24 July 2006

Education volunteers dispel myth: they can run!

A few notes for the uninitiated: IST (In-Service Training), AgFos (AgroForestry volunteers), Ed(ucation)

Friday, March 31, saw the merciful end of our respective ISTs, and the new AgFos and newish Ed group decided to have an American football match on the beach.

The AgFos seemed pretty confident of victory in the days leading up to the match, and talked a lot of trash (Lie Sinyaan: "When I'm done with you, you're going to wish your daddy pulled out early."). The Ed group was a little intimidated by those taut, wiry bodies, honed by days working in the fields and searching for counterparts. Add to this the fact that we were missing three of our stalwarts - the sublime Robert (who was taking a bath), the insane Lie Njie (and the prospect of a post-football Frisbee game), and one of our tall man-eaters. But six months of watching kids kneeling in the sun with their arms over their heads meant that the Educators know a thing or two about doling out punishment.

Faced with the disinterest of half our team ("No lunch or per diem? Fuck it."), we managed to field 7 education volunteers for the 5-on-5 affair. By contrast, the AgFos came in droves, with a dozen or so willing participants. Still, the Teachers had a tight rotation and Jannetty, for one, tagged in and out with aplomb.

After a tentative first few series, the match was tied at 1. But a few defensive stops by the Education group put the score at 4-1, and the rout was on. The ignominy continued till a score of 10-6. At that point we decided to finish things off with a "first to three," leaving a total of 13-7. For one day, Tie-Dye Mai was known as Touchdown Maimuna, and Xaji came through with some incongruously athletic defensive plays. Yusufa was to opposing receivers what Katia is to dance partners. The wide margin of victory, however, prevents us from referring to it as a “grind it out win”.

Although cowed, and a little shellshocked, by the beating administered by classroom- and office-bound educators, the AgFos deserve some credit for their showing. Most of them turned out to play, in contrast to the lackadaisical education volunteers. Also, Peter had the block of the game when he put Guttridge flat on his back during one kickoff. They also bought us beers, the stakes of the game. One can only wonder if they regret freezing out Rodney, who apparently expressed interest in playing, and has wanted to lay Alieu out for a while now. Good dinner and drinks followed at the Sandplover.

Back at the Stodge, though, the AgFos rallied like true PCTG veterans, masters of the sedentary arts. Not ones for drowning their sorrows, they turned to the Stodge TV for comfort. The Ed vols, by contrast, were a little frightened by the content ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre") and retreated to the clubs of Senegambia.

In the meantime, the Ed group awaits a challenge (and the promise of hotties in the next Ed batch). Perhaps the health groups can offer more resistance?

1 comment:

nightgrapefruit said...

Reading this entry is like following along with the worldcup games via matchcast!