On Saturday March 14, 2015 we got a phone call that proved to be an opportunity to check off one of the things on our South African bucket list. Shortly after arriving in South Africa it became quite apparent that South Africans love their sports as much, if not more than we American do. The two sports that appear to be top on the list are rugby and soccer. Attending a professional rugby game became one of our bucket list items.One advantage of going all over the free state and Bethlehem and Phuthaditjhaba is that we get to be involved with missionaries from lots of different districts and three zones. The young missionaries seem to like the Senior Missionary couple. I am not sure if it is the fact we feed them so often or if we are mom and dad substitutes but they invite us to participate in their activities quite often.
The Elders of the Bloemfontein District along with Elder and Sister Huls and Elder Edington and I all had the opportunity to attend a Toyota Cheetahs rugby game against the Cell C Sharks. We payed R 80.00, which is about $7.80 US dollars. We could not imagine a professional sports game would be so inexpensive and so much fun as well.
We had absolutely no idea about the game or how it is played. Not a problem though because Elder Keizer, a rugby playing Africans Elder from Johannesburg was sitting next to us explaining everything that was happening as the game went on.
The pregame activities consisted of hundreds of thousands of balloons, motor cycles and dancing girls. It was quite interesting to see.
Some of the missionaries were supporting the cheetahs team and some of the missionaries were for the Sharks which made the competition a lot of fun.
It was loads of fun to watch the game but we had just as much fun watching the friendly banter going on between the groups of missionaries rooting for the opposite teams.
Rugby is very different, yet quite similar to American football. We would have been totally lost and confused if it had not been for Elder Keizer to help us out. He explained what was happening, as it was happening. We are still far from expert about the game of rugby but at least now we can watch a game and have somewhat of an ideas of what is going on.
We are very grateful for the fact that we have another senior couple living here in Bloemfontein, Elder and Sister Huls. They have become our friends and confidants and our partners in crime. Actually we support each other and help each other do the work that is here for us to do. They have come to our aid many times and we have been able to return the favor several time as well. Friendships that are developed on a mission are brought about by the need to depend on each other for help and support. We are grateful for the opportunity to get to know and love such wonderful friends.