This was a sign at the front gate of today’s secondary school, the Lobatse Senior Secondary School. At my high school the motto at the front of the school was ‘virtute et veritate” (with truth and courage!) so this shows you the contrast between English Schools and Batswana Schools in terms of the messages being prioritised.
We arose at 6.30am and had our usual breakfast of eggs, beans, toast and the mystery meat (today it was beef sausage). We then packed our bags and set off for Lobatse, which was about 75km from our hotel in Gaborone. Half the team were asleep in a matter of minutes as we travelled in a packed minibus with all our kit and the two BCA assistants.
With imodium consumed, suntan applied and, in my case, bandage tied on, we made for the tennis courts at the far end of the school grounds to begin some teacher-coaching. With Graham in command we set about going through a number of drills (as we do with the kids) but making sure they understood the ABC messages attached to the drills and ensuring they could repeat the drills – this means that when we leave Botswana the lessons we have taught the children can be repeated and passed on. The coaches were quiet to start with but began to open up, and one coach Raymond really got into the swing of things, wearing his newly awarded CWB t-shirt all afternoon. The other coaches were all smiles when they got their certificates and helped us out all afternoon, often without prompting.
After 3 hours of the adult-coaching we had gone through warm ups, batting, bowling and a game (three drops in 6 balls off Raymond has to be gaffe of the day!?) and then we crawled out of the heat and away for some lunch, which consisted of Pap, Beef, Coleslaw, Beetroot, Dumplings, Gristle (Ian’s favourite) and some refreshing soft drinks.
The temperature peaked at 37 degrees and didn’t drop much over the course of the day. However our spirits didn’t wilt as we battled on in the afternoon with approximately 55 kids coming along for some cricket. For once we expected more children and ended up with less (a CWB first?). We were happy about this to some extent though as the heat really meant energy levels were dropping. The children at this well-funded school were very talented though and we felt that some Botswana cricketers could well emerge from Lobatse in years to come. The ABC messages were delivered ably as well by all of us and I personally felt given the conditions we had our best day of the trip so far.
#notsoinvincible Gaffe of the Day goes to me again, for the impressive sunburn on the back of my legs as well as the trio of dropped catches in one over. Special mention goes to Ian, who attempted to fill his water bottle without taking the lid off, although he redeemed himself with some excellent gaffe-avoidance in Choppies.
Tomorrow night we have our game at the BCA oval against the Pioneers. If we are all as drained as we are tonight, we could be in for a short, gruelling game of cricket.