Sunday, November 2, 2014

Busy weekend.. goat races anyone??

swim meet on Friday night, ABC came in 2nd place out of 4. Kate and the rest of the kids did really well.. It was obvious that all of this practicing has really helped Kate and her swimming ability... She looks very strong swimming and is right in the pack.. The swimming here is impressive.. Very much like home and taken very seriously..  We seem to have some type of swimming "gala" each weekend for a while.. In two weeks, we drive 4 hours to Blantyre for an event.

Saturday brought 4 games of soccer for Kate (only 20 minute games.. they went 0-4) and a craft fair in the afternoon at the local International school. It's exactly like a fair/ festival at home.. Crafts, food booths, except these booths were run by Indian women who made delicious samosas, etc.. beer booths, live music, etc... We bought some souvenirs, opted out of getting my face painted and Michelle gave blood at a local blood drive.

Michelle and I dropped the kids off at home, then headed to go grocery shopping.. Saturday afternoons seem to be a great time to go as no one heads out on the weekend... Weekends are weekends here... I like that concept..
On the way home, I stopped on the side of the road at a makeshift tire repair shop.. It's not really a shop, just a  pile of tires, a few tools and a group of guys willing to work on tires if needed.. I noticed one of our tires was low on air, so I had them look at it.. they rushed over, grabbed a bucket of water and assessed the situation , looking for air bubbles as they ran water over it... They found a small leak, asked me to pull over, grabbed a couple rocks and a jack and went to work. As they removed the tire, they found a nail stuck in the tire as well, patched it up and I was out of there in 20 minutes.. As they finished, I asked the guy how much... It was one of those moments similar to the movie "Vacation" where Chevy Chase asks the mechanics "How much?" and the mechanic says.. "How much you got?".... Anyway, I asked how much, he laughed, thought it over and said 6500 kwacha... I think he was waiting for me to come back with a lower figure.... but for about 15$ they seemed to have fixed the problem... Now, did they put the nail in there as they assessed the damaged initially??
Maybe... I shocked the guy by agreeing to the price , and we were on our way..  You can find anything here.. and any service... and usually, they do a great job..

Our guard Joseph is always kindly telling me that our truck is very dirty and he'd like to clean it.. Thanks Joseph. We know we are gross.. and when he cleans it, he politely piles all of our wrappers, scraps, bottles, etc in a nice neat pile.. Kind of saying.. "You see all the crap you leave in your car?? It's really gross and wasteful!" Yesterday he wanted to do the job, but we told him we were leaving in an hour and Joseph stated he needed more time.. He came in early this morning and detailed the whole nasty truck.. I woke up at 7 and he was out there scrubbing away... It is now 10:30 and he just finished... I told him how much I appreciated his help and he stated as usual... "It is part of my job"... I offered him extra money for his time, but he refused.

Michelle has taken up the habit of picking up the local newspaper for them to read each day and we bought a subscription to National Geographic for them to read on our iPad..  Cosmas particularly likes this and told me yesterday that when he reads the paper he feels like "he is able to see the world".   They sit in our yard for about 8-10 hours at a time.. I think the least we could do is give them a newspaper and a cup of tea.. ALot of ex-pats would probably frown on our doing this, but Michelle and I are bleeding hearts... "softies" as my mom would say.

Around dinner time, we took the kids to school to watch a movie in the pavilion outside, then headed home around 7.. Michelle and I were asked to go to the "Goat Races" .. It was supposedly a fundraiser for a local cricketing club, so we decided to go see what all the hubbub was about.. It was alot of fun and similar to  events at home. Dress up, wear a tie, jacket, fancy hats... and bet on.... goats.  The even was nothing but ex-pats... no Malawians in attendance..Alot of Americans, Brits and mostly South Africans....  We were able to bet on a few races and I think I cleared about 10$.  Michelle and I were on the fence about going.... I think our time here is so limited and we thought... do we really want to be social? try to make friends, etc?? We came to the conclusion that we should try to soak it up as much as we can, look forward to getting home to reunite with great friends, but we should make the most of our time here..  The goat races were just like being back in fort thomas..  I was glad we went.

Today is a lazy day.. Kids are playing around the house, jumping on the trampoline, painting pictures.. it's about 140 degrees outside so we will head to the pool this afternoon to soak up some sun.. I'm a sap on Sundays and miss home.. I listen to in the mornings because they play great big band music.. I think I've mentioned this before but if you're driving around town, check it out.. 89.3 on the dial.. then later today we'll grill out and Ill probably dial up some Hall and Oates channel...  Missing home, but doing well.. ..
The videos below are of the craft fair, and a quick clip(poorly shot) of a part of the goat races.
checking out the race

Box made of beer caps