Random Post…dem swimming days!

Posted: September 18, 2012 in Routine, Uncategorized, unique
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Earlier on while I was heading to town, I noticed something that took me back to the 90’s.
A group of about 8 boys aged between Nine and Fifteen years old were cooling themselves from the hot midday sun.
Guess how? By taking a swim, fully naked in what is usually filled with water during the rainy season like now…and a grazing ground for cattle when it’s dry.

They seemed oblivious of the attention they were creating from the pedestrians.
At first, I laughed, then my mind wandered back to the days when I was just like them.

Being a bushman, I didn’t start my swimming in a baby pool like most of this days’ kids.
I started it in a pond!
Yes a pond where tadpoles were a common sight.
Being the youngest always in the group, I wouldn’t be allowed to venture in the deep waters.
I knew it was for my sole good.
That’s why it was common for me kuparara every Saturday afternoon after a swim.
My hair wouldn’t be spared either by the green algae.

Unfortunately, my parents who grew up in Western province where rivers are rare, never understood why we would endanger our lives swimming.
Hence, needless to say, every Saturday evening, someone would be caned for swimming.

In our childish ignorance, we never knew kuparara was what was selling us.
After an afternoon out swimming,
we would hastily apply Petroleum Jelly on the forehead, nose, lips and chins…totally forgetting the ears and cheeks!

Ironically, among the guys I would go swimming with, I am the only one who finally learnt how to swim.
This wasn’t on a silver platter though, I would drink liters of water daily.
One wonders how typhoid and other water-bone diseases kept off.

Not all the memories are sweet though. One time someone took our clothes and threatened to go away with them if we did not step out to be punished.
The riverbanks had a plenty bamboo population.
Everyone…except the youngest hehe….got a few strokes in exchange for his clothes.
That was the last time we went to that site…but it wasn’t the last time we swam on rivers!

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