Well it is Friday and as we come to the end of our first week there is a lot to look back on (check out the blogs of Days 1 to 6). The best saying for today is “expect the unexpected”.

After a great meal at Heaven Restaurant last night, although a bit pricey by Rwandan standards, was comfortably the best meal so far. So this morning, we set off in pretty good spirits, even as always, not entirely sure what to expect from the day.

Bob, Mike and Jono took day off (we have a very busy schedule ahead so best to get them in early!). They set off for the much visited Kigali Golf Course where Jono cleaned up with 5.5 points out a possible 9! Despite losing Bob still decided to reward himself with a particularly large Danish pastry. His greed did have a benefit as Bob took the opportunity to gatecrash a conference at the local hotel of Rwandan non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on HIV/AIDS which we will be following on some of the contacts he made.

OK – so what about the coaching? We arrived in Gitarama around 9.30 this morning – 30 minutes early for a change! So we had plenty of time to set everything up. Then we were told we were at the wrong place! Fortunately the kids could walk over to us, so we still managed to get going around 10.

Over the course of the next 2 hours we managed to coach over 125 kids in bowling, batting and fielding. We also pushed the A,B,C messages which they picked up extraordinary quickly (on the way home we bumped in to a couple of the kids who shouted unprompted ABC!). It was a tough session as there was a lot bright kids, with a little attitude that made them hard to control at times, but the passion to learn and get involved was infectious.

After a swift and tasty lunch at Daphy’s restaurant we were back at the ground by 1.15 and already kids were turning up. By 1.30 were had more than 150 kids to coach, many from yesterday’s coaching sessions.

We quickly got them organised and cracked on with coaching them on bowling, batting and fielding. The good thing was that as we had spent time with them yesterday we could step up the level of coaching and also engage them more on HIV/AIDS.

The next group of kids from St Joseph’s school were due at 3pm. As 3pm rolled round there was no sign of them, so we pressed on with running cricket games. Typical of Rwanda, 30 minutes into the matches around 75 kids from St Josephs turn up.

We got them quickly into warm up drills and at this point we were coaching more than 200 kids with 6 CWB coaches, 1 local Rwandan coach (‘Big’ Eric) and a local teacher. Balls are flying in all directions, but also you can hear laughing, shouting and general excitement all over the ground.

We finally called in a day just before 5 as the heavens were about to open and to be honest most of us were dead on our feet looking forward to a Mutzig.

It had been an amazing day, that required all of us to think on our feet, be flexible and work hard as a team. It also brought home to me the real difference that we are making. So many of the kids kept asking when we were coming back, the older kids wanted to know how they can do more to encourage cricket within their schools and also accepting that they were role models for the younger kids in terms of HIV/AIDS.

If you are lucky enough to come on a CWB project, you will be able to put your hand on your heart and say that you have made a difference.

Two final points to raise. Bob’s trousers, hopefully we will get a picture up on the website. We are still trying to work out whether they are pyjamas or not.

And finally, Dave Terrace leaves us early tomorrow morning. He is heading off to Uganda for a week. Hopefully he will hook up for a day with the CWB Uganda team who head out there tomorrow.

The Rwandan team will miss his Germanic ways, restaurant owners around Kigali will miss his capacity to eat his own body weight in one sitting and all Rwanda Goats will breath a sigh of relief that they will live to graze another day.

Anyway keep following the blogs and we love to hear from you either in the comments section, via Twitter or on Facebook. Cheers Richard Thurston

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