I took a nap on Wednesday afternoon and kept the phone in silent mode as I usually do. When I woke up, I found about 8 missed calls, 3 text messages and endless whatsapp interactions.Logged onto facebook and even more buzz in the inbox.
I thought nothing of it (It is when you are away from the phone that it usually goes crazy so I know better than to be moved by that) until I started to read the messages. There actually was a mini-emergency regarding our Saturday event Hoops for Grace IV. I had to get up, get dressed and find a mobile money outlet that had enough ‘float’ for at least 1,000,000 shillings so that a couple of service providers could actually begin to work. One friend sent a message ” It is not like you to go quiet for this long without letting us know.” I replied and explained to him that I had taken a nap and asked if I should be informing people that I am going to sleep. Believe it or not, he said yes!! I laughed and realised that sometimes 24 hours are indeed not long enough! Life has to move on whether one has an ache, sleep debt, emergency et al.
Fast forward to Saturday, D-day. We had done our best regarding planning and marketing the event, we prayed about the weather and everything else, surely things were going to go according to plan, right? Wrong!
I hardly slept the night before and just as I was beginning to find peace, morning was upon us. I got up, took care of a few chores and then loaded mum’s car with merchandise to use at the event, left space for one person I was to pick and then got in to start the car.
Alas, it had no plans of moving! I could hear it sing “No, no,no!” (Amy Whinehouse voice) The battery had gone to sleep. I laughed! After doing everything on time, this is what fate had decided? Obviously ‘star ta fa’ but only because of the amazing team that I belong to. In ten minutes, some friends who were heading to the event to ‘work’ passed by, we pushed the car, jump started it and then it was ready to move 🙂 Phukes!!
When we got to Bush Court, it was difficult to do anything, the first few minutes were characterised by an argument that ‘we were late for.’ After standing around staring-trying to make sense, of it and failing, we started to off load the materials and set up. We were doing great on time, *see the positives*
Then suddenly everything was ready but the players were only strolling in casually in ones and twos, not the complete team. Looking around there was even a team that had branded shirts, with their name and hoops for grace written at the bottom, eh, people can be prepared!!
Eventually, the games began and things were running ‘smoothly’ but you know it can never be perfect, at least not behind the scenes.
Several things still needed to be bought and while I was lamenting that I needed a ‘loose 200k’ (albeit half serious) to take care of some bills, my friend said she had something to give me. Believe it or not, it was 200,000UGX!!
Suddenly our ‘ poor gate collectors’ were being bullied by over 6ft tall muscular beings who did not want to pay a measly 3,000sh for entrance, then those who said they were actually players got to registration point and decided they weren’t ready to part with the 10,000sh for players. In fact, some pretended they would not play then somehow sneaked onto the court (God is seeing you) It was so frustrating but the 40-40 team still managed to keep calm. It stopped making sense to remind people that it was for charity not our benefit.
I joined my friends at the drinks section and we began to switch the cold drinks to the top and warm ones to the bottom. Some not-so-gentleman found me and yelled “Stop laughing and give me a mirinda!” I was speechless and gave him his Mirinda..all the while thinking, just because we are asking for help does not mean people should be rude. I had to be fine. Turns out several other arrogant customers haunted the poor girlies (and later guy too) who were at the ‘bar’ especially when change ran out or the ‘fresh’ drinks took a while to get delivered. They still stood strong
You still had to smile and act like it was all okay. Voices were raised when the delays occurred especially amongst the team but we are all human you know. If yelling is how one deals then so be it.
As if that was not enough, the car key decided to disappear yet the DJ’s laptop and turn table were ‘chilling’ in there.
I was afraid to call and stress the mother for a spare key so instead I made myself busy. MC’s announced the missing item but still nothing. I decided to keep myself occupied so I would forget but every two minutes someone innocently asked ‘Did you find the keys?,’ #Fail.
I decided to accept the reality and make that call. I could tell that I had woken her up and the response seemed to suggest mum didn’t know where her spare key was so I had to either find this one or…find it!
My friend’s 8 year old cousin asked me what was wrong. When I told her she gave me a big hug and said “Don’t worry, you will find the key.” I fell in love with her all over again. Bless her.
I later went to sit by the merchandise table and think of a break in or plan C, only to have another member of the team tell me she was going to hunt the key down.
Five minutes later, she was holding it up after finding it ‘hiding’ in a random polythene bag (kavera) that I must have carried at some point.
Ululations happened 🙂 (We are set to marry in December :D)
My mood lightened up and suddenly, nothing could make it bad again.. or could it?
Expenses kept coming out of nowhere to the extent I had to go and ask members of my team for 10,20,50,000 because I did not want to ‘touch’ the event money . None of them asked how or when I would pay them back, they just gave it to me, one even checked her wallet to give me 10,000 and only found 3,000 🙂 Team work is a beautiful thing!
Everyone was fighting some sort of battle to make it work- carrying,counting,climbing to put up the screen, driving back and forth to purchase items,pay service providers, insisting friends should come e.t.c and make it work they did!
People left after the movie ended at about 9.00 pm and the team still stayed to clean up,pack and up and deliver property that wasn’t ours. By 1.00 a.m we were home, exhausted to bits but still, happy!
Well, it even seems more worthwhile now with a surplus of 5,204,000 going to dormitory construction (our main goal) after investing 2,840,000 and making 8,044,200 at the event, one can only say the efforts really paid off!!
P.s; I deliberately left out the names because each and everyone played a huge role and it was team effort indeed!
To say I am proud and honoured to be part of team 40-40 would be a huge understatement.
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in our success no matter how small.
God bless you forever and a day more 🙂