A September Throwback Story
Here in Boston we’re only 2 weeks into the fall rugby season and already I’ve had so many South Africa-infused interactions :)
1. On Saturday after a D2 women’s match, Beantown vs. Morris, I joined the teams at their post-game social. When a player from Morris pointed to me at the bar and gave me a squinty-eyed-look I approached her and said hello. She asked me where I got the jersey that I wore in the game from and I said, “Maties! I went to the Maties ref academy for 2 months!” I asked her why she asked and she started saying something about how the words on my jersey said…
“SKEIDREGTER!” I shouted before she could finish her sentence.
My new South African friend then repeated “Skeidregter” again in a proper Afrikaans accent. Skeidregter is Afrikaans for ‘Referee’. Turns out she was from Joberg and went to UJ.
Later in the day I sat down and met a Beantown legend, Mikey, who founded the Cape Verde Rugby Union and has only just returned to the US after living abroad for 8 years. Woa! I would’ve loved to sit and listen to her tell stories and share her experiences all day but it was time for dinner.
2. On Sunday at a men’s collegiate match, I gathered one team around me for their pre-game chat. The captain, #10, gave me what I’ve now decided to call the “I recognize something SA about you” squinty-eyed-wheels-spinning-look. He pointed at me and said “Cape Town? Where…” I didn’t need to wait for him to finish formulating his question before I excitedly replied “Yeah! Western Province! I was at the Maties ref academy in Stellenbosch!” He then turned to his team before I even had a chance to introduce myself and declared to his teammates, “alright guys, she’s legit!” I smiled and laughed.
PS. The pictures are screenshots from my GoPro film of the games!