called to have a chat over a beer, as we weren't doing anything, we agreed and he picked us up in 10 minutes. We went to the Chapman's peak hotel, we had a couple of peronis and spoke about our placement, what Norman has been doing over the last few weeks (because we haven't seen him) and just general life in South Africa. It was a good way to finish the evening and it was quite enjoyable. Norman was telling us about the premier league academy players that were coming and also about the volunteers in Lesotho who were held up at gunpoint during the day in their flat after a few days of arrival, wouldn't want to be there. We shouldn't have problems here as Gerry is well respected all over Hout Bay. We got back and just crashed out for another early morning.
Tuesday 15th - We were up early to be at the school for 9. We arrived at the school and to our amazement, there was still no schedule, this really annoyed me as the women responsible for it has told us for two weeks now that she was going to get one done and today she said that she couldn't as they needed to do maths and a language in the mornings meaning we'd be there from 11 onwards and as we are there till 1 or 2, 3 hours of the day to me seems ridiculous! I said to her to get us a meeting with Miss Davies on Friday to discuss this as something needs to be done, I don't want to waste our time trying to get things sorted, it needs to be done sharpish. We went back to the field to do one last session and as we were cleaning up the area and picking up the cones, a man came to talk to us about money being pumped into chapman's peak that could be used on said number of schools, hospitals, clinics etc; he sort of bombarded us with all this information at once and he just randomly came, he just sounded like an activist that wanted justice, then he gave us all this stuff about how his company weren't giving him his full wages for the month and how he wasn't legally working there because of some contract malarkey, he must have been talking to us for 20 minutes and he ended up sounding like a man with a vendetta against a company mugging him off, from that rant he gave us, all he got from us was our word that we'd join some march, I don't know who wasted their time more. We left that to come
back to the flat for a bit of down time and preparing for a trip up to Cheryl's to finally print off the booklet, which we finally did! Wahey! We spent a few hours at hers, whilst there, they had people viewing the house. Cheryl told us later on that her house was worth around 16 million rand (£1.5 million) this didn't come as a surprise to us. After leaving Cheryl's, again flying down the mountain which was a lot cooler zooming down listening to some Rise Against. We had the mighty reds today for training, again, they were training on the other pitch so we had to go to them. At the pitch, they had the goals we lugged around from the township to the pitches and had gave back so they could use them for Saturday matches, the cheek of it! We did the training session with them, it was majority a game with 3 touches. This went well. As this session ended, Desmond (coach of the mighty reds) asked if we'd join in the training of the seniors, with no concrete plans we joined in until it got dark, it was that dark that you could hardly see the ball but the guys playing could see clearly, it was unreal, they're obviously used to it but it was weird to see, you could see the guys running about but no ball! As we were leaving this session, Desmond had the cheek to ask us to take the goals back as he couldn't take them back, even though he brought them down and was using goals that weren't meant for one team, I wasn't having any of it, I told him to take them back himself and ask some seniors to take them back with him, seeing as they had been using them. We left them with him and headed back home. We got asked earlier in the day by phone call to play for a team at the place we ran the tournament on Saturday. After some phone calls and quick planning, we managed to arrange getting there and a few more players. Cheryl gave us a lift down and Daniel and Thomas joined us to play for a few French guys' team, we played a group of South Africans and beat them 12-6, it was fun to play an organised competitive game here on a flat surface, it sounds bad but it makes such a difference! We managed to get a lift thankfully by Carla who came all the way from Mitchell's plain to give us a lift (about an hour away) we got back relatively late and I took to writing my diary before heading to bed.
