Today I was up good and early and me Malindi, Wilson and Naomi packed the car and set off to Manzini.  We went round and did a few jobs such as taking post pads to be fixed and a couple more jobs.  After getting some Dust Chicken and Malindi asking if I wanted to try the gross drink I had tried before, I said definitely not and they all laughed.   Me and Wilson were dropped off at the Mavuso Sports Stadium where the National match is going to be held and took all our stuff  to start painting.  Malindi and Naomi had other jobs to be doing so helped us unload and left us to it.Today it was ridiculously hot – it got to 43 degrees! I was burned up and had to be very careful with the sun cream.  Naomi said when she came back she expected me to look like a tomato and for Wilson to be darker than dark!  Malindi had lied about the posts being not that rusty, they were extremely rusty!  It took a while to sand them down to get them smooth and ready to paint but we got there in the end.

The posts when we had finished looked really good!  We had a genius idea that we had to balance the posts in the gutter so that we didn’t have to use newspaper which was not working!  Once this plan was in action, the posts were easier to paint.  I kept having to run inside to buy lots of cold water and the guy at the desk said very sarcastically ‘is it hot out there?’  As I was sweaty, covered in paint and very thirsty at this point I said ‘no it’s snowing!’  The ice cold water was a god send and I would have passed out without it!  Wilson was moaning about how hot it was and I told him to be quiet as he has lived in Swaziland all his life and I’m from England so think how I was feeling!

I walked over to the other posts to get some money and when I came back Wilson had covered my paint brush and handle in paint so  therefore got my hand covered in sticky paint!  I told him he knows the rules and his payback will be soon and will be painful.  After painting some more of the posts and having some but not much help from Naomi and Malindi,  I got my payback!  Wilson was bending over to get some paint so I wiped a load of paint on his cheek before he knew what hit him!  This was very funny but made us both on edge as we thought some paint fight was about the break out!

We finally finished after a solid 4 hours of painting and I looked like a tramp, paint everywhere, dirty feet and hands and all sweaty!  The paint we were using was strong industrial stuff so was nearly impossible to get off your hands and was constantly sticky.  We went in the sports centre and sat at the bar chatting and having a drink, we ordered some food and took it outside to eat (while admiring our newly white gleaming posts).

After waiting around for a while eating our food and having a rest Malindi came and picked us up. When he arrived he asked me if I had been painting my legs instead of the posts as I have got a lot of paint on them. After chatting for a bit more, Malindi told us that Botswana had pulled out of the National match and were no longer coming!!!  I was stunned and Wilson looked absolutely crushed and didn’t say a word the whole way back to base.

When we arrived there he said it was a joke but unfortunately he had tempted fate and later on in the evening,  we got a phone call saying, due to the strikes and truck stoning in South Africa, they were no longer coming.  This was a terrible disappointment for everyone as there had been so much work done to prepare for it.

Today was hard work but totally worth it as the posts now look lovely, I have more of a tan and I got to have some nice time chatting with Wilson.  Even with the disappointment of the National match being cancelled, it was still a fun day and for the match which will hopefully be organised again for 3 weeks time the posts will look awesome!

Once the coaches had gone home and Linda arrived home from work,  I helped make a chicken dish with sun dried tomato sauce which was delicious!  I  do not know how we got on to the subject but we decided that “Bertie” was a hilarious name for Michael and it has to be said in a very posh, loud, British accent.  After some more laughs and stories I went to bed.

Bethany Neave

(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



About www.volunteervacations.co.uk

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 AIDS in Africa, AIDS in Swaziland, Gap Year, Gap Year in Swaziland, Level 1 rugby coaching in Swaziland, rugby charities in Africa, rugby coaching in Africa, SKrum, sports coaching abroad, Swaziland, Swaziland National Rugby Team, Swaziland rugby, The Volunteer Experience, Volunteer rugby coaching abroad, volunteer rugby coaching in Swaziland and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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