With 220 children from various schools and ten teachers, this was a day of interruptions. Besides the rain breaks during the afternoon pairs matches there was another invasion by Longhorn cattle – not two this time but a whole heard. Several of these were massive beasts and frankly “Longhorn” was a bit of a misnomer for some: extra-extended, viscous-looking, bow-shaped pinnions might be a more apt description and they looked particularly menacing as they patrolled the boundary and then invaded part of the playing area, driven by three small boys who took umbridge with anyone who tried to take a photo.
Then whilst the multiple pairs games were in progress a motor-cyclist decided it was a good idea to show off his gleaming machine moving in and out of unsuspecting fielders. The extremely irritating video-game-like tune of the local ice-cream van made an unwelcome and seemingly unending return, too. I say “van” but it was rather an “ice-cream-box-on-a-bike”. And while we’re on food the pedestrian chapati concession holders ambled about the playing area trying to persuade us to purchase their luke-warm comfort food, dodging flying tennis balls, and rather put-out that no-one was buying.
We generally considered that this group of kids was the most difficult to engage though there was no lack of effort and commitment. They did become more animated though when we started distributing the red and yellow CWB wrist-bands. Tomorrow is festival day and our final day of coaching in Uganda.
Last night the entertainment in another hotel stretched to card games, card tricks and pool. The food was generally considered to be the best so far and Mike Reeves’s introduction of a drinking game – Colonel Puff I believe it was called though my memory of events might not be that faithful – enhanced the general mirth of the evening. Some of the party ventured to a nite-spot later and I am reliably informed that Reece learnt how to twerk. Perhaps the less said about that, the better.
In the absence of the Four Nurses my problematic ankle is now being attended to by our redoubtable driver, Joseph. He keeps telling me to stay in the bus and not go out and coach after a foot-massage with the magic ointment. Despite his head-masterly strictures I still sneak out to coach and today the ankle was much improved after Joseph’s attentions.
I learnt a new word: agronomist. JB tells me that his father-in-law was a consultant agronomist and was the first person to suggest that crops should be grown diagonally for better yields. JB was also able to explain because of this useful connection why we don’t see any oranges here or other citrus fruit – only bananas, pineapples and mangoes, mainly. Though in fact oranges do grow here but they are green. Are you still with me? This is because as Uganda is on the Equator the nights don’t get cool enough to extract the chlorophyl from the skin. Fortunately, after his mainly hatless safari, JB did manage to get the Ugandan red dust out of his fulsome shock of snowy white hair to prevent it from continuing to look like he had rathe fetching pink hi-lites.
Agronomist? If it’s new to you too and you don’t know what it means I invite you to look it up.