Hosting an RTI President
A Beer, a Meal and a Bed
It was the 11th of April. Everything was in order for the ARTSA 2018 road trip. Thought I had all my ducks in a row, then we get a call from our outgoing Area Chairman, Philip Barnard. “The RTI President is on his way to Walvis Bay because he wants to see the dunes. He needs a place to crash for the night.” I’m in a flat spin, but, I quickly put my hand up to host the man. He should arrive at around 18h00. What should I feed him? Do I take him out? Is our home tidy?
At 18h00 we were busy playing in a bowls tournament. We were winning. Where’s the Pres?? Call, and no answer. Send Whatsapp locations at each place where he can find me. 19h00 comes, we won our bowls game. Still no Pres? Call again and again. Eventually he calls back. He’s outside Swakop. Ok cool, he’s close.
After the bowls game a few of us headed to 41er Jaco’s home to ‘plak’ the kombi full of RT stickers for the ARTSA trip. Dropped another whatsapp pin. Eventually at just after 20h00 someone pulls into the driveway. There is was, in his skater shoes, Mr RTI President, Yann Tavernier.
After a few beers we left back to my place to have schnitzel and service station chips. After a couple of drinks and long discussions he retired for the night.
Yann’s wife, Ann, really wanted to see the flamingos at our lagoon. So we took them, at sunrise, to a group of about 300 flamingos. These 2 couldn’t stop taking pictures and selfies. Coffee was then had at Flamingo Villas. After some more discussions and some planning we pointed Yann and Ann in the direction of Dune 7.
A few hours later I was summoned back to my home as they needed to get back in. The both of them stated that Dune 7 climb was amazing. They had sand everywhere.
An hour and a bit later a banner exchange was done and they were on their way to Swakopmund. And then we left for ARTSA.
We did see Yann 3 times after that. One was while we were changing a tyre and he sped past. Another was for breakfast on the road. And the last time was at ARTSA.
The experience of hosting a “top brass” tabler is fantastic. Lemme explain. You worry so much on how to impress a President that you forget he’s a normal guy, just like you or me. You forget that this normal guy doesn’t require you to move the moon. All your ‘good friend that you’ve just met’ needs is a beer, a meal and a bed.
Yann and Ann, it was an honour and a privilege to have the two of you in my home.
PS. I’m serious about you catching that shark.
Contributed by Leigh Westerdale