Today we travelled to Moshupa to a school called Kgabophuti which it situated about 60km away from our hotel. Once again Sam had arranged appointments with various contacts so was unable to join the team. In her place, we had Shameelah, the Botswana U19's Women's captain who assisted brilliantly throughout the days chaotic schedule.
A Botswana '13 CWB first happened today! David didn't fall asleep en route to the school. After the usual quick stop off in the local supermarket we arrived at the school. We were led towards the staff room where we were met by 10 enthusiastic teachers claiming that we were late! (I think the African watch has found its way on to all of our wrists) After a quick introduction of ourselves and the teachers we led them out on to the playing field. Two batting drills, a bowling drill, a demonstration of what cricket looks like and a game of pairs cricket were held incorporating the HIV/AIDS message at every appropriate moment. At lunch, after having a little discussion about how the rest of the day was going to be run, Carl asked a couple of questions about whether the message that we were trying to convey was making sense. This was met by various responses, all brilliant which we found more promising than previous schools because they seemed to understand exactly what CWB was trying to achieve and how they could introduce it to their P.E lessons. We then talked about whether the kids talk to their parents/carers about the ABC messages. The answers were mixed but equally interesting with some of them saying it would be great if they could get the parents to come and see some of the work we were doing in action at the school.
At lunch we were looked after Adil, who was a local sponsor who took us to his house nearby to find a feast waiting for us. After an African half hour we headed back to the school to set up the various sessions for the children. Obet, the Cricket Development Officer for Botswana had told us that we should expect 60 children (two classes of 30). Within minutes of being back on the playing field, we had those two classes. What we also had was a steady stream of children coming through a hole in the fence at the bottom of the field. This steady stream meant that Carl's warm up had to be slightly adjusted every 2 minutes adding more teams to the ever expanding group. After several head counts from accountant Tracey, we estimated that there were between 200 and 220 children.
The chaotic batting and bowling stations were going well now although at one point after a switchover of groups Paul and Scott managed to have 0 children whilst Carl and Gemma had 100… This was quickly sorted out and as the games progressed, more ABC chanting was heard throughout the grounds of the school.
When the games had finally come to an end and we had the children sitting down in a reasonably organised fashion, Carl and Gemma, started teaching them 'If you're happy and you know it' which they got very quickly. What proceeded after this was something a little bit special. After the singing had finished, Carl asked if the children could teach us a song. After a few nervous giggles, one little girl stood up and came to the front. She started singing a Christian song about Jesus and within seconds, the rest of the children were joining in. At the end of her song, Carl presented her with a cricket cap of which he had 12 of. For the next 15 minutes or so, one by one, 11 more children stood up and sang a song which each time was met by an audience of approximately 200 African children from various backgrounds all singing along with massive smiles across their faces. As is always said with CWB, each volunteer will come back with an individual story that they will want to tell everyone. This was one shared by all of us.