So we're sitting here trying to work and write up paper work (on a Friday night I may add) and this blasted cricket will not stop chirruping - it is driving us up the wall. Mary is threatening to catch it and cook it; apparently according to the kids the crickets are very tasty when they are roasted. When they were on tour in the UK Khanysile said that when I next came back to SA she would cook some for me. I have been praying that she has forgotten but this one tonight is driving me up the wall to the point where I may just take Mary up on her threat.
Work was amazing today, the commuter journey was slightly different and a lot longer (1hour) but boy I would never get tired of that journey it is so amazingly beautiful. It is very hard to accept that such a beautiful place could be so full of destitute poverty. It is heart breaking driving around the villages, I still have not fully comprehended their way of life and understood exactly how they cope. We were at a school today right next to the Swazi boarder called Schoemansdaal and I had done my part of the programme and really needed a drink, I was going light headed from dehydration. (It’s so hot here it’s very easy to get dehydrated). I asked James one of the chaperones to take me to get a drink. So we're walking around the back of this school out into the scrub land and I’m thinking there is not shop here nor a stand pipe to drink from, when suddenly he bends down and pulls this pipe out of the ground. It has a slow trickle of water coming out of it, but it was clean so we drank.
An hour later and I still was no better so we walked out into the village to look for a shop and some locals directed us towards the biggest shop in the village, one that carries all the food for the whole village (thousands of people). I walked straight passed it at first and when I went in it was no bigger than my bedroom. It had sacks of rice, maize, beans and mealie meal on the floor, the shelves had soap, a few tins of things and would you believe it crisps!!! But that was it, this was the biggest shop for miles and miles around and that’s all it contained. There was a very small fridge in the corner with a few bottles of coke and fanta so I bought one of those. I found out, when my way out of the door was barred by this big bouncer dude, that I had only bought the coke in the bottle and not the bottle and it had to be drunk there and then so they could have the bottle back to clean and refill. I was glad about the cleaning thing.
I have had the scariest journey of my life today on the way to Drakoppies. We called at the Maguga Dam which has transformed the lives of the people of Nkomazi and Swazi. See http://www.ecs.co.sz/magugadam/ for more information and pictures. We drove up to find it guarded and we were not allowed on, Muzi one of the chaperones went to ask and we were told to make an appointment. However, whilst we were there one of the managers came out in his car and asked what we were doing and Muzi played on having a white English girl wanting to see it and we were allowed to drive on the top of it. Driving on was fine, we got half way and stopped and took pictures etc and spent about 15 mins admiring the amazing view one way over Nkomazi and the other over Swazi. then we suddenly realised there was no turning point and I was going to have to reverse the HUGE Landrover all the way back along this narrow road. I thought that was scary, but nothing compared to the 'short cut' Sthembile took us down to Drakoppies. I had to engage the 4 wheel drive mode and even then we got stuck on this 'road' (and I use road in the loosest sense of the term) a couple of times. I thought at one point we wouldn’t get out and the lads had to jump out and push us.
The day finished early as it was Friday so me and Mary went to the Malelane gate of the Kruger to find out information on prices etc for next weekend. As we were going back to the car this giraffe popped up and started to saunter over towards us but then spotted a tasty tree and stopped to eat. It was so close it was amazing to see, I cant wait to see what we might find next weekend, the girls are go excited about going. We then called in at a place called Croccafellas, which is a log cabin suspended over a crocodile river, serving drinks and food. So of course we had to partake and sipped G+T as the sun set and the Cocs climbed onto their islands for the night. I could certainly get used to that at the end of a long week.
Anyway internet time nearly up and I better go before I make you all completely green with envy (not through ‘Wicked’). Tomorrow is
I still can’t work out how to upload pic’s but you’ll see them when I do.
That’s all for now
Clare – Thanks. When do you and Sam move? Will I get to see you before you go? I'm back 26th I think.
Jan and Hannah – You’re free, go celebrate ;-)