Phew, today was a busy one!  After yesterday’s near miss on the ‘legendary CWB day’ front, we were firmly ambushed today.  As we entered the first school, there were a few dozen kids milling around that soon ran over to inspect what we were up to.  Sarah and Beth were first off the bus and quickly established that the school had 2,500 students.  Then the noise started.  Floods of children began running from the buildings at the far end of the playing field and we were soon engulfed, with each CWB coach marooned in their own sea of curios Kenyan youngsters.  The tide continued until a carpet of children filled nearly half the playing field.  Our original plan hadn’t just gone out the window, it was on a plane back to England by this point.  As each team member struggled to communicate with one another over the throng of primary students we hastily tried to come up with a new plan of action. DSCN1560

(Saf stranded in the middle of a sea of hundreds of children)


(getting them to sit took a while. Some of the children had even gone back inside by this point)

As it turned out, we’d arrived at the beginning of the morning break at which 700 children (thankfully another 1000 were taking exams) are given 20 minutes to entertain themselves outside.  Today, we were the entertainment.  We got some ABC and CWB chants going, even resorting to just bouncing around and making strange noises. Eventually, the teachers managed to get a large proportion of the students back inside, leaving us with about 180 kids for the coaching session.  As we drew our demonstration to a close and were preparing to split the kids into groups for Kwik-Cricket, we once again heard the ominous screaming of small children B-lining for our direction.  This was about to ruin everything, having already spent a lot of time trying to get to this stage. 

Spotting the impending danger that the arrival of these kids would bring to our hopes of running any kind of coaching session, Carl sprung to action, sprinting towards the kids in a bid to head them off before they made it onto our playing area.  He made it, just, and with help from Nicolas managed to halt the advancing kids.  The rest of us set about starting the Kwik-Cricket session, leaving Carl and Nicolas as chief distractors of the on-looking crowd.  Carl’s rendition of the Hokey-Kokey whilst surrounded by over 100 kids was a particular highlight.  Session complete, we headed for lunch, slightly shell-shocked but with broad smiles. 

In the afternoon, we visited two more schools, the first a primary followed by a secondary.  It was encouraging to see two sets of bright yellow cricket stumps and bats being used as we entered the first of these schools, which had been left on the last CWB to the school two years ago, proving that the charity’s legacy does live on.  Approximately 120 children at the school then watched one of the worst CWB demonstrations so far.  When explaining that one should abstain from hitting the ball in the air, it’s useful if one can actually hit the ball in the first place.  Two failed attempts from Beth saw Carl step in to help get the point across and not lose the impact of the point.  Three air shots later, he scurried away leaving Sarah to just about bottom edge a catch somewhere in the vicinity of Ian.  With the majority of the CWB coaches hunched over following Carl’s shocking batting performance and the kids in hysterics, the demonstration was brought to a swift end and games were commenced.  Coaching session completed, Beth and Sarah led their group over to the goalposts for photos in a mass conga line, while Nicolas brought his group over to the tune of a Kenyan chanting song. 


(playing cricket, funnily enough a key feature of CWB)


(Carl demonstrating a text book forward defensive at the end of the session.  He was brave to come back following the disastorous demo at the beginning)


(Carl with local street kids who we involved in the coaching as well)

The final school we visited went largely without a hitch, although the teenagers we were coaching lacked the same enthusiasm of the children we’d seen at the first two schools.  However, we still got across the key ABC messages and gave them a run-around for an hour or so. This completed a long day, where we coached around 550 kids and come into contact with close to 1000, following this morning’s tsunami.  A successful day, although we nearly didn’t make after Charles, our driver, took the bus for a clean last night and stood watching from one side as the bus was given a once over while his remaining quarter tank of petrol was siphoned out of the other side.


(the sign at the entrance of the final school we visited today)

This evening we followed Saf’s, our cultural attaché, recommendation and headed out to a local restaurant.  We were expecting fish, but actually ended up in a curry house, however the meal was very good.  We’ve also had unconfirmed sightings of a pink flamingo in the roof top bar this evening, but on closer inspection it turned out to be Gellers’ sunburnt legs.  I’ve also been bullied into putting into print that I got clean bowled by Beth earlier today.