Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Road to Sports Day

Sports Day is not a novel concept for me, back home most schools will organize some form of sports day as a treat for the students and to promote more physical activity. It seems to be a similar situation here as well, however the scale of the event is quite impressive. To give you a bit of a back story, the students at  the public schools in villages of Shimoni, Mkwiro, Wasini and have been practicing for these games since the start of the expo over a month ago. Last week the schools on the island, Mkwiro and Wasini, faced off against each other while the mainland schools did the same. That really set the stage for this week where the island schools went up against the mainland schools in an ultimate competition.

-Netball skills at their finest-

Now for GVI community staff and volunteers sports days are great fun, for the most part classes are cancelled so almost everyone can go and cheer on their respective classes. Normally it is a good 40min walk to the school's fields and we made it in good time, the only issue was that we were there but no one else was. It turned out that because of the large number of participants and students who came out to see the games they were holding them at a larger field, which was another 30min down the road. So being the dedicated community volunteers and staff that we are we continued trekking on. By the time we arrived hot, sweaty, the games were well underway. The first game we saw was the girls' netball. Now coming from Canada I had never really seen the game played and I still don't think that I can fully follow it, but what I did understand was how determined all the girls were, for them this was a serious matter. These mainland vs island games are serious business and the bragging rights that go along with winning are huge, so it's not surprising that over all the games were pretty intense. That being said everyone was still there for a good time and all the kids were in good spirits.

-The girls in action-

The GVI group kept having to splinter off because every few steps we would hear someone yell out Madame Jo, Madame Grace or any one of the other volunteers and wanting them to come talk with them or watch their team with them. Even when we aren’t working the students remember and recognize us, want to know what we are up to and if we are coming back to visit.

The second game we watched was the boys volleyball. It was really interesting to watch the boys work together as a team, especially when only just last week they were competing amongst themselves. Sadly we couldn't stay for the football game, though that was the one everyone was excited for. One of the boys I taught French to back on the island was disappointed that I wouldn't see him play so we decided that he would just have to show me how to play when I cross back over. And there lies the best part of community, being able to watch these kids grow but also to learn as well.

Teresa, Volunteer.