An overview of Day 4 through the eyes of Gary Shankland…

Another busy day today saw us coach 190 children, plus sneak in a short visit to the Rwandan Orphans Project. Unfortunately it was also the day that saw us say goodbye to Emma and Phillip who have been fantastic members of the team and have thrown themselves headfirst into the coaching and HIV/AIDS awareness work of CWB. I know I speak for the whole team when I say that they will both be sadly missed.


This morning saw a depleted team (Lee and AJ taking the morning off to attend a meeting which actually transpired to be tomorrow – good planning chaps) enjoy a great session at Excella Primary School, with 120 children receiving coaching. It was great to see a high level of awareness of the ABC message amongst the children and teachers and we discovered some fantastic raw talent amongst the group. All of the team have now taken a lead role in a coaching session and you can really sense everyone is growing into their role here.

Lunchtime saw the Duchess presented with the gift of a Bongo Drum from the Rwandan Cricket Association. After saying our goodbyes, the Duchess and Phillip headed off to the airport and the rest of the team headed to the outskirts of Kigali for a session at Kanombe. Despite the school field being underwater (when it rains in Rwanda, there are no half measures) we managed to provide a lively session to 70 children, using a gravel car park as a base for training.


The day was rounded off with short visit to the Rwandan Orphans Project. It was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip so far for me, and I think the rest of the team feel the same. The ROP is a fantastic place and is currently home to 95 children between the ages of 3 and 18. The sea of smiling faces and cries of “come on bowler” that greeted our van’s arrival set the tone for the next hour, which was spent playing cricket with the children. We also met the newest resident at the ROP, a small boy of about 4 who had been living on the streets and came to the ROP’s attention when he attempted to attend a local drop-in school. You can tell from his beaming smile that he is fully settled at the ROP and the stability they will provide him with will undoubtedly change his life for the better. It was difficult to drag ourselves away, and I cannot wait for our next visit on Sunday.


As I write, the team are enjoying a well earned Mutzig and looking forward to a quiet night in and tucking into a dinner that Emma kindly cooked for us before leaving. I am not sure that George could handle a repeat of the motorbike taxis and visit to Planet that occurred yesterday.