As the sunrise dawned over the Rwandan mountains to welcome our last full day in this beautiful country it soon became apparent that some of our merry band were not quite at 100% on account of staying up later than had been customary on this trip.

As our driver Eddie set out for our first port of call, picking up local coach Joseph on the way, a few took the opportunity for an extra nap, unperturbed by the constant bouncing and jolting as the bus made its way up yet another steep incline.  As we arrived at our destination the rain clouds were gathering and as soon as we reached the field of play the heavens opened in true English fashion. It was soon obvious that no outside activity would be possible – so we retreated to the classrooms to make our best efforts of getting some sort of ball game going with 50 children in a room about the size of the average American’s fridge. It’s fair to say so,me groups had more success with that than others! We had more success with the HIV chats – but all in all the rain ended the opportunity for us to introduce cricket to this school that hadn’t played the game before.

We then journeyed to the National Genocide Museum, and if the visit to a memorial site on the previous day had been harrowing this took our realisation of what had happened in 1994 to a new level. That the country has re-emerged from these horrors is all credit to the forgiveness and empathy of the Rwandan people – as well as an underpinning desire to make the country united and able to stand tall as a proud nation. If the contribution of CWB is helping in any way towards this goal then the efforts of the charity is worth so much.

A quick stop at Meg’s Foundation so that we could make some donations and then we were on to our last cricketing assignment – a visit to a secondary school that had some cricket experience and even some kits (pads and bats were on view).  The weather had eased and we were able to run one last session alongside a staff football match which was causing the students a great deal of amusement. A really enjoyable set of drills with some talented kids brought a fantastic close to our coaching schedule.

It was back then to shower and change in to our newly acquired, locally made colourful shirts and set out for our evening with the Rwandan Cricket Association. An Indian meal and plenty of conversation with the Board members passed very quickly and it was soon time for Frankie to jump in a taxi and head for the airport as he was booked on an earlier flight than the rest. We said our goodbyes as we recalled a few anecdotes of Frankie’s huge contribution to the trip and then retired to bed for the last time, with a very early start awaiting us in the morning.

rwanda20 Written by: