We made it to Kenya. We played. We observed. We learned. We cheered. It was awesome!
We definitely ran into some challenges during the trip: airport giving us problems, a coach here and there not showing up or us not knowing training was cancelled. BUT, we also ran into some awesome surprises. We met Shamas Rugby Foundation, which is similar to ADEDAR, but bigger, a bit more holistic, and in Kenya. And from them we were able to learn a lot on how to make ADEDAR more holistic in how we approach rugby and development. They had a camp going on for the week we were there, and we definitely took back some great ideas from that.
We played with KCB Rugby Club, U20s and the women's team. It was so nice to play in grass versus our typical sand here in Mozambique. We got to experience different coaches, play with different players, and learned from them all.
Nelio and Crelia had never left Mozambique before, so they were pretty giddy the whole time. From the moment we got in the bus in Maputo, to the plane in Johannesburg, to landing in Nairobi, finding our AirBnB, experiencing the craziness of Nairobi, to seeing rugby stores and rugby being something the general population knows about. I think they were ready to take it all in.
During the week we also got to go on a half day safari in the Nairobi National Park, making it their first time ever seeing giraffes, rhinos, crocodiles, lions, etc. We visited the Elephant Orphanage and watched the babies get fed and roll around in the mud.
At the end of the time there, we went to watch the Safari 7s tournament held annually in Nairobi for the provinces of Kenya with some international teams invited. They were pretty excited to see the Portugal 7s team play, sneaking in pictures when they could.
The overall experience was 100% positive. We are back now in Mozambique, and we are already applying what we learned in Kenya to our trainings and helping our players grow. I'm working on putting together a video about the whole trip, so stay tuned!!!