Day 7: New Balls Please!

A shorter journey back across the Nile towards Kampala brought the team to the Mheta Stadium, Lugazi – and a wholly contrasting experience at this next venue. On an all grass pitch with a proper wicket, the organiser of this excellent day was Doctor Mishra on behalf of the sponsors Mheta who, amongst many other products, are major sugar refiners.

The enthusiastic team of 25 new teacher-coaches, and the schools that will follow tomorrow, have been selected by Geoffrey and showed that they were really up for the challenge. Musical accompaniment was provided by an energetic DJ over a PA and he provided an eclectic mix of retro favourites interspersed with some … Hip Hop. (Steve Wells: “At least I think it was Hip Hop – but I don’t actually know what Hip Hop is”).

Amongst all the techniques JB (John Brown) delivered his usual authoritative
demo of umpiring techniques during which you can usually spot Phil doing his impersonation of a crooked-finger Billy Bowden six.

Lunch was outstanding. A full-on Indian buffet and – did we really see that…? Tutor Steve going back 4 (four) times…? No wonder he needed fourteen glasses of mango juice to rehydrate in the evening.

One slight problem is that, after the festival yesterday, we seem to have run out of tennis balls (yes, CWB, we were warned). One hundred have been spirited away – possibly by the Ghostly Baboon that Tutor Steve warned us about (after I heard breathing in my room that wasn’t mine). Or of course it could have been our very excited participants. So Sally had to shout down the phone to co-ordinator Grace that time-honoured phrase: New Balls Please! 80 more should arrive tomorrow.

Appropriately, with an athlete daughter, I appear to be collecting athletic icons. Steve Wells tells me he sat on a plane returning from the New York marathon with Chris Brasher who invited him to the first London Marathon – organised by Brasher. Now, this evening, JB tells me plays Bridge back in Oxford with Sir Roger Bannister. Brasher, of course, was pacemaker for Sir Roger when he broke the four-minute mile.

On the way back to the hotel the team stopped off at “The Source of the Nile” a tourist attraction (think, say, Lands End). You assume “source” means a small spring which eventually becomes a river. But it ain’t no trickle here. It is immediately a full- blown river, exiting Lake Victoria, in all its majesty. It is now claimed, of course, that the actual source is in Rwanda (another CWB team currently doing stirling work there). But, what the heck: we got the T shirt.

After the first week, for regular readers of this blog, some updates:

Mosquitos: there aren’t any. We haven’t seen any, we haven’t heard any and no one has been bitten. This, of course, doesn’t mean that we won’t encounter some in other locations so we’re still making liberal use of the Jungle Juice just in case. But rather than be strangled in the night by the suspended mosquito net I have dispensed with its services and the especially purchased plug-in Boots Repel-o-Moz remains in its box.

The Uganda Stanza (see Day 0): Paul announced at lunch one day that he had added a further four lines to his original four and proceeded to recite them to us to the general mirth of the table. I’m not sure how many lines will constitute the final version but rest assured the full caboodle will be bought to you via this blog as soon as The Bard releases his poetic epic (that rhymes!). Those of a literary persuasion may be interested to note that at this rate of progress Milton’s Paradise Lost would have taken 27 years to complete. But then again I think it probably did if you count his early drafts.

Paul organised our own dedicated hut for dinner this evening complete with 60’s disco UV light. (My son Dom will be envious). A very pleasant end to another exciting day.


One comment to “Day 7: New Balls Please!”
  1. In my ignorance didn’t realise the Nile was part of the trip – thank you for enlightening me.

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