If you want to a few hundred South Africans to give you a “what is that white person doing?” look, I recommend taking up marathon training. I’ve found that people around here do NOT get the idea of running for fun. Like, at all. When you go for a run, it’s like some sort of a weird parade.

All the kids are super-excited to see a white person running by their house. Usually, they’ll run up to the fence and scream the only thing they know in English: “How Are You?” If this does not achieve the desired effect, it will be followed in short order by a “HOW ARE YOU!!” And if that doesn’t work, approximately 80 kids will appear from nowhere and join in. If you smile back and say it back; this seems to placate them.

With the adults, it’s generally the same story. The women are polite, if not a bit puzzled, and will raise their arms and give you a “yebo” — the catch-all greeting in this area. The men generally just stare until you say hello, at which point they’ll smile back. For the men, I’ve settled on the universal greeting I learned from soccer — the thumbs up. I generally raise my hand up a little over my head, tilted at a rakish angle, and extend the thumb. “Sawubona.”

It’s a small town, so it’s generally considered rude if you don’t greet everyone that you come across. It’s a good thing I’m so slow, or else I might develop shoulder bursitis.

Why I’m Running:

I want to raise enough money to sponsor two promising African ladies: Elaine and Mandisa.  It costs $80 so sponsor Mandisa for one month of Imagine Scholar costs — this amount pays for her transport, healthy food in class, school supplies, and many other things. For Elaine, it’s $78. Lump those two together and you get $156/month. Multiply that out my 12 months and you get a very achievable fundraising goal: $1,896. Please donate at my Crowdrise page here:


Weekly Statistics:  

Miles run: 18.85 (33.18 total)

Average speed this week: 5.8 MPH (look out now!)

Calories burned: 2,884 (5,073 total)