South Africa: Day 5 (Lunch with the Potgieters)

We had plans to attend the LDS ward in Milnerton and told Gcobisa that we would pick her up at 8:40 am. But we shouldn't have underestimated the power of jet lag. I was the first one to wake up, at 9:00 am. I texted Gcobisa, told her her that we weren't going to make it to church, and then promptly fell right back asleep until 11:30 am. . . a new record for the Ballard Family. 

Steve hurried and drove out to Blouberg to pick up Gcobisa while the rest of us got ready. And then we all drove to Bellville to have lunch with Jacques Potgieter and his family. 

I have been acquainted with Jacques for the last seven years, and he was instrumental in sorting everything out with customs for our Shoes for South Africa project and lining us up with the Big Tree Foundation. But it's kind of a funny story how I know him. 

Back in 2006, when I was a part time eBay seller, Jacques bought some 36x36 pants from me. I generally only ship domestic, but he sent me a message explaining that it was hard to find clothing his size in South Africa. Completely empathetic to that sort of a situation, I agreed to make an exception. 

Over the years, I have became more of an exporter. Jacques orders things from online companies and other eBay sellers, has them shipped to me, I hold onto them until there are enough items to make it worth the crazy high shipping prices, and then mail them onto him. He always includes a few extra dollars and tells me to get some Ben & Jerry's, so I'm happy to help. 

The first thing everyone asks when a package arrives at our door is if it's something for them. So Jacques' name is used frequently in our home. . . because quite often, the packages are for him. I think everyone was a little curious to meet the mystery man and his family: 

He and his wife were very kind to invite our family of eight over for lunch. We sat down and visited, and then had some wonderful spaghetti bolognese. With milk tart, a traditional Afrikaans dessert:

The kids had a great time playing with Jacques and Danielle's three children: 

Danielle was a great sport, and didn't seem the least bit bothered that there were seven children running all over her house: 

Adam and his new friend, Jamie, were born just two days apart: 

These three boys were quite the clan. Sebastian (on the left) is the South African model of Amanda Van Orden's son, Connor. 

Their home was well decorated, with beautiful hardwood floors and a fireplace. It would fit in well in the Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City. 

We spent quite a few hours visiting/playing and the kids had a difficult time saying goodbye. Nelle almost came with us: 

On our way home, we decided to stop at the Canal Walk shopping mall in Century City. I got my very first picture of a woman carrying things on her head. So amazing: 

Canal Walk was the largest shopping mall in Africa (and the Southern Hemisphere) when it opened it December 2000. It's where we took Derrick shopping when Steve's mom sent us money to buy him a new pair of shoes when we were here in 2002. Again, it's the sort of thing you would expect to find in Las Vegas, not South Africa.

The kids were hesitant about going to a mall, since we normally don't shop on Sundays, but we needed to let them run around for a little while before we went back to our hotel.

We did some window shopping:

We watched cricket on the humongous television in the food court: 

And then we were ready to go: 

In hindsight, we should have had the kids run some more laps at the mall. Everyone was awake until 2:00 am. 

1 comment:

Keicha Christiansen said...

I love the Jacques story! How great that you got to finally meet him in person.