Nkandla Day 26 - Rain Soaked Soccer Tornament

The absolute worst aspect of the day was the weather. During our entire five week stay in South Africa, NEVER had we seen worse weather than that day. From beginning to end it was freezing and completely foggy. You could barely see 30 feet in front of you, much less from one end of the field to the other. As a little cherry on top it even started to rain. The rain out here is so bazaar sometimes because it’s not like normal rain…it’s more like a constant annoying mist that drives a person to insanity. You still get soaking wet, but it wasn’t enough to cancel the entire day. So we powered through.

Out here, there is this mystical thing called “Africa Time.” It is such an annoyingly hard concept to grasp, but basically it means that nothing, and I do mean absolutely NOTHING, starts on time. One of the natives explained to me that it’s because they “spend more time on people.” He elaborated that if they have an appointment to be somewhere, but are in the middle of talking to someone, they will not cut their visit short to be on time. Spending time with people is much more important than being punctual, and that kind of makes sense, unless you are trying to organize an event.

So back to our tournament… yes you guessed it, it started almost 3 hours late. It was unbelievably frustrating. We had planned to start at 11:30am and we even paid for taxis to pick up students from far away schools. Velangaye, which ironically was the closest school, (not even a five minute walk from the field) was the last to show up. To make it worse, they decided to bring the ENTIRE student body with them. It was horrendous. Over 1600 students gathered on and around the soccer field making it impossible to organize the teams. Finally after over an hour of getting things somewhat figured out and clearing the soccer field of the throng of students, the tournament was under way. Meanwhile, remember it’s freezing, we’re all soaked to the bone, and we could barely even see the players on the field. At the end we gave all of the players certificates and the 1st and 2nd place winners trophies and medals. I’m not really sure how the actual players and coaches felt about the day, whether they were miserable with us, or if they were completely distracted by their own competitive spirit, but I have a feeling it was more the latter.