Wednesday 16th - We woke up early to be at sentinel to do our sessions there. On the ride there, the smell on the ride there was the worst it's been, I can't explain the smell, just evil. Gerry told me that the smell makes some people ill, this really didn't surprise me. At the school we introduced improvised netball as well for the session with the girls, this worked well as they don't get Involved with the football, it will be a good idea to split classes by gender and play football with the boys and the netball with the girls. During a session with the boys, the principal of the school had a chat with me and brought me to the other side of the school to show me some gangsters gathered up in the houses up a hill near the school just on the other side of the fence, she said that she had been told by someone in the know that these guys were armed with axes and were planning on getting into the school. They weren't sure why they were coming in but either way the police were coming for them. They moved around to the other side of the school, then we never saw them again. They looked about 15. At 12, we had a meeting at the school with Marquerithe and coaches of football and running in the local area of Hangberg. They had asked about us training their teams but we had literally no time to we declined. They mentioned a tournament on Thursday, tomorrow as it was a holiday (asention day). We said we would show our faces. After the meeting, we headed back to the flat. I got a text about the diagnosis about Daniel Stancliffe and the Guillian-Barre syndrome. Suddenly something in my head clicked and I felt a sort of deja vu. I remember at the meal with Marquerithe and her husband, they said about how he felt weak one night and it got worse and he was temporarily paralysed for 6 months and how it was for them. After hearing what happened to Daniel and the two stories. I noticed the spooky resemblance, how weird! something I never heard of comes together in 2 weeks! I had my first nap since being here and we all overslept and missed the evening training session, whoops! We got the booklet printed but it was in black and white, workable but not cool, just needs stapling now. 3 guys came to chill at the flat for a few hours and when they left. I crashed out instantly! At least no early wake up!
Thursday 17th - we woke up and had breakfast before riding down to see the tournament at the Hangberg AstroTurf. We got there and there was around 50 children on the field on their groups doing their own thing and there was Cecil, the man we met at the meeting the day before with a few other coaches. He said they were all ours for training drills, we said that we were only there to see what was going on. He said that he only could use the pitch because he said we were coaching. Rather then dwell on the fact we were stitched up I asked him to give us 10 minutes to plan something. We took 25 and one half of the pitch to use. We split that group in half, Patrick and Liam took one half for a shooting drills, I had the other half for a possession drill. One thing I instantly realised was the children here were a lot less disciplined and moody, it was a challenge to get them to listen and play. I told them to spread out and call for the ball, they clumped together and kicked each other. What made it worse was the diving and tantrums! I worked with it and a bit of assertion, I got them listening, we switched the groups over and I had the others doing the same thing. We finished up with a game using half the pitch. After finishing we spoke with Cecil and just had a kick around on the field. We left and headed back to the flat. Liam had a nap and whilst doing so. Me and Patrick went to the Imizamo yethu township to get my hair cornrowed. I was looking for a legit looking salon there which really was asking too much, we thought the safest bet was to go to the church and ask someone in there for advice as i I had faith, excuse the pun. We went in the gift shop there and asked. They said they had a friend who could do it, everyone here always has a friend that can do something. The guy's friend came and did a plait in my hair at the front, poor job. I told him what I meant and he said he couldn't but had a female friend that could do it, again, another friend. She came after about 10 minutes, she said it was 250 rand! Good joke, I mentioned the whole volunteer thing and could only do 100 rand. She tried 150 but I stood firm so it was settled, score! We spoke with the guys from the shop and we had some really interesting conversations, they were from Zimbabwe, we spoke about Africa, Mugabe, Benjani and America, it took about an hour to do my hair but she did a top job, mum you've been replaced, she said her fingers didn't ache afterwards. I wouldn't want to be throttled by those hands, not that option would arise as I paid her. We left the place and went back to the flat. We had dinner and after this, I went and spoke with Gerry. I had a good catch up with him talking about what had happened today and as it was the half way mark, my feelings. He said about making an interim report about what are doing so our successors can hit the ground running with what we are doing. He said he'd hate for all what we are doing go to waste. I agreed and after a few more hours, went back to the flat to tell the guys about the report and also to catch up on the diary, then went to bed, at 3am, I had a lot to catch up on the diary as I was slacking with it!