With today being Sunday Phillip our driver was on time and immaculatley turned out after already attending church, 90% of the people here are catholic and as is often the way the impressive church building dominates the centre of town.

Phillip is a remarkable man who seems to have undertaken many roles in the short-time we have been here not only has he picked us up each morning and returned us to the hotel in the evening but he was seen shaking hands with the players before the big football game as well as handing out the trophies. He has been pressed into the more serious business of ambulance driver when a sick child needed to be taken to the hospital some 10 miles away, he also is big on time keeping and everyday reminds the teachers to ensure they arrive for 10 each morning. All of these tasks I am happy to report he undertakes better than his weather forecasting which proved to be woefully inaccurate last night. A sign of how much it rained could be seen when we arrived at the stadium to see the middle of the pitch was still a mud-bath, not that this seemed to deter the local kids who were still happily playing football straight through it.

We had promised the teachers that we would finish at 1 today so that they could spend the rest of Sunday with their families, a decision that was greeted with delight by all of the group. Having spent the last 2 days working on skills today it was time to look more at how an actual match takes place. We started by working through some of the fundementals of the game, how runss are scored and methods of dismissal etc. and then moved into umpiring signals and scoring. This all culminated in an 8 aside pairs match played to the national rules used in the schools tournaments here. It pains me to report that this ended in a pretty heavy defeat for my side as we scored 46 runs in reply to the other sides 95. It would be unfair to suggest that the game passed seamlessly but after 2 days coaching it is a marvel to see how well the game flowed and some of the talent on show. Another positive was hearing several of the players using the HIV/AIDS messages throughout the game especially during the inevitable run outs.

With no scheduled days off in the three week trip other than travelling days (not sure 5+ hours in a bus can count as a rest day), this afternoon also gave me and Rich a chance to spend sometime exploring Gulu. I am sad to report that last nights planned trip into town was aborted through a combination of the weather and fatigue. I am not sure how to describe what we are doing here, it can’t be called ‘hard work’ as this by no definition can be called ‘work’ so if anyone can help me fill in the blank of ‘hard _______’ I will use this in future on the blog. The bonus to last nights stay at the hotel was the textbook chicken curry and the tension of eviction night in a Ugandan Big Brother / Uganda’s Got Talent style show, the big talking point being the judges saving Doreen after a tortous performance of Imagine by John Lennon and instead evicting local favourite Samantha.

I am now sitting here watching the second set of the Wimbledon final and seem to be attracting some strange comments as the locals seem unsure as to why a Brit is cheering Roger Federer, the term surly Scotsman doesn’t seem to be cutting it… Jackpot second set Federer, I am now heading back into town to the Ethiopian restaurant, watch this space.

Click here for more pictures of downtown Gulu

A torrid opening spell of fast bowling started our first match in Lira

One of many big sixes witnessed during the game

This stunning catch in the deep was another blow against my team

A spectator ponders this strange English game