Callum’s Blog Week 1
Having arrived just over a week ago now, the time has really flown. I was picked up at the airport by Michael and Linda (who run the charity SKRUM) in Johannesburg where they were attending to some business and we headed on to Swaziland. I have been staying with the Collinson’s at their home and have been welcomed like one of the family; Enjoying the good food and odd beer/caramel vodka on the famous veranda. I heard only good things about SKRUM and their time here from other volunteers and it has not disappointed.
This first week has been a brilliant experience and has been all that I hoped it would be. Due to the schools being on their holidays, SKRUM have been doing community coaching, which has meant visiting various locations around the country from 20minutes away to an hour and a half.
Here led by Malindi and Wilson, we have taught different ages ranges (from 4 year olds to 54 year olds) basic skills such as passing, running and generally encouraging people to enjoy this new game. The highlight of each session has to be the very competitive game of tag rugby at the end of each session. Malindi and Wilson really make the sessions enjoyable for all while getting across the message about SKRUM and HIV/AIDS awareness.
SKRUM has a real family feeling about it as a charity with everyone being passionate about what they are doing. This was emphasised by the fact this evening everyone came together at the end of a successful week for a Chop and Dop (a BBQ and a drink for anyone not sure), where everyone had a laugh and recounted the week’s events.
On the Saturday we had training with the national side where they are preparing for the return leg of their Botswana Test match series. I was put in charge of the forwards, and we worked on lineouts and scrums for a few hours. Although conditions weren’t ideal with the wind picking up and dust getting to everyone, the team were very enthusiastic with the training and with a few more sessions to go, they are looking to make a good account of themselves in a month time.
This is where I also found out my Swazi name, it is “Khulani” which I’m told means to grow/mature. I am still a bit suspect about this, as when some of the national team boys found out they laughed!
The next week is a little disjointed with various bank holidays but I’m sure will be as fun and as fulfilling as the first. Today Malindi and Wilson are taking me to the Reed Dance where 60,000 women come together hopefully to be the lucky one selected by the King to be his next wife. With only another week to go before I leave, I’m sure that it will fly by just as this one has.