Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Americans in Tweeling!

We had been looking forward to Tweeling’s first American visitors, Amy, Ashley, Todd, and Mark since they made their reservations in February. Everyone, and most of their luggage, arrived on June 23, the day after Refeng-Thabo officially closed for its scheduled break. (For those of you following the Teacher Strike Drama, the strike was officially resolved during the first week of the scheduled vacation, with the unions accepting a 7.5% salary increase.)

We believe that Tweeling hit it’s highest-ever tourist influx when we pulled into town on the night of the 23rd. The Motales had prepared a feast for our visitors and all of the neighborhood kids had waited up late to dig into the “Welcome to South Africa” cake that our neighbor baked for the occasion.

The next day we spent the whole day in Tweeling, starting with a street soccer game and make-up session.

We took the Americans on a tour of Mafahlaneng Township, where we visited with Mr. Mosia, the Sesotho teacher at Refeng Thabo, and he served us up a chicken feast at his home in the township. We also visited Yvonne, the woman who works as a cleaner for the Motales, and her family. Residents of Mafahlaneng were very surprised to see 6 Americans walking around the township, but were incredibly gracious, posing for pictures and inviting us into their homes.

One of the highlights of the day was Ashley and Mark’s distribution of the “I Love New York” t-shirts that they brought as gifts. Amy and Todd’s Cleveland Cavaliers t-shirts were in the luggage that didn’t arrive with the passengers, but we were able to give them to the Motales the morning before they left. Someone in the Motale family has been wearing a New York or Cleveland shirt ever since.

We left Tweeling for an amazing vacation with the family on June 25th, which we’ll post pictures from on the next posting.

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