After the lodge experience yesterday, we all sat down for breakfast with spirits high and a readiness to tackle whatever the kids could throw at us today. Bring it on! Rich was due to go solo today continuing his work with the coaches yesterday, while the rest of the group would head off to a couple of schools to spread the joy. At absolutely no point over breakfast did the two groups argue about who would be first back to the lodge in the evening.

The route to the schools was too bumpy for our beloved bus to go, so our Masai driver Soloman took us all in his off-road Jeep/tank. Quite a few of us decided to stand up through the sunroof for the majority of the journey, which personally gave me one of the highlights of the trip. Imagine being thrown around as much as a roller-coaster, but it lasts for 45 minutes and the scenery around rolls on for decades. The blue racquet-balls that the Tennis Foundation gave us for the trip came in brilliantly here as we fired them out of the truck to children that we passed like Santa delivering presents. Sometimes it feels like kids hide in bushes waiting for passing traffic; they all appear madly out of nowhere running after our bouncing presents!

Anyway, we’re here for the children really, and we had a great session in the morning. Simply because the school had limited the group size to around 70 children, so we sent an equal number off with 3 pairs of coaches. Mac & Squirrel led a game of ‘Head Shoulders Knees & BALL!’, David was maintaining order with his whistle and Tim & Aliya were showing how you wiggle your bum when doing the Okey-Kokey. As the ‘floater’ for the session I spent a bit of time taking photos before feeling sorry for the other children sat around watching (the local teacher with a stick was keeping them back) so I decided to get involved.

What followed was my favourite session of the project. Most of the children didn’t speak any English at all, so I acted mute and lead a load of simple games which essentially followed a ‘copy me’ plan. Before you know it I had them all doing the Macarena! By the end of the session I would have been approaching 100 kids, and managed to keep them entertained with no more than 5 balls and 30 cones. Exhilarating for me personally, I wouldn’t have been able to do it two weeks ago.

For me, this is what the trip is about. Spreading the ABC messages as much as we can in amongst playing games. Generally I’ve found the best games are the simplest, and often the inclusion of a bat & stumps actually makes the session go worse.

We had an even more basic lunch than yesterday (hold the rice) before heading off to another school. This one with Secondary school kids went smoothly, some simple relay games and before you know it our time is up. This was to be our last session in a dust-storm, without sunglasses I think a few of us would be blind by now!

Arriving back at the lodge to find Rich (surprise surprise) looking nice & relaxed, we finished the day with a bit of water-polo (not to be played against a former National player like Mac) and the invention of a new Indoor Table Cricket game.

The general mood in the camp is a mixed one, but I think we’re all going to be disappointed to leave this place…