It all started when a rather mad woman called Karen aka Noeksie sent me an e mail giving me a brief outlining of her weekends to come for the next three years. (This might be a slight exaggeration, maybe the next three weeks.) I looked though it and I came across a trip to the Magaliesberg with the kids from the Abraham Kriel home in Johannesburg.
It looked like it could be fun and I was very keen to get away for the weekend with some kids and forget about myself and life in Joburg for a bit! I arrived at the Harteebeespoort High school twenty minutes late due to the extra twenty minutes sleep I had! (sorry Marie I have to rub it in!). We waited another half an hour when 14 expectant faces and whole lot of noise showed up! 17 boys piled out of a 9 man combi, I sat watching as more and more kids kept out. Just when I thought everyone was out more would come out. We drove to Rob’s house to drop off my car and to have a lemon throwing competition.
Shue, boys are very busy. I kept thinking if it was little girls how quite and serene they would have been. Quite happy to sit and chat about hair, makeup and boyfriends – all the important things in life! Next it was off to Junods farm to set up camp and of course to play another round of lemons… as the lemon throwing competition was later called! Everything seemed to run very smoothly as everyone got busy making lunches and setting up camp for the night ahead! Once everything was done we all piled back into the bus to drive to Mooi Nooi for a walk and some swimming. Just about everyone had a pair of binoculars or at least had one between two. The walk itself was lovely and I was impressed how brave everyone was.
All the boys had a quick dip, some a rather long dip, Hein definitely showed a bit of a dare devil attitude and Johannes was the first to brave the cold waters. Catching Sushi We walked a bit further to a nice spot for our lunch. Hein displayed some very sophisticated taste when he showed everyone the nuances of fine dining with his display of Sushi eating. Such a display of fine dining was hugely impressive and a further couple of boys followed suite! Donavon was very keen to show his valour by jumping from an 18 metre cliff into the still waters below. Everyone was hugely impressed! With full tummies and happy hearts everyone made way back to the car only to have an even further surprise, a long black slide.
No one could resist this and we all kept going over and over. The next battle was trying to get Marie back to the bus. Once she had discovered the slide she went a record breaking 3 times! - Some children! Once everyone’s adrenaline gland was sufficed it was time to head back for dinner. With the exception of a stop at the spar to get meat for the adults! Dinner was a somewhat laborious affair, eventually everyone ate and then it was up into the lemon orchard for some “play”. Stalk the lantern proved hugely successful and it was a well deserved Michel who finally managed to seize the lantern with out being spotted, as well as becoming R15 richer! Afterwards the guys told me that they were going to play lemons! Since I had already had a string of bad luck, with my fingers being slammed in the bus door and flying lemons hitting me in the face. It was mutual decision that I should stay out of this one.
Some of the younger ones had already gone to bed and about an hour later everyone came back and settled down for the night.
Everyone seemed to sleep quite well and in the morning we awoke to the sound of happy excited voices. Getting up and getting going seemed to be another laborious affair. I was amazed to find how difficult is to get 14 kids and 7 adults ready for a little stroll in the Magalies! After what seemed like a day everyone was ready and eager to do the last hike! By this stage quite a few pairs of shoes had gone AWOL and poor George walked around the whole morning with one shoe and the other nothing but a distant memory! 5 members of the Contingent did the mission barefoot while the shoed members carried the unshoed members for difficult bits of the walk! A real team effort. Would you believe it Rob had one more adrenaline rush waiting for us.
A bum slide into a rather cold pond. “Rather cold” being the operative word. Once again everyone was keen to give it a bash. I made up on this ride for only going a meesly lame once on the slide the day before. Once again squals of delight and excited voices filled the air! Lunch was eaten rather quickly as Jonathon had a plain to catch back to Whales and everyone seemed to have had their fill of fun. It was a wonderful weekend – definitely go down as one of my best! The boys were fantastic.
The SOAPkidz Team I would like to say a special Thanks to Noeksie for organizing everything – you truly are amazing! Thanks to Marie for keeping such a happy medium between everyone! Thanks to Rob for the bus and for organizing all the cool spots and the fun hikes. Thanks Nicoleen for coming, Hein was particularly excited about you coming! Donovan, Johnathon and Ricky – you guys are great. You really have my respect!
Thanks to the kids who without them none of this would have happened.