By Alison in Kilifi
120 Google footballs made it to Kenya. 120 footballs were passed out to MTG staff, worn out during lunch time pick-up games, and given away at World Cup screenings. All 120 footballs, gone. Or so we thought.
On Monday, Andy and I uncovered a lone deflated Google football buried in our equipment room, tucked away like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders. We pumped up the ball and booked it towards the local pitch.
That’s when we discovered that if you have a football in Kilifi, kids will find you. They pop up out of tall grass, step out from behind grazing cows, and drop down from branches ready for a game.
A Brit, a Yank, a handful of local school girls in uniform, and a mob of scrappy boys with bare feet all charged the field. Rather than their standard game ball (a piece of tire wrapped tightly into a ball with long grass), we kicked around a proper football. An hour later, Andy and I returned, exhausted, and still in shock at the chip shot that sailed over Andy’s 6’4” header attempt for a goal.
Now we’re expected. In the afternoons, we grab a ball and spend a little time getting familiar (and competitive) with the community that surrounds MTG; a community that is particularly fond of football.
An important note for Americans: Football, in this case, is soccer. I know, confusing, huh?