It was a quiet weekend in Mafikeng for me – just what I needed. On Friday, 6 of the 14 teammates hired a bus and headed to Sun City and Pilanesberg Game Reserve for the weekend. I stayed back with Suro, Savi, Paola, Lucia, Julie, Tarik and Leigh. We had happy hour by the pool as the sun set and then hired a taxi to take us to the better of the two ‘malls’ here so we could go to Pick-n-Pay, then eat at Ocean Basket. And while the taxi driver assured us 5 could fit in, he showed up in something no larger than a Prius with a friend already up front. The friend got ditched, Tarik took shot gun and Leigh, Paola, Julie and I crammed in the back seat. There are some funny photos floating around from it, but I don’t have them yet. It was a low-key Friday night with nothing work related and nice company to chat with.
On Saturday, we went in search of local crafts and artisans. Savi arranged for the hotel shuttle (Wait – What? We’ve been at this hotel for two weeks and are just now learning there is a free shuttle we can arrange to get us places??) to take us to Mega City Mall where we were told there would be a pop-up type market. It was a single man and a table of his trinkets. Strike 1. I was told there may also be some local arts at the Mmabana Center just a block from the Mall so the shuttle drive took us there. The Mmabana Center is a performing arts center and while it did have a tiny gift shop, it wasn’t open. Strike 2. We then recalled seeing a sign for a “Fun Day” at the International School in town and Simon, the shuttle driver, said he didn’t mind taking us there. It was actually a nice fundraiser for the school with food for sale, pony rides and bounce houses for the students, small games to win toys, and a pretty intense soccer tourney for kids of all ages. While we didn’t find any crafts – Strike 3 – a few teammates stayed for 2 hours to watch the soccer and be outside. Leigh and I came back to the hotel just before lunch and did T-25 before I got to Facetime with Landon and Dave. Lauren was at a sleepover still — thank you Bodes!!
The rest of the day was spent in my room doing all the things that I hadn’t gotten around to during the week. Things that are totally and utterly boring, but made me a happy camper for getting them done. I washed dishes, did 4 or 5 sink and bath tub-loads of laundry, checked all the online accounts and reconciled my expenses since being here, read about half of Allegiant — the third book in the Divergent series, organized pictures and worked on blog posts, did a hour or so of research for my work project, unpacked and re-packed all my bags because I was going crazy losing things (critical things, you know, like pens and lip gloss 🙂 ). I met up at the hotel restaurant for dinner with Julie, Leigh, Paola and Tarik at 6, but skipped out of the ensuing trip to the club, Ninos. The crowd that went stayed quite late and had a really great time.
I slept in on Sunday until almost 9 am — the first time an alarm hadn’t woken me up since arriving in Africa! Back to the hotel restaurant for the free breakfast buffet and catching up on the evening’s night club activities. I put in 3 solid hours of work on a presentation for the client on Monday, then took a break to check out the putt putt course in the front of the hotel. For 30 Rand ($2.80) we were thoroughly entertained! We also discovered that there is one restaurant that will deliver pizza (Wait – What? We’ve been at this hotel for two weeks and just now figured out there is pizza delivery?) so 6 of us split 4 large pizzas. It was by far the quickest meal we’ve had here by only waiting 45 minutes for delivery and then 15 minutes to eat. All other dinners have clocked in at over 2 hours.
Effie and Chandra returned from their trip around dinner, so we met up at 7 pm to go over the presentation that we will give to the clients Monday morning.
All in all, a very quiet weekend, but it was something that I really needed after going non-stop for over 2 weeks. Next weekend I’ll be ready to explore again!