Welcome to Rwanda

Touchdown for Team Rwanda in the Land of a Thousand Hills! At least, I’ll have to take people’s word for it. As when our plane landed at Kigali international following an overnight flight and a quick stopover in Belgium, there were no hills to be seen. 

Just a blanket of cloud and some steady drizzle. It was just like being back in England. 

Well, except in every conceivable way. This is my first time in Africa, and after months of looking ahead it was a little surreal to finally be here. 

Once we were all stocked up with essentials – coffee and cabs – it was all aboard the bus to be greeted by Tall Eric. Having heard plenty about him, I can confirm, he is indeed tall. 

We left the airport and headed across Kigali to sort out some kit and, with Eric taking some supplies out to the National Stadium, we were left in Giles’ capable hands. 

Pastries, fruit, scrambled eggs and potatoes were all wolfed down in between fiercely fought games of car park cricket, and the odd nap. 

Despite having nine keen cricketers in our group, we were all shown up by a local security guard who swaggered to the crease and proceeded to flay our bowling to all parts. Let’s just blame exhaustion from the flight… 

After a chilled morning, it was off to Musanze where we settled into our home for the next few nights. The trip up into the hills was an opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep, while those of us still awake were treated to the sight of baby monkeys playing in the forest beside the road. 

Anyway, the hard work starts tomorrow! 

In past life I was a sports journalist, so in true dodgy local newspaper style, what have we learned from our first day on Rwanda? 

1.Time here is a very fluid construct 

2.Road markings and signs are more of a suggestion than a rule

3.The success (or lack thereof) of Sheffield United may just affect the mood of this group in the coming weeks

4.The weather isn’t always going to play ball 

5.We need to improve our slip fielding and bowling plans (particularly for local security guards with a surprisingly strong offside game). 

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