Thursday 22 January 2009

The Battle of Waanga'rai

Friday 16th January. As it happened.

15:00 Further to yet another back breaking day on site, Mr. Alex (the head of the school board) proposes to the team that a Friday night football match should be played. Quest Overseas was to provide a team of Volunteers both male and female to challenge the might of the local community team.

Einstein trying to climb Everest - is that a suitable enough analogy for the Quest Overseas teams task tonight?

15:31 The Quest Overseas Team line up. James "second mouse", "Occasionally" Mike, Charlotte "the lynch pin", Sophie "I will stomp me feet and throw a tantrum if you tackle me", Victoria "not in the face", Tom "the engine", Lilly "the wild card", Freddie "the Roaming detective", Hannah "chopper", Dixon "El Capitan", Kate "the fox", Sarah "the butcher" and Simon "the Dream weaver"

15:37 Team Manager Julian Page has set his sights reasonably low - he just wants to hold his head high, forget the rest of it. "You don't have to be Einstein to know Wanang'waria are favorites," he said. "There is no doubt the team spirit is there."

16:00 The teams line up for the national anthems it is obvious from the start that both parties are nervous. It is worthy of note that Dixon in particular is unsure of the words of the British National Anthem (he is American).

16:03 Quest Overseas get us under way as they seek to cause one of the biggest upsets in the history of African cup football. Oh come on, it would be.

16:05 Not quite the furious start that the quest team were looking for, with the debutant goal keeper Simon Tierney relieved to see the flag go up for off side against one of the rapid African wingers.

16:10 Tom send the Wanang'waria defense the wrong way down the right, but his cross is a fraction too far ahead of his team-mates lining up in the six-yard box.

16:11 Wananga'rai 1-0 Quest. An unorthodox move from the bench results in a change in goal keeper. Oh no it looks like the wheels are coming off! Quest just don't do normal goalkeepers, do they? A free-kick from 35 yards around the wall and into the corner of the Quest net, with James giving him a lot of the goal to aim at. James was even moving the other way - he was expecting a cross, wasn't he?

16:12 Waanga'rai 2-0 Quest. A mix up in defense between the two peaks of Lilly and Hannah results in a breakaway Goal nothing can be done to prevent the strike as it sails into the top corner.

16:13 Waanga'rai 2-1 Quest. A war cry is heard from James and the rest of the team are heard to be chanting "2nd Mouse" Something changes, with nothing to lose Quest start to move the ball around spreading it effortlessly from one side of the pitch to the other. This isn't football this is magic and a slight mix up in the Wanang'waria defense sees Freddie with the ball at his feet he looks almost as confused as the defenders and with the slightest of touches he lifts the ball over the keeper into the back of the net... The crowd go wild!

16:14 This is by no means over!

16:16 A slight break in the game brings welcome relief as a herd of cows move from to the lower field to pasture.

16:18 GAME ON

16:19 Waanga'rai 3-1 Quest. They score again nothing could be done a great strike from the right wing flies into the bottom corner.

16: 23 Waana'rai 3-2 Quest. The ball is moved effortlessly to Kate and Sophie who really are starting to make the left wing their own, a nasty tackle results in Sophie stomping both her feet on the floor and threatening to leave the field unless people start playing nicely. A free kick is awarded the ball flies across the box to be met by a very impressive volley of the right boot of Mike a great GOAL.

16:25 Waanga'rai 4-2 Quest. They score again shocking keeping from Simon (I don’t want to talk about it, no really I don’t)

16:33 Half Time

16:40 Teams come back out for the second half, Julian Page the club coach is heard muttering "this isn't football this is WAR"

16:41 it appears that the team are reflecting the coaches words little interest in the ball as Charlotte takes both man a ball in a tackle that would of been worthy of a rugby pitch.

16:42 A horrific career ending takle from Victoria on a child that must be no more then 11, The ref is losing control of this game.

16:42 Waanga'rai 5-2 Quest. Some miscomunication and a failed offside attempt result in yet another fine finish from the young African lad. Lilly is going mental at her team mates!

16:44 Waanga'rai 6-3 Quest. The Quest team need to regain focus. Tom and Freddie re-start the game and form a triangle of passes with Dixon. A wonderful fluent move results in the ball ending up at Dixons feet and wham bam thank you ma’am 5-3

16:43 Some interesting celebrations end up with a 10 person bundle on the floor. Hannah is unsure what to do with herself, overcome with emotion she runs to the side of the pitch to take on some water.

The rest of the game is all a bit hazy! I also have a lot of work to do

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Tanzania Team 13th January 2009

Since touching down in Kilimanjaro, the impact of Africa has been amazing!

After spending our first night in Arusha we had an incredible 3 hour drive through the Tanzanian countryside where we caught our first glimpse of Masai, roaming camels (very odd for East Africa!) and breath taking views of the rift valley.  We spent lunch time in our local town of Babati, where we had our first taste of Tanzanian cuisine, an interesting experience!  Once arriving at the school we set up camp in the empty storage room and explored the area we were to call home for the next six weeks.

Day one we took the opportunity to clean the school classrooms and fix the desks as the children had not started the new term.  The weather is extremely hot making any work hard going.  Day two we started work on the building site and were introduce to all the children who seemed fascinated by the colour of our skin and our digital cameras!  

Building is fun work especially with challenges when you drop a brick and hundreds of spectators whenever they have a break from class.  Although hard work we are kept constantly amused with Freddie's 'fact of the day'!

It is still hard to believe that we are in this amazing place!

Everyone on the Tanzania Team 2009

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Tanzania Community and Schools Project

As I write, group leaders Sarah and Kate are preparing for the group’s arrival this coming Saturday. A world apart from freezing Brighton, Arusha is currently a barmy 33 degrees! They have met up with Julian (project partner with the Livingstone Tanzania Trust) and are currently on a 4 hour journey to Babati where the team will be living and working for 6 weeks.

Jobs on the list include planning the work schedule, meeting the head builder and all the other fundis that the team will be working alongside on the project. Sarah and Kate will also be checking out what else there is to do around the area as the group will get a couple of weekends off to explore the nearby breathtaking scenery. Babati lies at the foot of the great escarpment, a lush forest full of wildlife, with farming villages tucked away.

Over the next 6 weeks the team will start building a huge 2 classroom building with attached office.  Carrying tonnes of sand and cement, mixing concrete, laying the foundations and floors, breaking up rocks are just some of the tasks the team will be undertaking.

Follow the team’s progress right here!