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NCS Kenya Blog: Day Six

9 April 2018

Vicki Burton is back with a report of Day 6 in Kenya as she and her National Citizen Service group take in a local football match.

We decided to go to a nearby hotel for some swimming and sunbathing in the morning. It was a lovely hotel and we were looking forward to some relaxation. The pool was a little bit chilly but the black leather sunbeds were the complete opposite!

We took a ball and some of the group stayed in the pool while others sunbathed, although they made sure we remembered we were next to the pool by splashing us time and time again!

We discovered it was really slippery around the edge of the pool (thanks Will) and that the ledge in the pool was pretty sharp (thanks Luke and Taylor)! There was a poolside bar so lots of the group got ice-creams to enjoy by the pool.

At 1pm, most of the group got collected to go back to the hotel. We paid our 500KSh each (£3.85) for use of the pool and set off back to the hotel.

A quick change and lunch and we set off again for our afternoon entertainment; Nakuru AllStars vs Kenya Police in the Kenyan fourth division! It was a really strange experience; firstly because kick-off was meant to be 2 o’clock and it got changed to 3 o’clock and nobody seemed phased.

This was all after it was originally meant to be 11 o’clock and it was moved to the afternoon on the very same day. Apparently this is known as ‘Kenyan time’ and everyone is really relaxed about people being late etc.

The away team bus pulled in and drove around the outside of the pitch. The players got changed next to the bus, even though there were changing rooms inside and proceeded to warm up.

The stadium was actually better than we expected, but this maybe because Nakuru AllStars used to compete in the Kenyan Premier League only a few years ago. The pitch however was shocking, even grassroots teams in England wouldn’t be expected to play on such a surface.

While the teams warmed up, there was a lady selling ground nuts and some pre-match entertainment.

Being the only white people in the stadium, the ground nut lady made a beeline for us, and this provided the pre-match entertainment for everyone else! We bought nuts off her and she made lots of jokes/funny comments to us, much to the amusement of everyone else in the stadium.

The standard of football on show was probably similar to Northern League Division 2, however it is in a very different way. Players who go down in a tackle always stay down for treatment, meaning the “medics” were on the pitch 15+ times during the game.

Nakuru went into the game sitting bottom of the league with 100% defeats from their 8 games whilst the away side found themselves in third position. The away side scored two first-half goals; the first from a free-kick on the edge of the area after the home goalkeeper caught the ball outside the area.

At half-time, Kenya Police went back to the bus for their team talk whereas Nakuru AllStars went back to the changing rooms. We were beginning to wonder if the changing rooms were actually made available to visiting teams?

In the second half, Nakuru played much better and probably should have scored 3. An older gentleman sitting behind us, who also asked for my phone number and wanted to kiss Paige, told us the team are cursed! The score ended 2-0.

Back to the hotel and we had a relaxing night. We met another African Adventures group who had just arrived at our hotel and tried to give them some tips for their trip.

Tea and card games as usual, but this time with a bottle of aloe vera at hand for Chris and Paige!

Kwaheri and speak to you all tomorrow after another day at Jubilee!

Vicki


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