So, after yesterday's travel woes, today represented the first day of action for Team Kenya.  Our planned schedule for the day was for a coach education session in the morning, with some free time in the evening.  Carl generously decided that himself and Gellers would head to the school for 9am, leaving the rest of us to have a lie-in following yesterday's exhausting travelling. The rest of the team, well most of them (Ian and Beth were waylaid trying to buy lunch and find Charles our bus driver), arrived at 11am to help with coaching for the second half of the session.  We ended up with around 20 local coaches enthusiastically participating.  The session was a success, with Gellers passing on some key coaching points and Carl reinforcing how important HIV/AIDS messages can be built into cricket coaching for all ages.  We're hopeful that we'll see the majority of the teachers (pictured below) again tomorrow to complete the course and present them with certificates.  


Although our schedule allowed us a free afternoon, the team were keen to make good use of this time and Derrick, the CWB Co-ordinator in Kenya, arranged for us to visit a local orphanage in Kisumu.  The road leading to the orphanage was a chaotic muddle of Sunday street sellers, grocery stalls, hawkers and punters.  We arrived at the orphanage to find a limited amount of space in which to work and around 40 young children, most under the age of 10.  This combination put pay to any ideas of running an organised session, so each member of the team grabbed a tennis ball and started a rudimentary game of catch with the closest group of children.  It didn’t take long for the excitement to build and tennis balls to start flying all over the place.  We played for around an hour, managing to get a few bats involved as well.

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For those of us new to CWB this was our first real experience of how cricket coaching, even in its simplest form, can make a noticeable difference to the children we meet.  The sudden emergence of limitless energy levels and beaming smiles was a testament to that.  On a personal level, Safdar commented how the simple act of placing a tennis ball in a crying child’s hands was enough to put an immediate stop to the waterworks and illicit a broad grin.  A special mention should also go to Nicolas, our local contact in Kisumu, who at the end of the session sat the entire group of children down and simply spoke to them.  He calmly explained who we were, where we came from and why we were there.  Despite many of the kids being too young to really understand, he had every single one of them captivated and instilled a sense of calm that allowed us to leave quietly following the excitement of the past hour.  Here's a photo of Nicolas getting the kids to do a silent ABC chant.


(Nicolas leading a silent ABC chant with the kids)

Finally, after a successful and eye-opening day we retreated for a debrief to a bar on the shores of the simply stunning Lake Victoria.  Six of us also took a short boat ride around the lake to view the hippos and local fishing villages.  We thought these images were worth sharing.   

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