So here we are in Musanze, a city in northwest Rwanda, the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park and home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys (apparently). Today, however, was all about meeting the community – our first session was with 29 local school teachers, coaching them on the CWB messages around HIV and introducing them to the game of cricket.
We rocked up to the playing fields surrounding the Ecole des Sciences and soon realised that this session may involve a lot more people. It did. A lot. Who knows how many, but plans quickly changed as JV and Anna went off to ‘fire balls into the air’ to entertain the scores of kids who were eager to join in as well. Think pied pipers.
We estimate to have brought 2,000 tennis balls with us – we could have easily given them all away today , and so hard not to. It’s amazing to witness what joy such simple games can bring! The throws, catching ability and natural skill were unbelievable too.
In the afternoon we introduced the ABC messaging (Abstain from sex, Be Faithful, use a Condom) to a group of Musanze Polytechnic students. For Clive to talk to and engage a group of teenage boys talking about sex and HIV was the best outcome we could have hoped for. We may also have discovered some future national players – watch this space!
So all in all a really rewarding first day of meeting the locals of Musanze, bonding with our team and soaking in the beauty of the views of Mount Karisimbi and Rwandan life.