I was woken up at 7.00 after an ok night sleep (little bit of advice: always take Malaria tablets before food and never after as I felt very ill during the night. After having a cup of tea and normal morning banter from Michael, we went to sit on the front porch area to wait for the two male coaches of SKRUM. Then at 8.00 it was time to meet them. Malindi (27) and Wilson (19) were very friendly as I first met them and talked me through the aims, leaflets (AIDS education) and map of schools all to do with SKRUM. As well as this they were very excited for the up and coming national match against Botswana in the local town. They told me that this is a very important thing as, for the first time, they have a completely Swazi side playing.
After being talked through some more presentations and s0me more cups of tea being consumed, the plan for the day was mapped out. The next thing to do was to get me my two coaching jerseys that I would have while I was out there with the SKRUM logo and my name on. After many debates between Michael and Malindi and Wilson, it was finally decided that I was a Medium Top Size. Due to the schools not opening till the following day, we were not able to get any school sessions. However, with schools opening back up and the test national match in 3 weeks there was plenty of things to do around town.
They first took me to get a pay-as-you-go card for my phone that Michael had given me with a Swaziland sim card. I am still not used to the money here as this cost 90 rand (which translates to about £14). Also, we went to Swazi Designs to get the logo and my name on my tops. I had to write my name on a piece of paper a few times as my handwriting was unrecognisable according to Wilson. After a few more stops at the photo copying place for leaflets and the other places, we went to a possible sponsor who offered to give money to the national team – which was excellent news. We also went to visit the band that was needed to play the two national anthems on the day of the match and they were able to play for us which was also brilliant news.
After dropping off the head of marketing to his home, Malindi came up with a very exciting idea for the national match of before hand the whole team meeting the King of Swaziland and presenting him with a signed and framed shirt. I was warned that he had many wives and they both joked that I might become the next one. Hahahah NO! This I thought was a brilliant idea and so did everyone else (the shirt) and it hopefully will go ahead and really boost the team’s energy.
After this we returned back to Michael and Linda’s home and talked a bit more about what we would be doing over the next six weeks. Malindi and Wilson then went home and I further explored Michael and Linda’s beautiful home. Linda has a mosaics workshop in the garden and she was kind enough to show me round and explain about new and upcoming projects she has. Even invited me to help her of a evening which was a great offer as art is something of an interest of mine. All the different types of Mosaics she had were fascinating and it certainly explained the house being littered with them.
After this, Michael asked me if I had done much cooking. I replied that I could cook not much more than toast and bangers and mash. He then began to joke about how I could cook cornflakes and after witnessing me chopping some onions that I would definitely not get into any sort of knife crime as I would be useless and would only hurt myself. After much more of the piss being taken out of my cooking skills, or lack of them, Michael taught me how to cook a delicious creamy pasta dish which was to die for…So thank you Michael! I will make some man very happy some day as you said! Haha, after food and wine it was time for bed to get ready for an early start the next day.
(Bethany is doing a volunteer placement with the charity SKRUM in Swaziland. The placement involves rugby coaching to schools and the community, AIDS education, painting of the charity logo on the outside of schools and generally being part of the team and getting involved in all aspects of running this charity.)
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