September 29– October 2 Vryburg (Stop 10 out of 11)
On the afternoon of Saturday, September 29th, after our longest commute since arriving in South Africa, we reached our 10th destination: Vryburg, aka “The Texas of South Africa”.
We began our adventure in Vryburg by jumping into the bed of a “bakki” and heading to a game farm. We saw many different species of game, including kudu, ostrich, and rhino. After Loretta suffered an abrasion on her right elbow (she just wanted to say she had a scar from South Africa!), we rounded a turn to find “6” rhino (4 white rhino and 2 black rhino, including 2 babies) standing in the middle of the road. The rhino were quite agitated when we began to follow them down the dirt road! At one point, the rhino turned toward us with their heads dropped, and we were certain we would be charged and toppled. Thankfully, all ended well and Loretta’s abrasion was the only pain and suffering endured.
On Saturday evening, we ate dinner at “Ramblers”, a private, local tennis club. Many Rotarians joined us for dinner as well as many locals who just wanted to meet the “Americans”. As usual, we had a wonderful time getting to know our new hosts and their friends, and we truly received a taste of Texas (in South Africa, that is)!!
SUNDAY=Rest Day!! Praise the Lord, we had the day off. After attending Rotarian Rev. Eric’s Mahlazi’s Methodist church in the local township, we headed to Wally and Jeanette Brink’s for an afternoon of food and fellowship. On Sunday evening, we sat through the torture of the South African vs. American World Cup Rugby game. Go Springboks!
Monday in Vryburg was full of interesting events, people and places. We began the morning by touring local Rotary projects, including Tiger Kloof, a publicly funded school, operated on private property, where we were served and hosted lunch by the 10th graders. The afternoon continued by each team member spending some time in their respective vocations. On Monday evening, we returned to Tiger Kloof for dinner and our presentation. Many of the Tiger Kloof Interact students were able to attend our presentation as well as “Mamma Ruth”; the current Mayor of Vryburg, previous Secretary to Nelson Mandela, and 33rd ranked political official in all of South Africa. What an AWESOME experience!!
Tuesday morning, we were all packed up and ready to travel to Kimberley. After stopping by “Mamma Ruth’s” office to present her with a SC State Flag, we began our last road trip. We were joined by several Rotarians from Vryburg who ended our adventure by taking us to the Olive Farm and Wine Vineyard in Hartswater before handing us over to the Kimberley Rotarians.
Annie Geddings, GSE Team Member