Monday, April 19, 2010
Sorry for not writing in a little while. Just wanted to write a quick message about playing rugby over here. Some of you might not know that I actually played rugby for about 1 month at the very end of my senior year at Yale, and really loved it. Once I got to Mtubatuba and heard there was a local team, I quickly joined up with the Mtuba Rugby Club.
We've been in pre-season since January and our season kicked off two weeks ago against Empangeni, another town in Zululand. We lost 23-3 but it was a great game, and I ended up getting the "Man of the Match" award for the Forwards (rugby has two general positions - "forward" or "back" - spread out over 15 more specific positions). Last week we played our hated rivals, Richards Bay, and lost 53-7 in what was, by all accounts, a hatred-infested fistfight that happened to take place on a rugby field. These guys take their sport seriously and when you spice things up with a long-festering rivalry, well...it gets ugly. I survived that game, though (mostly by growing eyes in the back of my head and screaming "Get the hell off me, dude!" whenever I started getting punched at the bottom of a ruck). Now this Friday we're playing Richards Bay, again, in Richards Bay, again, but at least its against their Second Team.
There are games every Friday, home or away. We practice Tuesdays and Thursdays at our own pitch and clubhouse here in Mtuba. Rugby is a great social group and a real highlight of my time so far in KZN. I'll plan to write more about rugby soon...lots of interesting stuff like how black and white players interact on the team.
Until then, here's a picture of the team:
Posted by Chris Kaimmer at 11:41 AM
Monday, April 5, 2010
Julius Malema (ANC Youth League leader) recently and publicly sang a song called "Shoot the Boer." Boer = Afrikaans for "farmer;" the idea of the "Boer" is still alive and well in both black and white South African mythologies - the resilient Dutch farmer who subdued both the land and its inhabitants in the 1800s (from the white perspective, mostly justifiably; from the black perspective, less so).
Two days ago, Eugene TerreBlanche, the leader of the Afrikaans Resistance Movement (a conservative right-wing white supremacist political party) - and a full-blooded Boer - was, depending on who you ask, assassinated as a direct result of Malema's song/coincidentally murdered/rightfully killed by farmworkers whose wages he had not paid.
South Africa is in a tizzy after all this. If you're interested, check out a good article at NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/world/africa/05iht-saf.html?ref=africa.
Posted by Chris Kaimmer at 10:23 PM