I recently read that people will only have a few truly special moments in their life.
Sitting with a coffee and breakfast in front of a perfectly clear Mount Kenya on our second last day I realised what this meant and that this trip was one of my truly special moments.
The second week in the Lolldaiga Farm House has to be the best volunteer experience available to CWB. We were fortunate to have at least two hours of safari on our daily commute for a week. Images of the group sitting on top of the Land Cruisers whilst sipping a beer and enjoying each others’ company will stay with me forever.
In terms of the real “work” in Lolldaiga we trained 34 new coaches and were again close to 1,500 kids coached. However the distances within these areas are simply vast and will prove a major challenge for spreading cricket and the ABCT messages. One of my favourite stories is that a Maasai Warrior player walked for six hours to attend our coach education day – now that is commitment!
The schools tournament was a great success and included a CWB first of having voluntary AIDS/HIV testing stations next to the field of play. In total 100 people were tested but I regret that we as a group didn’t have more time to be role models and get tested ourselves. The slightly more sobering stat from the testing is that you would expect at least four people to have given positive tests from the 100.
It’s hard to describe to others how incredible Cricket Without Boundaries trips are and how much they mean not only to the volunteers but also the local people. I have to thank all the Cricket Kenya guys in Nakuru and Aliya who works tirelessly in Lolldaiga for making our trip possible. Special mention has to be given to “little” Peter Langat who is the perfect model for the kind of coaches that will make CWB sustainable and successful. He didn’t even play cricket until two years ago and now, aged 19, is a fantastic player, coach and insightful man.
Finally I’d like to thank Jeremy, Holly, Luke, Lee, Ed, Sarah and James for making this trip one of my truly special moments. I will continue to come back every year and I have no doubt that all the other volunteers will too. The stories, giggles and memories we shared will keep me going through the dark winter months.