“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Last day of boodling club

Veronica finishing off Tracey's hat
They were some serious hangovers sat around the breakfast table this morning…. The American lad actually looked green and in quite some pain. Smug mode doesn’t come close.
It seems Vinny enjoyed his day more than he let on as Irish Andy and another guy Paul decided to come with us to the farm today. Both are incredibly tall lads who are on the construction project and placed at a nearby site, building a new school.
We watered the newly dug maize field whilst the boys continued digging the holes to drop the seeds into. With everyone’s help, the field was completely finished and all seeds sown by lunchtime, so instead of waiting around during the 2 hour lunch break, the boys headed off into town whilst Tracey and I prepared for the last boodling class of the trip. Veronica had told me she wanted to make a cloche hat today, so I set about making her a sample one to copy in a baby size.   No sooner had I finished it when she walked through the door having already made one, in an adult size, which she promptly gave to Tracey! Grrrrrrr.
Starving by 11am we opened our packed lunch boxes to see a few cold chips and a hard-boiled egg each for lunch. Not great, but it was something.
Boodling club was packed again and on account of the competition and mention of prizes tomorrow, the ladies were being very secretive and not bringing their competition entries with them in case the others copied their ideas… they cut more materials, asked for help and advice about making bag handles and increasing or decreasing stitches. I cannot wait to see what happens tomorrow when we get to see all their finished work.
Rachael came along today from the soap and glass workshop. She is keen to help make sure the club continues when we’re gone and wanted to meet some of the ladies and learn the basic stitches herself. Biltong had finished carving and varnishing another 5 hooks, so I caved in and taught some more of the children.
new students learning on the last day
When our taxi arrived at 4pm, the ladies were still massively engrossed in cutting and boodling desperately trying to get everything finished for tomorrow. So much so that Tracey comically went into “teacher” mode, and started shooing women out of the room. We almost had to man-handle them to get them to move in the end.
Went into town to get the rest of the supplies needed for tomorrow, but yet again fell at the first hurdle – so we ended up in Kubu having a beer instead. The party shopping will just have to be done in the morning on the way in. I don’t think I will ever truly appreciate African ways.
We made it back for dinner of cold veg mixed with pasta and mince (which we think was soya pieces again) and found most of the volunteers still hungover and shattered after their half day of working. Quite amusing really – Tracey and I were talking last night about how we couldn’t manage such late nights with booze and loud music again these days and it turns out nor can the youngsters!

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