I think all of us will agree that today was a pretty special one. This trip had no plans to visit the Maasai. But, after Daniel from the Maasai Cricket Warriors turned up unannounced at the first Coach Education session (having travelled for 5 hours to do so), a visit was quickly organised.
The 5 hour journey caused surprise for the students amongst us when they found out that there are actually two 5 o’clocks each day. But, shortly after the appointed hour the bus was packed and a very long day had begun.
Suffice to say, the journey alone was worth getting up for. A glorious sunrise over Mount Kenya, crossing the equator, walking through a field of Zebra and antelope (and according to Daniel, some hunting lions) helped to break up the trip.
I wasn’t quite prepared for the vastness and beauty of the Mara. Every bend rounded or hill crested bought a new stunning view, with endless plains, huge mountains and abundant wildlife providing an amazing backdrop.
Shortly after entering the Mara, we stumbled across a tiny primary school. Being CWB, half a dozen voices immediately shouted for the driver to stop and a short impromptu coaching session ensued. To say these kids were cute would be a massive understatement and the whole team enjoyed the all too short time we spent there.
Our journey continued with Sammie’s now legendary questions providing much entertainment. Today’s particular favourites were
- Have you ever heard a zebra speak?
- Does Africa have a beach ?
The wildlife continued and regular photo stops ensued to capture shots of giraffes, camels, vultures, eagles, more zebra & wildebeest.
We eventually arrived at the home ground of the Maasai Cricket Warriors. The track may be basic, but the surroundings are unreal. I will never again play at such a beautiful venue.
A ten over match was organised, with a mix of CWB players and Warriors on each team. Sadly after some very dubious umpiring from CWB ambassador Nicholas, my team lost (Cameron has asked me to mention his two wickets in one over. He didn’t ask me to mention that the over also contained three wides and a rank long-hop as well)
A very sunburnt but happy CWB team were then invited to join the Warriors for a traditional ceremony held on a mountain top, which was carried out amid stunning views, circling vultures and screeching baboons.
A pretty much perfect day was rounded off by the return journey, which saw the team take to the roof of the bus for the journey back, which provided for some great memories and photographs.
I write this with a cold Tusker in hand, some amazing recollections of the day and not a beef stew in sight! Hopefully, the photos attached will do more justice to today’s experience than these words could ever do.