Thursday was festival day in Masindi.
The team arrived at the ground at 09.20 to set up. We were all amazed as we walked into the ground and found 9 of the 11 teams already there and the other 2 teams were on their way.
In the end we had 5 pitches and each school managed to play a minimum of 3 rapid fire games, 385 children playing and another similar amount watching and cheering the players on.
The top 2 teams St Edwards & Nyakatoke then took part in the final, it was a very exciting affair with both teams playing brilliant cricket – Nyakatoke batted first and scored 50. St Edwards managed 49 in reply.
Masindi Army barracks were awarded a prize for sportsmanship after narrowly missing out on the final they showed great spirit throughout and always made a big show of shaking their opponents hands after each game irrelevant of the result.
Once again our friends from TASO were able to attend and carry out free HIV testing and counselling, 79 children and several adults took up the chance to be tested including the whole Family spirit and Masindi army teams, luckily all those tested were negative.
It was a fantastic end to our visit to Masindi with all the children, teachers and coaches really embracing the spirit of the game and encouraging and cheering each other on.
In the afternoon the team were invited to tour the TASO facility, it was a very informative afternoon looking around the facility including the counselling rooms, pharmacy and offices. This didn’t take long as despite the fact that the clinic currently serves over 4,000 patients the size of the facility was no bigger than an average GP surgery back home.
It was also interesting listening to their goals and ambitions for the future. Their hope is zero new cases by 2020 and they are targeting the 15-24 age group currently ahead of others as this is the age where most new cases are occuring.
Then in the evening we spent a relaxing hour or so at the Window of Life babies home, this is a new orphanage in Masindi that is home to 16 children and run entirely by women so it was nice for the children to have some male company and they really enjoyed the attention, playing catch, and hitting some balls.