We are a well-organised team. Steve, our Tutor, plans well and takes our input in prep. meetings whilst Project Leader Sally co-ordinates everything expertly. So our planning for two x 2-hour sessions of 160 children – whilst a fairly daunting prospect – covered all the bases. Then another 80 children arrived. Adapt. Be flexible – we had it drummed in at the Training Weekend. We said goodbye to them after the first session: but they <em>did not go.So in the second session the original 160 + 80 stayed on as the next 100 rocked up whilst a further twenty had materialised along the way.
That’s 360. That’s a lot of children. We adapted. We were flexible. And it all ran pretty much like clockwork with a great time had by all with cricket skills and HIV messages dispensed pretty effectively by the team and our newly-coached local teachers. Tutor Steve thought the local teachers showed a strong attitude in getting involved in the coaching, armed by the CWB team with cricket-coaching skills, showing a good response to their mentors. Whilst Steve Wells, our team HIV co-ordinator commented:
Having talked to teachers I have realised how powerful a way cricket is of bringing the ABC message to life. It’s an exciting new tool in giving children an opportunity to experience ABCs in a practical way rather than just in the classroom.
It was quite a tough day for the team but immensely rewarding. Our wrap-up meeting back at the hotel, over cold drinks with the spectacular panorama of the Source of the Nile and the view back up to Lake Victoria, saw us tired but happy as Sally regaled us with the tale of how she was interviewed for local radio during the day.
And how do you get 360 kids engaged? Well there’s Phil. Phil Silvester did a Dad Dance. There, I’ve said it. I didn’t think I would; the Team didn’t think I would. But that’s exactly what Phil did. He was demonstrating the “throw”, obviously a basic cricket component. But he wanted everyone to loosen up. So he did a Dad Dance. 360 kids fell about laughing. They copied him. And believe me they loosened up. We mused later that there was just the slightest irony in an Englishman trying to demonstrate what are best described as rhythmic cavortions (my word) to a large number of kids who have rhythm in their DNA but it was a CWB tour de force. The Dad Dance turned on the “Let’s have FUN” tap.
A good day, and now we turn our attentions to tomorrow. But, I feel that we must not leave without a (possibly slightly censored) mention of last night. We went to a restaurant. We ate. We drank. We were merry. At the end, bill paid and bus awaiting outside, we started to leave. Reece, our youngest member of the team (totally committed, brim-full of ideas) decided to do a tour of the kitchen. Yes, you read that right. As the rest of us got on the bus, Reece decided that he was some kind of Michelin Star Bestower who was required to rate this rather modest Ugandan Indian (and other haute cuisine) restaurant. We don’t know what Reece was thinking. Reece does not know what he was thinking – other than “I thought it was the way out”. Yeah, Reece, nine other members of your party found the correct exit. So tonight Reece asked, in a different restaurant (ok, I accept that maybe it was asked on his behalf) whether he could inspect the kitchen. The waitress, originally slightly flustered at the request, came back saying that he had to “apply” to the Head Chef (who had gone home). So – I’m not making this up – Reece applied. In writing. He was given a pen. And paper. And he wrote out his application which was delivered by the waitress to the kitchen. We are a team. Obviously some encouragement was given to a fellow team member. We, and Reece, await the response. Watch this space (I’ve always wanted to say that).
Seriously, though, I, an I think the rest of the team, found out today what CWB is all about. And, frankly, it’s phenomenal.