An early start as we prepared for the big migration and to ne honest we are all rather disappointed that David Attenborough is not around with a film crew. Ghazi is wedged in the back row of the bus behind 3 cricket bags, 4 suitcases and 3 ruck sacks. Luckily the amount of luggage around him stifled the moans and groans emitting from our Staffordshire rep so we pretended nothing was wrong and carried on. Needless to say the Nairobi traffic was awful, and the heavy overnight rain had meant driving conditions had changed from bloody awful to effing ridiculous according to the Kenyan Road and Automobile programme (KRAP for short).
It did not take much longer than an hour for us to rid ourselves of the sprawling Kenyan capital and we started seeing the real country. The landscape changed dramatically into rolling green hills, with busy farmers working their land. To make things better we met the lady who was in charge of cricket in the Nanyuki area in a restaurant called (very unimaginatively) ‘The Trout Tree Restaurant’. Basically its a trout farm and you eat in a tree. It does what it says on the tin, especially if you like trout. If you dont like trout, dont go! On the menu there is whole trout, masala trout, tandoori trout…. trout every which way you want. Though I thought it was going a bit far on the dessert menu with trout sorbet and trout cake with custard. Seriously though, highly recommended.
As stated we met Aliya, a South African lady who was here working in a baboon conservation project and missed cricket so much she made it her mission to introduce cricket to the area. Now, to start off with I thought she said Baboon conversation project which I thought was absurd and asking alot from the primates. Then she said she had introduced the Maasai and she won back our admiration immediately.
She direct us to our camp for the week in Nanyuki – The Sportsmans Arms. As we arrived we were greeted by ‘Big Dave’ who informed us he could organise anything for us. And he meant anything!!!
We had one session that afternoon, at the Tumaini Orphanage. Unfortunately if life is not tough enough for these kids they are all HIV+. Obviously, none had seen or heard of cricket before but we gave them a quick idea, went on to their field and set up 2 games of non stop cricket. What happened next was remarkable. We have never, without fear of contradiction, seen so many kids laughing and smiling for such a sustained period. We all, to a man, came away with such a feeling of delight that we had managed to help these kids have such a huge amount of fun. It was beyond a doubt one of the best experiences of our lives.