Tuesday saw the hotly anticipated match take place between GVI members and students from Mkwiro Primary School. The fixture was in celebration of Sergi’s birthday, our ex-marine officer currently paying a visit back to Kenya for PhD research purposes.
We set off for Bogowa (the beach situated next to the football field) feeling slightly apprehensive about how the game would go. I did not do much to help alleviate the others’ anxieties when I informed them that the kids were superior to me (in football terms) in every conceivable way, judging by my past experiences. Our one hope was placed in Juma and Faridi, our askari and boat captain, who we believed might be able to prevent us from being completely humiliated.
There was quite a sizeable crowd awaiting us when we arrived at the pitch. We performed some half hearted ‘warm ups’ and assembled ourselves in our positions. The match began, and, not at all to our surprise, Mkwiro School scored within the opening few minutes. The distinct lack of any celebration suggested that they had somehow expected this to happen. This opening goal was soon followed by a second, and, not too long after that, a third and fourth.
|The supreme team|
Needless to say, things weren’t looking good. Yet with the arrival of a few more local members for the GVI team, our luck began to change. Fadhili, a local fisherman, and Mr. Mtengo, the village chairman, were substituted on in the midfield, and provided us with some badly needed pace and skill. We soon managed to score a consolation goal, with the help of a lucky bounce and a rebound. As the original starters began to grow increasingly exhausted, we allowed some of the other kids from the school a chance to see if they could match us on the pitch, and so reluctantly (not) allowed ourselves to be substituted. With the help from our friends, we managed to get not just a second but a third goal back. Unfortunately, by this point, the light had begun to fade rapidly, thus the game was ended at the respectable score line of 4 – 3 to Mkwiro Primary.
We returned to base tired, yet satisfied with our performance. We tried to forget that it was, of course, the numerous substitutions that had facilitated our admirable performance, and not actually our own marvellous abilities...
Luke Guinness – Mkwiro Community Field Staff