Well, this morning we woke up early, really early. To put it into South African context, we woke up at midnight to go and debate! Hectic bru! Anyway, we got up and after a good hour of fighting off the urge to sleep against anything that stood still long enough we were totally ready to slay anything and everything that crossed our paths today.

The University we participated at today was just down the road from the Convention Center (about an hour’s drive). This morning the scholar’s challenge and the debates took place and this arvie we took part in collaborative writing. The scholar’s challenge provided a lekker academic challenge for us, and although we didn’t smaak it we are all hoping for the best! As far as the debates are concerned, we won some and we lollipopped (lost) some. The scoring of the debates is not solely based on whether a team wins or loses, it incorporates a large number of criteria that score points towards the final score for each individual, which will be revealed on Thursday.

Onto the collaborative writing. Feedback from the teams once the collaborative writing had been completed suggested that the collaborations were sweet. Collaborative writing is basically debating on paper where each member of the 3 person team has to choose a different topic of the given 6. Each person writes their own essay and then they collaborate with the team on all three essays to ensure that all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed. The positive thing about debating on paper is we don’t have to try to make out what the other okes are saying. You know those occassions when you don’t hear what a person said a couple of times but then you’re too polite to ask what was said the third time so you just nod and agree? It was kinda like that today – tickets.

To be honest, we were chuffed when it was time to board the bus back to the hotel. We really enjoyed the challenge of today but the combination of the early start and the highly intellectual debating left us feeling a little empty inside – like a Volksie bus without any passengers. It could just have been that we were a bit skraal though.

The part of the day that we had been looking forward to was taking place in the evening – the cultural fair. The cultural fair is an opportunity for each country to display items or images that depict their country, to share local delicacies with people from other countries and to show off and sell your country to all passersby. The Safricans put on a show that the rest of the world could only feel lekker-jealous about. We had so many awesome things to give away that people couldn’t help but stop by to scope what was going on. We had magnets, flags, dvds, pamphlets, peppermint crisp, booklets, rulers, bandanas and fizzers to dish out to any and all. We would like to say a huge thank you to the South African Embassy in Thailand for so kindly allowing us to use the Nelson Mandela cardboard stand, ethnic drum and backdrop and well as providing so many items for us to give away to the visitors. Thank you as well to Grace Trinity for providing ribbons, magnets, food and their expertise in working on and welcoming visitors to the South African stand.

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At some point two Vuvuzelas appeared, as if from nowhere. Now we all know how kak it is to have someone nearby who is blowing a Vuvuzela in your ear. The only thing that could be slightly worse is when someone is trying to blow a Vuvuzela but farts instead due to all of the back-pressure. Kak sound and kak smell, I mean come on! Some of the foreigners attempted to blow into the Vuvu, only to look like elephants in the act of trumpeting that have had their trunks stepped on. Hilarious!

Sergio managed to commandeer a mini Vuvu. We’re not exactly sure what it’s supposed to sound like when blown but we’re pretty sure it isn’t supposed to sound like the mating call of a duck. The sound was of no concern to Sergi however, as he kept on ‘ducking’ pretty much the entire evening – only pausing to give us a sheepish grin every now and then or to try an item of food on offer. Amo, Micaela, Taylor and Lerato dressed in traditional African attire and really looked the part. It seems that the outfit helped Amo to immediately discover all of her African roots. She entertained us with her antics and even turned to beating on the animal skin drum that we had on the stand. A few aaaaiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeyeyeyeyeyeeeeeeeyeeees (if that’s how it’s spelt) came out while she was at it. She was the star of the show!  Cameron attracted visitors by painting faces with lines and dots, filling the arena with people who either had their face painted or were carrying a South African item from our stand in their hand.

It must be said that all countries put on excellent displays. It was truly an honour to walk around the venue and be greeted with such enthusiasm. Enthusiasm based not only in their desire to show you what their country has to offer but also to find out more about you, who you are and where you come from. If the world could operate at even a 10th of the levels of camaraderie, love, respect and acceptance of this microcosm, it would be a much better place. Perhaps the impact of this competition will only be realised in a number of years when the products of this system have the opportunity to lead the countries they so proudly represent.

As I write this it’s 3:00 and we need to be up at sparrows for another full day’s activity. Not much time to catch a lekker dos, it had better be just a kip then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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