Size doesn’t matter

Festival day!!

We were expecting six schools arriving for a ten o’clock start. In true Africa style, this meant five schools starting at 11.15, cutting down the number of games we could play. Anouck worked out the running order with expert precision, Becca and David set up the pitches and Tracey shmoozed the teachers and members of the press who turned up early. The team were well prepared for all eventualities so when it seemed that one girl was being told by her teacher that she couldn’t play as they had too many players, we changed the rules so that the points were worked out on averages. No child left out. This was fine apart from that one teacher who could not understand it and kept complaining it wasn’t fair.

The schools were all secondaries that we had visited with the exception of EBS primary. Anouck asked the children if they were scared of playing against bigger kids and they all shouted ‘noooo!!!’ with one little boy doing a haka style growl.

Would you believe it, EBS won! We were so happy, those little kids had won our hearts and their teachers were so proud of them. The festival ended with them being crowned the winners, all schools that participated were given a bat and a bag with ten tennis balls which was gratefully received. The team then fielded various press calls with TV, radio and newspaper interviews in both French and English  (Anouck made it on to Canal 2 and Becca into Le Jour).

After we packed up, there was just time for a quick stop at our apartment for a sandwich and to pick up some donated toys, pencils etc and we headed out to a centre for underprivileged children. We only had half an hour with them but that was long enough to turn those serious faces into beaming smiles.

After being taken to the Cameroonian equivalent of Wimpy where David and Jo declined to eat their stone cold burgers, we arranged to meet our local boys for a drink on our last night in town. They took us to Los Katios, the one place in Yaounde where beer was more expensive than London. David was asked by the manager if he would like a bottle of whisky and maybe a woman for the evening, both were politely declined. Undeterred, the manager repeated his offer throughout the evening, only to be refused (we think…..). All ten of us danced the night away, Jo and Tracey being the first to flake out at about 12.30 after some truly awful dancing.