This past weekend I kicked off my last month here in Kenya, that's right I'm down to less than a month here, by travelling to Tiwi Beach for FEAST. FEAST stands for "Frisbee East Africa Sand Tournament". This was the fourth year for FEAST and this year was the biggest one yet. There were twelve different teams representing six different countries across East Africa. Our frisbee group from here in Nairobi took three different teams to the tournament. The Nairobi group are the organizers of the tournament and I think they do a great job of putting together what has now become a huge event.
I made the eight and a half hour journey from Nairobi to Tiwi, which is just south of the second largest city in Kenya, Mombasa, with a few friends here from Nairobi. The drive down across the southeastern part of the country has some really beautiful stretches and other stretches where the scenery really isn't too great. We arrived Friday afternoon and spent the evening getting our camp set up, going for a little swim, and getting some practice time in with our teams.
The twelve teams were split up into three pools of four teams each. Saturday was a round robin day where each team played the other teams in their pool to help decide the seedings for the final tournament on Sunday. My team's first game had us going up against a team from Arusha, Tanzania. We started off slow but ended up pulling out the win in the end by and 8-6 final score. In our second game we played much better and rolled to an easy 9-2 win over Mwanza, Tanzania. The final game of the day pitted us against a strong Ethiowanda team. This team had people from Ethiopia and Rwanda hence the name "Ethiowanda". We rode a very strong start to a 8-5 win. Our 3-0 record coupled with our point differential earned us the number two seed for Sunday.
Before I fill you in on what happened on Sunday let me explain what it is like to play on the beach as opposed to our normal conditions here in Nairobi. There are three main differences, with the first being the most obvious, between here and playing on the coast and they are: sand, wind, and heat. Obviously playing on sand is very different than playing on grass and in my book is not nearly as fun. It is very difficult to run, you get tired so much quicker, and it gets very hot during the afternoon which causes a problem when you are running around in bare feet. The one great thing about playing on sand is that it doesn't hurt to dive on which can make for some great catches. The second difference, the wind, is a significant one. While we have some wind here in Nairobi it isn't like the constant wind on the coast. Any throws that weren't low and hard would catch the wind and blow way off its intended target. The last difference, the heat, was a big one. Here it can get hot but there it was very humid plus ten degrees hotter. Thankfully there were plenty of trees so when you weren't playing you were able to get in the shade. Now it might sound like I'm complaining about having to play there and in reality I don't like playing on sand as much as grass but overall playing there was a great deal of fun.
Thanks to our two seed we earned a first round bye on Sunday morning and had a quarter-final game against a different Mwanza team. The game was an extremely hard fought game with tensions rising throughout the game. It came down to the final play of the game and unfortunately it was Mwanza who scored to pull out the one point victory. It was disappointing to lose when we had high hopes for the day. We then played a consolation game against Ethiowanda again but this time they pulled out the win thus ending our weekend of frisbee. The team from Uganda ended up beating a team from Juba, South Sudan to take home the championship.
I really enjoyed my weekend and the opportunity to see another part of Kenya. The coast truly was beautiful and it would stand up against many of the other beaches I have been to in that regard. We returned yesterday evening and again it was nice to return home. I will spend the rest of this week going to the Center and then on Monday I will be taking the bus down to Arusha to visit some friends there who are working with MCC. The following week I will be heading to Kampala, Uganda. I will be recapping these two trips in the weeks to come. I would ask for your prayers as I make these trips that God would watch over and protect me and that i would have a blessed time connecting with others who are serving in these countries. Also if you could be praying that over these last few weeks that God would continue to use me and that I would continue to focus on finishing out my time here with great passion and enthusiasm.