• Buwaya: By Foot, Matatu, Boda-Boda, and a Boat

    April 22, 2014. Our third week in Uganda brings us back for a third year to a remote community on the shores of Lake Victoria. CAC staff members Nora Dooley and Markus Bensch join long-time CAC partner and friend, Godfrey Mugisha (Moogy) for a week-long training in Buwaya.

    P1030476Every morning our coaches embarked on the journey across the lake from Entebbe, which involved walking, chasing down a matatu (large group taxi), clambering into a wooden motor-boat, and hopping on a boda-boda (motorbike taxi). Upon finally reaching their destination, our team was met by a bumpy, yet beautiful grass pitch set above a sprawling green backcountry. As the program participants trickled in from all directions, One World Futbols were scattered about, completing the perfect CAC picture.

    The coaches who joined the training this week are not of the typical CAC breed, but represent everything that CAC stands for – the desire to make an impact in your community. They are not from an existing NGO, they do not have a formal football academy, they are not government or municipal workers, but they are people, passionate people who love a game and want to learn. We cannot possibly ask for more.

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    We had previously visited this community for two years and a few of this year’s participants were part of those trainings as well. Once we got a feel for the dynamic of the group – knowledge, experience, social issues, and the realities of the resources in Buwaya – we were able to steer the focus of the curriculum in the direction of maximum social impact for this particular group, during this particular week, in this particular community.

    Aside from the usual, worldwide favorites like Mingle Mingle and Condom Tag, this group learned tons of football skills during Ronaldo, Wilshere, Xavi, and Wambach Skills for Life, and had an absolute blast with Touré for Health & Wellness and Falcao for Fun. Touré for Health & Wellness is one of our new games that is quickly becoming a CAC fixture. During this game there are two teams lined up in front of identical grids. The grids are made up of four or five cones – in Buwaya we used four bricks (solve your problem!) – and each cone is assigned a number. The coach yells out a sequence of numbers, maybe starting with two and increasing to four or even five at once, and one player from each team has to touch the cones in that exact order as fast as possible, racing the other player to either an additional cone on the other side of the grid or to one football that they race to shoot. This is a brilliant game for agility and quickness of body and mind – a perfect union of football and social impact, not to mention it’s incredibly fun to play as well as to coach.

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    Falcao for Fun is another terrific new game that we ended up playing for an hour with this group… and our CAC staff jumped in – we couldn’t let the participants have that much fun without us! In this game there are two teams lined up by the “posts” or bricks of two goals that are close together. This was a smaller group so we played 2 v. 2 but it can be played 3 v. 3 or 4 v. 4. If one of the teams scores or if the ball crosses the other team’s end-line, then the shooting team stays and two new players come on with the ball from the side that was shot on. This game is FAST and rewards shooting and quick decisions, as the next two players have to be ready with a ball pending a shot from the opposing team. And the group in Buwaya absolutely ate it up – maybe it’s the answer to African football… stop passing/dancing and SHOOT. Who knows?

    After the program our team stayed the night in tents across the lake instead of returning to Entebbe. A fun experience for our staff, but moreover it was a gesture of friendship and gratitude that was deeply appreciated by the entire community. Although this is a third-year program, CAC will be returning to Uganda and will hopefully be able to fit in a quick matatu/boat/boda-boda adventure to pay a visit to our friends in Buwaya.

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  • Green Mambas, Fishing Boats, and Ant Hills.

    June 20, 2013.  The final week for the CAC team in Uganda ended in Buwaya District, a small fishing village in the middle of Lake Victoria. The travel each morning consisted of small wooden fishing boats across the lake and boda-bodas (motocycles) across the island to a large green open field in the forest. We would arrive every morning and watch the coaches from the island gather from all different directions of the field, popping up from the forest some of them walking over 3 miles every morning for training.  It didn’t matter if certain coaches walked 1 mile or 3 miles barefoot or with shoes, all of the coaches in Buwaya came with huge smiles everyday eager to learn and play the CAC games. The people of Buwaya are some of the happiest, most giving people we have ever come across.

    The favorite games of the week were the extensive running and physical games including classic Stanford Bridge Tag that became so competitive the whole field was used as a boundary  Jackies Circle was also another well played game where the coaches had to name safe places in the community, and remember movement for those spaces. It became competitive and successful with many coaches wanting to take the lead and make new movements.

    It was a great last week for CAC in Uganda as working in Buwaya was far different from anywhere else we had been. After training sessions we received tours of the fishing and farming areas learning about all the different crops including coffee, sugarcane, and spices. Tasting all the different fruits and fresh fish after each training was definitely a highlight of our trip. Not to mention the green mamba slithering across the grass as we were having our last session with the coaches, and having everyone in the vicinity jump and run.

    The CAC team would had never had the opportunity or made the impact we made in Buwaye if it wasn’t for our Impact Coach Godrey Mugisha, a.k.a. “Moogy.” Moogy is a former Ugandan National team player, and played soccer at University in the state of Virginia. He now runs his own football academy in Uganda and works with all age groups of children. He made it possible for CAC to go to Buwaya and train the coaches who rarely get this opportunity. Moogy, who is fluent in Lugandan was our translator, and tour guide of the island making our last week one of a kind. It is people like Moogy, and the community of Buwaya that make the travel and hard work that goes into CAC worth every part of it.

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