Who would have thought that life as a teacher could be so hectc?! The additional responsibilities given to Deena and myself other than teaching, keep us running around all day at school. Lesson planning is a struggle when Deena’s public speaking skills in constant demand, and I have been elected form tutor of the President’s daughter’s class! But we are relishing the challenge!
The weekend’s coaching was not as successful as usual. We arranged to give G.S Shyogwe and St Joseph’s, Kabgayi another training session each in the afternoon and visit a club team, Pumas in the morning. We mistakenly thought that the Puma team was just off the main road on the way to Gitarama. However, it was a full 10km which exhausted both our bodies and our purse. We arrived in Gitarama (the nearest town to both schools) with the equivalent of 50p in our pockets and fifty US dollars. With nowhere to change money we were nearly marooned and were forced to turn back to Kigali to re-organise these sessions.
However, it was great to meet the Puma players, a group of 20 enthusiasts with a 20 year old coach, Vedaste (a former player in my school team). Vedaste started these teams on his own inclination, based on his enjoyment of the game and on the request of the players. They had one ball, extremely worn, not a pair of boots between them or a pair of rugby shorts. However, their enthusiasm was inspirational. Between them, the players have never seen a game of rugby on TV and the coach has seen only the one game I showed in 2001 when initially trying to introduce rugby.
Next week there is a University game between Butare University and a Burundi Univerisity, demonstrating further progress of the game in the region. Deena is the referee and I hope to teach some rules to the young coaches on the sidelines.