Saturday, 2 May 2009

Another fun long weekend...

This weekend is the last long weekend in a long while. South Africa has had around five public holidays in the last month or so, resulting in three long weekends in the past four weeks. In fact, the last time we had a five day working week was the week of the 30th March to the 3rd of April. These next few weeks are going to feel like an eternity in comparison to the month of April!

It was nice to have a great couple days spending time with good friends again. I had initially thought of heading to Cape Point Nature Reserve yesterday but then an sms (or text message) received earlier in the week quickly put those plans to death. It was from Lee and Dana De La Rue, inviting me to a Mercy Ships braai at their place out in Kraaifontein. Spending time with former crew members always takes priority over any other plans.

Lee was the Chief Officer of the Africa Mercy and Dana was a primary care giver onboard and they are both amazing people and good friends to me. Knowing that some former Mercy Ships crew members would be there, I also invited my friend Jamie (who's doing Gateway and Mercy Ships with me in June/July) as it would be useful for her to get tips and hear stories from some of the South African Mercy Ships contingent. It was great to see the De La Rues again (and their children Emily and Lucy and the new arrival, six-week old Judah Luke), as well as Katherine Spindler (Academy teacher) and Cindy Hawkins (Receptionist), and have a lovely meal together and reminisce over memories and stories from the past years. Good times. The first photo above was taken last December in the Dining Room of the Africa Mercy of myself and the De La Rue family. The second photo is Emily and Jamie taken last night.

Then tonight my Dad and I took Jamie and her Child Life friend Danielle to a Cape Town - and indeed South African - tradition. A rugby match at Newlands Rugby Stadium. The Cape side, the Stormers, were playing the Waikato Chiefs of New Zealand in the southern hemisphere's largest rugby competition, the Vodacom Super 14. This tournament sees provincial teams facing each other from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. It was a great time, although the Stormers did lose the match 28 - 14. It's always nice to introduce traditional South African sports such as rugby to Americans who are not familiar with it. And it's also a great cultural experience in the rugby stands, with all the different accents and languages and cultures!

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