Today I woke up in good time and was out on the veranda before the boys even arrived. After tea and chatting, we got down to the serious business of what needs to be done for this Saturday’s match. One of the big things that needs sorting is a driver to pick up refs and officials from hotels and drop them back. Wilson suggested that this could be my job on the day. However, there was two flaws in his plan: 1. I don’t speak Swaswati and 2. I would not have a clue where I would be going!
After it was decided that I would not be the driver, we made a list of things we need to get done today. I had to drive me, Wilson and Bernard (he is Michael and Linda’s gardener/handyman, but as Linda has told me he is the slowest gardener in the world). I had to drive them to a place called The Gables, which is a big shopping centre out of Malkerns. We were dropping Bernard there as Linda has a shop there that is planned to open this Friday. The shop is selling Christmas gifts and decorations and it needs painting before it will be stocked.
There were a few issues when we got there with electricity and lack of hot water but this will be sorted out soon enough. On the drive back, we passed a huge building with a massive driveway. I asked Wilson what this was and he said it was one of the King’s palaces. As well as this, there was a big area and Wilson said the King has an event held there called The Reed Dance. What happens is all a lot of women in Swaziland go there, dance for the King and he chooses a new wife. I was glad to hear that this event had come and gone as they have to dance topless and I don’t fancy marrying the king!
Once we had returned to the house, we were told some very sad news that one of the team mates of Wilson and Malindi had previously been in a motor cycle accident and was in Johannesburg hospital but his leg that he had cut had got so bad that they have had to amputate it. This was very sad news and Malindi and Wilson knew him well.
Lists and jobs to do are being written left right and centre and we have to get going and get stuff done before Saturday! For the rest of the day, we were busy driving around Manzini to get things like paint for the shop and to drop off more tickets to VIP guests and others.
When it got to lunch time, Wilson and Malindi took me to try some chicken dust. Chicken dust is chicken that is BBQ at the side of the road and gets dust on it from the cars driving past. It is a traditional Swaziland thing and comes with salad and pup. Pup is this rice/porridge thing that can either be savoury or sweet. I really liked the chicken dust, salad and pup combination but they also made me try pup in liquid form and it was not my cup of tea at all, it was gross! However, Malindi and Wilson said they had been brought up on it and loved it so I did try it.
We did a few more things like going to Swazi Design to get more things branded and to get the National tops branded. We also had to get some t-shirts for the sponsor Bakers Pride to be worn by the players.
After all the jobs had been done, we headed back to base and I was offered the opportunity to go to Linda’s new shop with Linda and help start the painting. I got into my painting clothes and we set off. The shop as I remembered from earlier was a particularly hideous shade of orange and assaulted your eyes when you looked at it. Linda and I were determined to get rid of it so after many hours we got rid of the gross orange colour and in the process named the specific shade. We now call it ‘cockroach orange’, this being as we found a cockroach in the shop and it was only walking on the orange. The other delightful (sarcasm by the way) was a shade we called ‘poo brown’!
Linda will be seeing Christmas in her shop so it is now painted red and green and will have lovely stencils on it in time. We were very happy with the work that we had done and the fact that poo brown and cockroach orange was gone!
Michael had cooked a lovely, but very spicy, curry for us which was ready when we got home. After drinking several glasses of milk I went to bed.
(Bethany is in Swaziland doing a volunteer placement with the charity SKRUM which involves rugby coaching, painting the charity’s logo on the outside of schools, AIDS education and being part of the team and getting involved in all aspects of running this wonderful charity)
0044 1483 331551/ 0044 7833 208 158