This week marks the half way stage of our 6 months travelling! I hope the second half doesn’t go as quick as the first otherwise it will be over in no time!
We had a great day off today!
We slept in til late and then sunbathed in the grounds of Misty River.
The German family who came to stay for a month a couple of weeks ago were staying at TLC. It turned out to be a bit impractical for them so they decided to come and stay at Misty River. We played with Philip and Antonia who loved the grounds and had great fun running about.
The best bit though was the evening. Richard, who is Philip and Antonia’s adopted Dad, was really kind and bought us and many of the TLC children tickets to go and watch Johannesburg’s main football team, the Kaiser Chiefs, play.
What I hadn’t realised was that we were actually going to Soccer City!! The stadium that hosted the World Cup Final and where Spain won the World Cup! We were so excited as we really wanted to go and visit this stadium at some point during our stay.
Zoe (Thea’s daughter), was kind enough to drive the mini bus and so off we went to Soccer City, which is only about 15 minutes away from where we are based!
Approaching the stadium was incredible. It is a beautiful and very big stadium designed to look like a traditional African pot. The architecture is stunning and seeing it during dusk made it all the more special.
Even though we came early, there weren’t many people around except the odd fan dressed in the yellow and black colours of the Kaiser Chiefs.
We were all very excited as we parked and made our way over. We were let in the stadium by a Welsh guy, which was a bit bizarre. On the way into the stadium we had to buy ourselves some Vuvuzelas, it wouldn’t have been an African match without one!
As we walked into the awe inspiring, yellow stadium we greeted with a complete party atmosphere. A complete contrast to the hostile atmosphere we encountered at the Boca – River Plate match in Argentina.
Even though we had allocated seating, we could basically sit anywhere we liked since the arena was so big and the number of fans so few (a total of 8,500 turned up in total). And so we went to sit near the pitch side where the party was taking place!
Loads of the fans were doing crazy dances, singing, blowing their vuvuzelas and other strange instruments. You could hardly hear yourself think but it was great fun. Lots of fans also had their good luck items which are characteristic of African football games. Of note was the man with the huge cabbage and one fan carrying a big green cake around with him. It was bizarre but very interesting.
Suddenly whilst we were dancing, I looked up at the huge screens and there was Heidi. So I shouted at her and then the children saw her and they all shouted “HEIDI! HEIDI! You’re on the screen!!”. It was so funny! You’d never think it happens to you. We later found out from the children at TLC that Heidi was also on TV too! It was so funny. I tried to take a photo but just as I took it changed from Heidi to another fan.
The match was actually really good and finished 3-1 to the Kaiser Chiefs. The South African World Cup star Tshabalala (who scored that amazing first goal in the World Cup) played really well and scored 2 great goals and set-up the third!
The fans were very happy and even though the stadium was not even a tenth full, the noise was deafning. I can’t begin to imagine what a full stadium of Vuvuzelas would sound like!
Half time was funny too. George, one of the volunteers with us, had been recruited by some other fans to have an ‘S’ written on his chest so together they could all form ‘Kaiser Chiefs’ across their bodies. The group was then asked to go on to the pitch at half time to have photos taken, and they all received a goodie bag with Kaiser Chiefs merchandise like t-shirts and hats.
Then they got taken down the tunnel to a VIP area where they met different people as well as the players! He got to shake Tshabalala’s hand! Needless to say when he came back to his seat, he was a very happy smilie man! All his mates back in England also managed to see him on the telly!
All in all it was a superb evening and the children absolutely loved it!
Today we went to represent TLC with Teacher Sue at a showcase of community projects that was taking place at a local Afrikaans church. There were all different types of projects and charities showing people what they were doing. Between the church services, people would come round all the stands and ask questions about the various projects. If they took interest then they could sign up to get involved by donating money or volunteering or doing something to help.
Our stand was simply decorated with a table cloth, a baby car seat, a laptop with a continuous loop of photos, a sign and some of the baby’s scrap books. What really made us stand out though, was that we brought along two of the youngest babies from the nursery. That meant lots of people, particularly women and young girls, would come to us to see see the babies and go ‘Ahhhhh’. We had the cute factor!
It was a really good morning and we got to chat to people about TLC and raise awareness about the orphanage. Lots of people signed their names to be involved in some way. One little girl really wanted to take one of the babies home with her. In the end, her Mum gave in and said they would come and visit so she could meet all the babies.
When we returned at midday, all the children spent the afternoon in or by the pool enjoying their day off from school.
One thing I can’t believe was the news I heard when I returned back to Misty River. Crawley are playing Man Utd in the Fa Cup at Old Trafford! Unbelievable! Annoyingly we won’t be there for it but hopefully we’ll be able to see it on telly somewhere.
It was a typical morning and afternoon today. One scary thing that happened though was little Christian who fell over his new flip flops and had a tooth go through his lip! Ouchie!!!
He had to be rushed to hospital where he quickly got stitched up. The hospital treatment is expensive here, it cost 2000 Rand (£200) before they would even see him!
Fortunately he returned in the evening and although he was very quiet he seemed ok.
Of note today was the arrival of another new baby named Adam and the technology work we did with Kieran and Benji during home schooling.
The assignments involved building different types of boats so we paired up and built a raft, a polystyrine canoe and a reed boat. All three turned out to be quite successful considering the lack of resources and materials we had.
This evening we took Dominique, Paul and Benji to the mall for two reasons. Dominique has been participating in school sports and has been doing well. She doesn’t really have proper footware for the school competitions she is in so we offered to buy her some trainers.
Benjamin had some vouchers that he got for Christmas, which he hadn’t had the chance to spend. We went to the toy shop where he bought a skateboard, a model BMW M3 car and a cuddly toy!
Paul pestered us for some football trading cards and a little rugby toy figure so as they were cheap we gave in and made his day.
A lovely girl called Fay who arrived on Sunday and is one of Becky’s best friends told us today that her Mum has actually been following this blog! It’s so funny since we don’t know Faye or her Mum so she must have found our blog on Google. Hello Faye’s Mum!! Welcome to our blog!
Yet another new baby arrived today, this time a girl called Chantelle.
Thursday was an early start and a late finish. We took Josh to Rugby in the morning and then in the evening we went to Becky’s leaving do. It was a great night with the company of some really nice fellow volunteers.
The night began at Misty River where Jet invited Heidi and I to a drink as she was leaving that night. We’ll really miss her as she was such a nice person to have around!
We then got picked up in the mini bus by Zoe and went to a nice restaurant in one of the nice areas of Jo’burg. Afterwards, we went next door to a small bar/club for drinks and some crazy dancing.
It was a really nice evening with lots of fun, banter and laughter. Becky seemed like she had a good time, which is the main thing. We’ve grown to like her and she’s a good friend so it’s sad that she is leaving.
Nothing too out of the ordinary happened except we changed rooms at Misty River moving into Jet’s old room. It’s much smaller than our massive 4 bed room we previously had but is still very comfortable and contains everything we need.
Another baby arrived making it 3 this week! It’s so sad that so many little babies are being abandoned or not cared for!
I’m glad TLC is there to make these little lives so happy…
Mighty and Similo
Ok, to finish off, another episode of Mighty and Similo’s life lessons. This time, the boys are joined by James to discuss how to avoid getting ill!