Parlez-vous français?

A 7.30 start (thanks Victor!) at Elig Essonno,  a nice big play area saw us cope with children that just came and came and came, with over 450 taught batting bowling and catching. Our wonderful French speakers Anouck and Becca made sure everyone was getting the ABC messages, with plenty of chanting and some very poor dancing from David and Tracey. A visit to the head teacher gave us an opportunity to learn about the school system in Cameroon and some of the challenges they face. As always, from a cricket perspective, it is a lack of equipment and from a pupil perspective, the sheer numbers of children in the school, over 3000.

The afternoon saw us on the other side of town for our first visit to Itie school. We set up in a public square as mums and young children walked by and then waited for the kids to arrive. Eventually, after half an hour of watching our local coaches show off their batting and bowling skills as we sensibly sat in the shade, the school turned up. It seems that our start time was the time they were leaving for the 25 minute walk to our pitch. Tracey spent the down time playing catch with some 6 year olds on their way home from school until their mums came looking for them. A lively session with some 12-14 year olds was followed by a break while the first group went back to school and the second set off. A group of rampaging 16-18 year olds (with some ‘interesting’ questions about self pleasure and HIV for Anouck) ran through the skills followed by a frantic game of rapid fire with balls being hit down ditches and along the neighbourhood street.

A big and bouncy day with over 600 kids entertained.

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