Monday, August 24, 2009

The Ostrich Migration!

Do ostriches migrate? Not sure, seeing as they don't fly.

But this ostrich did. The Botswana Hash (also known as the Kalahari Hash) migrated, as it does annually, to some place in South Africa, just south of the border. The way it goes is that 90 km or so are covered by various teams, each team responsible for a bit of the distance. And then among each team the runner carry an ostrich feather duster, and change every so often. In the case of the old folks, it's very often, in the case of fitter folk, it's less often.

Being among the fitter folk, I was not only among the first team,but also among the second team (as was all of the first team, what with the second team not getting visas in time to enter SA). A five am rise, 6.30 am departure, 8 am running start. 'Sprint', we were told....And so we did. With the pick-ups and drop-offs it means, essentially running behind a car. Not so good for the lungs. Also not so good for the interior of the car, given that most of the running was on dirt roads, which were very sandy. My car had the additional disadvantage of being well-oiled inside, given my home-made salad kept in a box, specially bought for it's nice closures, but which leaked all over the place....

What with the second team not arriving, we had to cover a total of 27.4 km between five of us. Then I had to drive for a South African team....Later, I also took on 3 km of a cycling leg (again someone had visa problems), and finally joined another team of 6 to cover a further 6 km. Plenty of running was done, and waiting while we drove ahead of other groups and waited for them at the end of their leg. The landscape was deserted, which was just as well seeing as it might not have looked very kind to see an older person running after a car full of younger ones.  And at around 4.40 pm we had all arrived!

See hashes? See different cultures? The Botswana hash is very nice, a family kind of hash, with people of all ages. The South African Hash, mentioning no towns of origin, but they were not that far from the BW border, were a rough lot. Geeez, their songs - the Botswana hash was covered in embarrassment while listening to the SA lot. It's interesting how different hashes attract different folk.

SA got well carried away with themselves; there was one (rather butch) woman who gave me a hard time all day, over this, that and the other, finally kneeing me in the groin over me burning a lid of a cardboard container. No harm done :-). I was shocked at the time and it was only later that I thought that maybe she fancies me and does not have the words to express this....some sociological studies have been done on how little boys make friends, and they often beat each other up first before becoming firm friends. There's not much danger of that on my side, but I wish I had thought of that at the time and grabbed her in my arms and kissed her! That might have sorted her out!

Some people camped, in a seriously nippy temperature; I shared a room with another guy and in fact was very warm indeed (though by the time I showered in the morning no hot water was left).


moderator altus said...

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Please link back if you feel like it.
The name is SON Viola Globetrotters.
Regards, Björn Carlén, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Sweden.