Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The man with the big gun, he say nooooooo.

I’ve had a good week now to reflect on some of the things that I posted about at the weekend and whilst I have had no blinding vision, I have had a quiet realisation. That is; I cannot do anything to help all those people out there, but I can do something to help the few we work with. The ACC have a motto 'Helping Africa's most vulnerable, one child at a time', that seems pretty good to me. I can do what I can whilst I am here.  I can’t solve it all but I can certainly help, and that has put me in a better mood.

An update for the house. Thank you to the kind couple of people who gave in a donation to finish the cement work, along with your money and some other donations the ACC got we have now bought the cement and sand for the walls. You should have seen the grandfathers face today as we drove up with the Landrover packed on top with bags and bags of it, there were tears streaming down his face with joy. Now the walls and floor can be finished its just doors and windows and then the house will be all done. I would really love to go and see the house on my last day here and find the family all moved in, miracles can happen, so I hope and pray the house gets finished.

Now on to the title, yes I did meet a big scary man with a sub-machine gun, in fact I met 5 scary men with sub-machine guns. They were the police, thank God! I pulled into the dust yard in front of the ATM to draw money and out shot 6 police men with guns from this van by it; I thought they were coming after us in our Landrover. Luckily they were just there to guard the machine while the bank guy filled it. I went to use it after he had done and this police man with a gun came at me shouting no, no, no so loud I fled into the van and locked the doors. Though what good a lock is against a bullet I do not know! I turned round and the chaperones were in stitches laughing at me. Apparently you have to leave the machine 10 mins for the bank guy to get to the bank and activate it, its a safety precaution to show he filled it and got back safely. Now honestly, I have never once felt unsafe or uneasy. (MOTHER WARNING -don’t read the next bit) I have wandered around the villages on my own and drove around the countryside on my own and generally done what I needed to do without a second thought. SA is very dangerous if you don’t have your wits about you, but so is crossing
Old Chester Road

The villagers have been so welcoming, we drive in and the children chase the van waving and shouting 'hello, how are you' the only English they know and I reply 'secona', and that cracks them up - a white person speaking Siswati. The gogo's (grandmothers) and hladla's (head of the houses) welcome us and we have a conversation neither of us understands what the other is saying but that’s fine. I jabber away in English with the odd Siswati word and they jabber away in Siswati with the odd English word and everyone is happy.

We have a long weekend this weekend, tomorrow is a bank holiday, national women’s day. I celebration the
UK should have I think *nods*. And most government buildings are not opening up Friday so 4 day weekend - whoooooooo. Off to Blyde River Canyon
on Sat which is the third deepest canyon in the world with stunning views. But before then I am spending Thurs and Fri doing school work as I have a lot to do for the new school year which is getting ever closer. I wonder what Mr Quinn would say if I rang up on the first day back and said 'Hi, I'm still in Nkomazi and don’t know when I'm coming back'.!!!! Wonder what my mother would say, and my bank manager...oh you can but dream cant you!

Ok I’m off to dream about my other life here in SA, I promised myself this post had to be a LOT shorter than the other. Sorry it’s still quite long.

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