Day 13 – Festival comes to Lira

So day 13 has arrived, our third and final day in Lira and also our last day working with children and teachers on our trip. Grace had arranged for an 8 team tournament but knowing what has happened on our trip so far (Uganda in general!) we expected the unexpected.

We arrived at the playing fields (adjacent to the local airfield) ready for our 9am start. Somewhat worryingly we were the only ones there. However in good Ugandan time the teams finally started to arrive. Once we had enough teams present out Tournament Director Olly got things underway. By around 10:30 two teams still hadn't arrived so following some phone calls Grace and Grant led by our driver Joseph went off to pick them up. Joseph, Grace, Grant and the bus returned with slightly more kids than expected (we won't mention the comparison between bus capacity and kids on the bus) but nonetheless they had returned. By this point we now had 11 teams, nine primary school and two secondary school teams. We played the two secondary school teams off against each other, with them challenging their teachers afterwards. Was a good sight to see when the kids convincingly beat their teachers.

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Whilst this was going on the Primary school kids were hard at it in a tournament of their own. Some serious talent was on show, let alone the levels of enthusiasm, good to see after the short time we'd spent there. After much fun was had we got an eventual winner after a slightly one-sided final and their reward was a kitbag for their school to use after we'd gone. 

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T-shirts and CWB Wristbands were given out to all participants and also some additional Cricket shirts for each school. The remaining Wristbands were handed out to the rest of the kids present. This proved somewhat troublesome with the kids seeing the Wristbands like a lion sees a lame antelope, two of the team nearly got squashed against the bus in the scramble! Needless to say before long the Wristbands were all handed out, Cricket sets distributed as fairly as possible and the team headed back to Lira for a bite to eat.

After visiting our favourite takeaway for burgers and samosas like the previous two days, the team had the afternoon off to explore the town. Several of the team took the opportunity to visit the local market. Olly and Simon doing what football fans do abroad and bought a local football shirt each. Mark and Colin however went one step further. Once Colin had purchased the brush his minibus back home has been missing, Mark and Lesley purchased pots for their gardens back home. Then a moment of madness occurred, Colin and Mark saw a charcoal powered Iron. Sensing a chance to spend their last remaining Ugandan shillings they purchased one each. What they will do with them when they get back home, who knows, an ornament maybe?!

The team reunited at one of the local hotels for a bite to eat before the younger members of the team headed off the the local nightclub 24/7 to sample some Ugandan nightlife with just the small matter of a seven hour drive back to Entebbe via Kampala ahead of them the next day.