DanCING AGAIN (BUT THIS TIME US)

It was no surprise when our departure time on Wednesday was changed at least twice before we set off, but we soon got underway.

On arriving at our first destination we discovered that the children had not finished their previous lesson, but some ventured out of the classroom out of curiosity for which, according to a heavily pregnant teacher, JS was entirely to blame. A typically lively CWB session ensued with the kids so eager to get to the front of the various lines that fighting broke out at some stations. Gabby introduced more of her seemingly endless repertoire of new songs and drills and we left another set of happy and messaged youngsters.

A non-cricketing visit to a local centre for the rehabilitation of street boys was next on the agenda and Charles, the boss, proudly explained the organisation – where kids are taken in for six months, receive education and social care and are then re-united with their families. The centre was started in 2006 and several of the alumni have gone on to university and leading professions and some are employed at the centre as teachers and care workers. The boys are taught art and produce some terrific work – and Frankie took the opportunity to add to his art collection by purchasing a piece.

We then visited the Meg Foundation – a charity-funded community day centre providing opportunities for children outside the mainstream education system. The organisation is run by Meg, an English lady, and is known colloquially as ‘the English School’ as the children are well versed in the language. They sang us a brilliant welcoming song, and after a very smiley session of cricket also performed a dance that had been choreographed by one of the teachers – and inevitably involved us being invited to join in.

In contrast to the facilities on offer at the previous two stops we next travelled to the splendid National Stadium – a true all-grass cricketing oasis in a land of very sparse facility. There were another 150 kids waiting for our input and we were joined this time by a couple more local coaches as we played games of continuous cricket around the outfield.  Then it was back to the same school as the previous day where we worked with some of the national team as well as another group of eager beginners. Only the onset of darkness stopped us.

After finding our way to the predictable pizza restaurant we dined to the backdrop of Champions League football and then detoured slightly on the way back to the hotel so that Ed could look for a pub that the owner offered to sell him for US$100,000 last year. The building he identified turned out to be the Kenyan High Commission and the Security Guard seemed very surprised to see a bunch of foreigners trying to get in!

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