Bethany Neave – 11th day in Swaziland – Mountain School

I was up bright and early, brought the car round to the front of the house as Michael was coming with us to the school we were visiting. We packed up the trailer and car and we were off.


The drive was truly spectacular! We went pass the largest climbable rock in the world and down into Palm Valley. Michael told me that there never used to be a house down in the valley as the road used to be just dirt and it was very hard to get access to when raining. The vast expanse of land was amazing, we climbed higher and higher in the car until reaching the top I had to ask to get out and take a picture. This was great to take a picture until Michael, Malindi and Wilson thought it would be funny to pretend to drive off without me!



We finally arrived at the school and as Michael had told me ‘who an earth would build a school here?!’ We were greeted by one of the teachers who was very friendly and later on the head mistress came out to chat to us as well. Malindi told me that the male teacher that had met us was his mate and he was living the dream working in a school of only female teachers apart from him!


While we were painting the Sipho, the head mistress came out the speak to us, she told us that she had seen the Sipho somewhere else and her friend had asked her what it meant so she suggested that as the image is of someone running, she thought it meant DANGER! Run in this direction which made us all fall about with laughter! The Sipho was very fun to do and I am really getting the hang of it.


The weather in the mountains was scorching and I did use sun cream but somehow I have managed to burn in little strips on my back on the back of my knees. The children all came out when they were having their lunch to watch us paint. When they first came out the teacher said to me ‘they are all watching you miss, they want to know if you speak’ which I thought was funny so said hello.


Wilson then tried to make the teachers give me rice and beans, I didn’t totally get the reason for this but Michael said it is not very nice and I would need to be near a toilet so fortunately the teachers saw my look of panic and didn’t give us any.

Once the Sipho was complete and the children were ready, we headed up to the top field and started training. This was a new school that SKRUM had not coached at before so we started with the basics of the song and passing. We split off into girls and boys and made a huge circle and went from just passing to rugby passing and to saying ‘my ball!’ and changing direction. This was very good fun and even the head mistress joined in which I thought was hilarious and so did the children.


We progressed to running and passing exercises and finally ended with a game of cops and robbers and when me, Wilson and Malindi joining in caused a lot of laughter! The children were finally presented with some gifts of students who had played the best and finally we left.

It was such a good training session today and you could see all the children were really having fun and enjoying rugby.


Returning to base to find lunch ready to be heated up was lovely as I was so hungry after running round in the heat. Linda and Michael have been invited to a very posh evening tonight as their friend is nominated for business woman of the year so they are out tonight.


I am going to enjoy an evening of relaxing and then a very early night as we have to leave by 7:30 tomorrow to get to some school quite far away! So tomorrow should be another fun filled day.

My relaxing evening was cut short. The Royal Swazi where the function was being held was not able to get Michael up to the room where it was as the lift was broken. I got a phone call only about an hour after they had left. After this most inconvenient incident they came home with KFC and we all had a lovely evening eating drinking and chatting.


Bethany Neave

(Bethany is doing a volunteer placement with the charity SKRUM in Swaziland which involves rugby coaching in schools and the community, painting the charity logo on the outside of schools, AIDS education and generally being part of the team and participating in all aspects of running this charity.)

0044 1483 331551/  0044 7833 208 158


We send gap year students, university students, families, people on Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and people on career breaks to coach sports, teach and work in orphanages, work in marine conservation, primates conservation, land conservation, looking after rescued jungle animals, animal welfare, women's empowerment programs (sewing/fashions), men's empowerment programs (carpentry, plumbling, electrics, DIY), medical shadowing (doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists), after schools clubs, reaching out to underprivileged children and adults in South Africa, Kenya, Swaziland, Mozambique, Ghana, Ecuador and The Galapagos, Thailand and India. In Swaziland we offer bespoke rugby coaching placements with the charity Skrum where volunteers (18 ) can take their Level 1 rugby coaching certificate and then travel on to other placements and coach rugby. In India, the placements are suitable for families and undeer 18's are accepted providing they are accompanied by an adult. India is also suitable for Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. We also offer building renovation and reconstruction in India in July. India placements can be from 2 to 12 weeks.
This entry was posted in Gap Year, Gap Year in Swaziland, rugby charities in Africa, rugby coaching in Africa, SKrum, sports coaching abroad, Swaziland, Swaziland rugby, Volunteer rugby coaching abroad, volunteer rugby coaching in Swaziland and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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