Today was our first day of coaching in schools in the Laikipia East area.
The journey was particularly treacherous as our drivers navigated us around what I would call cliff edges. They also drove through what seemed like very rough terrain, except for two mud lines where previous cars had driven. However, the navigation wasn’t completely up to scratch as we missed a turning and ended up driving alongside the national park fence – all part of the experience.
Eventually we arrived at our first school, Ererie Primary, but only after being directed by two of the coaches that we had previous taught two days before. For at least the last 20 minutes of the drive there was literally nothing but open space.Even a trustee said he had never visited a school as remote as that one. I have no idea how they got to school at all, let alone for a 7am start.
This time I was on distraction catching, and the language barrier was proving tough. But with a lot of demonstrations, miming and improvisation we got there in the end and coached around 240 children in an hour.
From there it was off to Endana Primary, thankfully just down the road. We were told we were coaching 80 kids, which then turned into 226 – this is Kenya! All coaches were now fully engaged in the running of seven stations.
Everything was going very smoothly, I had even written down and learnt some key Swahili words that would help me with coaching. This seemed to work a treat and I found that the kids were far more engaged and having a lot of fun. This was then ruined by the heaviest rainstorm I have seen so far. Chaos erupted, as the kids ran inside still holding half our tennis balls. There was simply no stopping them. That had to be the end of the days play as the playing field became a complete mud-bath.
It was time for lunch, which we managed to find from a tin-roofed hut in the middle of nowhere, in the thunder and lightning- a safe place to be. The roads were becoming impassable and fearing for getting home, we made a quick dash into the secondary school. No cricket was able to be played, but we did chat to the whole school on our HIV and AIDS messages and get some chants going in just 15 minutes.
We had to take a slight detour home but went the right way this time. The other cruiser even ran over a tree in their path. Luckily the route home back up the cliff-edge hadn’t been rained on, much to my relief. We even spotted an eland and crowned crane on the way home to add to our wildlife scrapbook.
Dinner was an absolute treat consisting of roast chicken, roast potatoes, veggies and more importantly gravy. Tonight was Ed’s last night with us, so it seemed fitting to do fines night- a good day and evening allround.