Day 1 in Kayonza
I would just like to start off by apologising for what you’re about to read as I am not the brightest spark when it comes to writing interesting blogs, so here it goes!First day in Kayonza started off with a early start (early mornings are not my cup of tea) and we coached over 800 children in one day. The feeling you get is indescribable getting of the bus, feeling like celebrities and being bombarded with hundreds of kids wanting to hug you, high five you, touch your hair and them giggling in Kinyarwandan (God only know what their saying and thinking I have a few ideas in my head but I’ve been told to keep the blog PG).
The day of coaching started with a primary school doing the usual catching, bowling and batting games. And the odd occasional dance off, which those of you who know me know I have two left feet but my dancing seems to be working a treat so far.
We have been catering our coaching sessions around any number because we get told we will have 80 kids and then have 300, so either the teachers can’t count or the kids are so excited all of them want to join in. Probably the latter!
The next school we went to was a private school and was an amazing experience in itself. We interrupted a lesson and was sung to along with sections of the bible being read to us all in English and to top it off the classroom was only named after yours truly. The school is split into primary and secondary so the group split up and we had slightly more manageable numbers. Jhon and I had to fit in a sneaky dab while running around like lunatics shouting “AWOOGA” (don’t ask me what it means but the kids love it). In between all the mayhem, we’ve even stopped to take a bunch of nice photos of people.There was a slight lunch break and the team couldn’t stomach just having crisps for lunch, so it was off to hunt for some food but the only food we found was at a petrol station so we all sat round a petrol pump snacking on samosas (good job myself and Thom didn’t light up a cigarette).The day draws to an end with one last school and I found a child named Hope who I tried to take home with me but there wasn’t enough space in the van. Just when we thought the day was over, we played a very serious match with the local university to warm ourselves up for tomorrow’s international cricket match. Obviously we won but we did have the odd cow grazing on the outfield, which was an experience in itself.
Day 2 in Kayonza
The group split in half and the boys went to an all girls school where they even managed to get a nun involved although she wasn’t impressed with Jhon’s tattoos – (I don’t know why maybe it was the Netflix and Kill one that did it for her). Papa G (Thom) and the Gorilla-ettes (myself and Claire) went to a calm and well behaved manageable group size of 30. After that we also got on a motorbike taxi and made it out alive which was paid for by our pimp (Thom).Meanwhile the Marmalade Pope made his grand entrance at the hotel and came out to play for a short 5 minutes but we were told there will be plenty more of him in due course. Those of you who have been lucky enough with the Marmalade Pope’s presence will tell you it’s an experience in itself (although his nose does look a lot like Jhon’s from the CWB team – long, red and pointy). After the early morning start it was off to get Bob (the 9th member of our group and the HIV lead for our Rwanda team) and he has already became the life and soul of the party and made a great addition to the team. He hadn’t slept for over 24 hours and it was off for him to join us in our international cricket game. We were playing a local side at Rwanda’s national cricket ground.
We were fielding first and had numerous people taking wickets – Jhon with his cracking throw spot on at the stumps, yours truly from a great catch from Young Eric, Rob other wise know as Lob (African children struggle with the R) took the off stump out the ground. Ian had a shaky start – the nerves from his first international game got the better of him, but he finished with a wicket so it was all behind him and he batted like a pro. Finally the captain, Papa G, not only took a few catches but he only caught and bowled the president of the Rwandan Cricket Association – first ball!We ended the first innings chasing 153 with all the Rwandan team being out (yours truly with the last wicket) – it was a good job we had Tall Eric (he plays for Rwanda) – he scored a whopping 87 runs and without him we would have struggled. Rob came out of retirement and for an old fart he can sure hit them. If I didn’t mention already, Bob not having much sleep he then came out to bat and it was a pleasure being able to bat with him – not sure whether it’s because I didn’t have to run for quick singles or whether his technique on hitting the ball was awesome. We managed to both hit some boundaries including a shot from myself scoring 3 runs off one ball – those of you who know me would know unless someone was dangling chicken in front of me to make me run faster, that 3 runs was pretty impressive.The game finished with Bob and Jhon (although Jhon only got in because I felt sorry for him and wanted him to get to bat and I still scored more runs than him) and it is my pleasure to announce CWB won their international cricket match and currently unbeaten – all that is left for me to say on this matter is come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough, although Eric must be present if you want to play the CWB team.Finally, for those of you who are wanting to know there is no KFC out here but I have plans to build one in the future which means I’m slowly wasting away (cue a Jhon comment) and I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m not stuffing my face with KFC or having to wait hours for food in the evening but we are beginning to get used to “African timings.” The day ended with a burrito bar and the now traditional African power cut.
Written by Hope Dear – (who is heavily dyslexic, very entertaining and addicted to using brackets).