Today we headed to Sowa which is 160km out of Francistown. This meant that alarm clocks were set for 5.45am (and will be for the next 2 days) – not many of us were looking particularly chatty at breakfast! Chris was a little bit grumpy at being locked out by Graham, and I secretly think this was due to the latter being upset at having a quiz answer (“I told you it was de Villiers!”) overruled by his roommate on Cal’s Cricket quiz the night before.
We picked up Clem and most of us slept on the way to Sowa. Stocked up on water and armed with our usual arsenal of bats, stumps and tennis balls, we were armed for the swathes of cricketers due our way from all the local schools. However the morning was a quiet affair with only 6 teachers coming along for the coach education. Graham continued to make small bets with Jethro on the number of children we would get and times of arrival. The topic of the morning seemed to be the ‘Tea’ we were due to have at 10am but never arrived.The warm-up was mixed up a little bit from last week, and Cal took over the ‘hand hockey’, Jethro taught the forward drive and Scott coached the bowling with all his usual gusto (gripping the ball like a springbok and making a number 6 in the bowling action both very useful visual aids to the coaching). Tea finally arrived at midday where we tucked into Eggs, Steak and Beans. This was consumed quickly much like a pack of Wild Dogs sniffing out wounded Impala. One particular wild animal, Ian Green, shocked us all by deciding his tea lacked the kick he desired and decided to put 3 spoonfuls of salt into his cuppa despite the warnings of his welfare officer Bronwen. Hilarity ensued. Not only does captain Ian get the #notsoinvincible gaffe of the day but probably the contender for gaffe of the tour. The news then arrived that ‘lunch’ was on its way…
We decided not to have 2 meals in as many hours and took the break to relax (a cheeky nap was had by myself and GG) once the children arrived (2.15pm, which I believe was Grahams prediction) we were busy with 186 children. The teams have been mixed up this week so I am now paired with Jethro doing the forward drive, Chris is paired with GG for the pull shot, David is with Ian on the bowling and Bee is with Scott on the fielding drills. The kids were very enthusiastic today and my favourite moment was when some of the older children in our final group came up with some very dubious scores on our competition – our previous teams were scoring an average of 5 points on the game, so when the scores came in as 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 5 (the honest group…) we decided that everyone was a winner! The ABC messages were delivered successfully and the group piled back onto the minibus for the long drive back to the lodge after having our very late lunch.
We are continuing tomorrow and the day after with the same group of teachers with the hope of using Wednesday as an assessment day to make sure they can continue the CWB style of cricket coaching with an eye to building the HIV messages into their sports curriculum rather than just in the classroom.
I’ve asked the reception but our dodgy internet is likely to be here for the week so unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to get pictures on the blog this week. Don’t worry though – plenty are being taken and we are looking to do some video this week too. Also, many thanks for all the comments – they have been well received by the team. I can confirm that Sid the Sloth would not outrun a cheetah.
p.s. we now have a team mascot, Lawrence the LampToad.