Rain. We like to think we know it well in Britain. A thousand tragically wet days, ruining games of cricket and forcing Cliff Richard to ‘entertain’ crowds at Wimbledon. Yes, rain. We know it all too well.


Well, we don’t. It rains in Kampala like you wouldn’t believe. It rains so hard it makes grown men cry. It rains so hard it makes the bus you’re in start leaking like a burst pipe. It rains as if the sky is having a tantrum. Kampalan traffic is bad at the best of times, more blocked up than a traveler on Immodium, but the city came almost to a complete standstill as the rain did its best to punch holes in the cars on the roads. The boda-boda (that’s motorbike taxis to you and me) drivers hauled their bikes under any cover they could find, which then often proceeded to fall down on them anyway: the rickety wooden scaffolding raising much of the city centre to new heights and sheets of corrugated iron all slipped from their perches as the rain continued to hammer down. The streets began to flood like that corridor does in The Shining, water rushing down them as people hauled out their dinghies to start white water rafting amongst the frozen traffic. OK, maybe I exaggerate, but it rains pretty epically here.


It all ended a fantastic day in which we finished up coaching in Ndejje, a small village a handful of miles north of Kampala, but thanks to the aforementioned Kampalan traffic and dirt roads, in reality it’s a long, bumpy drive – bring a new spine if you ever plan on visiting. It’s a place where pineapples are hacked into pieces by terrifyingly large knives with little regard for health and safety, the chappatis from the roadside vendors taste amazing and the kids’ smiles are massive. We were invited out to dinner the night before at the behest of the bank Standard Chartered, where much curry was consumed and it turned out we were sharing the table with one of Uganda’s most famous stand-up comedians, and today a delegation from the bank visited us as we coached, speaking to children about HIV awareness, tying in with Cricket Without Boundaries’ own ABC message (come on, you know this by now surely? Everyone, repeat after me: ABSTAIN. BE FAITHFUL. USE A CONDOM!… and testing). All in all, it was an interesting day; the best part of 250 kids, the coaches we had trained the day before coming into their own, a cow just happily grazing in a corner of the field we were in. At the start of the first day, if you’d have asked whether we could pull it off, I wouldn’t have thought so. A cheeky Nile Special has been well earned.


Now, on to Jinja…

Samuel Honywill