The following post is from a series of emails I wrote to my girlfriend at the time, whilst on a trip to Africa. She is now my wife, so I did something right.
Today we had the ladies from Lesotho come to visit. We took them to see all the various activities that we organise, such as the orphanage, and the feeding kitchens. They were pretty impressed, which is a good thing, since we are hoping to get some funding from them.
After they had gone, we had a meeting with Pastor Mark, to discuss how things were going. I had prepared a report with Mohau, going over everything that we had aimed to achieve, including our applications to pretty much every computer organisation and company within South Africa, for help setting up a computer centre. Sadly, we still haven’t heard any positive responses yet, but we can pray.
Then me and Mohau went for a wander into town, visiting the clinic, a township style bookshop, where I found some learn Sotho books, unfortunately written in Sotho, but still useful. We then went to this amazing food place for lunch. Called “Mr Delicious”, it consisted of a caravan that looks like it was abandoned ten years ago. All the insides had been ripped out and replaced with ‘worksurface’ – mouldy chipboard covered with newspaper. Inside the darkened hut sat a woman, next to two pots.
I’m not sure how she kept the pots warm, since there was no power supply to the caravan. However, since about 5% of our local villagers get their energy from burning dung, I’m sure they found some way. The food, the only thing they sold, was cooked maize meal, with a light sauce and a chicken leg. Forcing from my mind questions like – do they understand that bacteria grows rather exuberantly on chicken legs kept at 30°C.
I also resignedly accepted that they had no vegetarian option. I could have just had maize, but that would be like just having mashed potato, without the flavour. I’m afraid I’ve gone back to meat, since every meal I am offered seems to be based on it.
We sat on some steps and ate the food, getting some stares from passers by, a black man, share food with a white man, both using their fingers and eating from the same plate. A rare sight in South Africa, although some aspects of it would be odd even in England.
After work, me and Mohau went to Wilgepark (pronounced Vulkhurpark), to the shabeen (kind of township pub) again, to play pool and drink shandy. It was absolutely packed, and when I asked Mohau why, he said ”Well, of course! It’s Thursday!”
Confused, I said, “So? Do people not have work tomorrow morning?”
“Yes, they do, but you see, this is weekend eve.”
So there you go – weekend eve. You could see that might give workers a bad name with employees. That aside, Castle Lager tastes pretty good, although I failed at pool, miserably. The way pool is played here, your money on the table gives you next turn on the table, against the previous winner. So you always end up playing against the best person who has been on the table that evening. So if you win, you get unlimited free games. I love it, because its so much more social, you get to know everyone who plays. On the downside, I always lose.
‘So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”’
1 Samuel 16:17
I would be let off that one, I feel