November 1st 2010
The team have all gone thier separate ways. After all of our transport problems, the majority managed to return to Gaborone having paid over the odds for a combi arriving back in the Oasis motel at 11pm. Veronique flew home on Saturday to see her husband David before he flew off on business to Africa. Mike Stratford also flew out on Saturday, but he is spending some time in Zimbabwe coaching as well as taking in the sites at the Victoria Falls. The Reeves duo are staying behind in Botswana for another week, resting before travelling up north to Kasane and waving at Mike S from the Zambian side of the falls.
As the Woodlands stopover is right off the beaten track, Veronika and I had debated whether to move to lodgings nearer the centre of town, but Clement kindly found us a reliable taxi driver, Meshak, who was about the only person who was prepared to make the 7km jouney down the dirt track to fetch and carry us. He was especially brave on Monday when he came to collect us following 40mm of rain in the morning and had to spend an hour washing his car before we rang to ask him to bring us back. Woodlands Stopover has proved to be very popular with the whole team. Culinary skills and team bonding have been tested and passed with flying colours. We have helped each other out in times of need – I have personally saved Adrian from the perils of a moth in his room – and everyone’s sense of humour has sustained themselves and the team in spite of Mike Grigg’s second hand jokes.
The second week in Francistown has been a great success mainly due to Clement’s sense of pride in his job as development manager for cricket in the city and his organisational skills. He has also shown how passionate he is about linking cricket to HIV / AIDS awareness, and his talk to the participants from the Francistown Centre for Education will long stick in the memory. His enthusiasm coupled with the team’s message also led to a magic moment with the children and coaches being led in a chant by one of the newly qualified teachers of ‘We love cricket, Cricket without boundaries, bowling AIDS out of Botswana’.
Finally, a huge ‘thank you’ from all of the CWB team to all of the Clement, Sabi and family sponsors and supporters who made the trip possible and to those who left comments on the blog – especially Allan’s family! Will deserves a special mention for all his hard work before and during the trip. He reminded me of a swan – calm and graceful on the surface, but putting in a lot of energy unseen by others underneath. Also thanks to Kit 4 Africa for organising kit collection before we left. We are already seeing it put to good use.