GAME 30: LAKE VICTORIA, ENTEBBE, UGANDA




Bashir Amanya (16) was abandoned by his parents aged 9 and lived on the streets of Entebbe until he was 14. He has swam in Lake Victoria every morning since he can remember and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens we walked through today to get to the lake. A true nature boy, he now lives in a cave (yes a cave) near the lake with 5 fishermen. He was just one of many folk who joined us on the beach down by the lake for a game today ...Birol and Mehmet, two Turkish Embassy workers, David the giant Ugandan security chap who works at the US Embassy in Iraq , and loads of local teenagers, all who were unbelievably well mannered and polite.


We had 2 games today, but I thought it would be cheeky to include both as part of the 80 as they were in the same location. Half of the boys from the first game, which included Mehmet and Birol, played in the second game anyway. These local lads were cleaning up litter on the beach, hoping for a few bob from the manager of the beach bar. They jumped at the chance of a game. David turned up after the first game with 7 young men ( he was their youth worker whilst home on leave from Iraq). 7-7 and it was getting hot. David’s lads were younger and smartly dressed for the day. The beach combers were a rag tag mix of mainly street kids.


It looked for all the world like a mis-match, but I needn’t have worried. These young whippersnappers ran rings around the older lads, battering them 5-0 ! Just far too quick and energetic for the beleaguered opposition , who kept looking over at me with pained expressions for help, shell shocked ! So funny. Brilliant games and a brilliant day full of so many wonderful, genuinely peaceful characters, by one of the world's great lakes.



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