and some more people came about 2. About 2:20, they began striping the fields.
Please notice in this photo the GIGANTIC thunderstorm forming in the distance. No one is alarmed. At all. No one hustles to try to make sure we get in the two games, since three of the four teams playing had traveled all the way from Kampala to play today. The Ddembe kids arrive to watch, and we play games together and lay in the grass for another hour. Not even kidding. Finally the last team arrives, and they decide to begin play. Robert's team (the Nile Zulus) was not playing first, so he got to hang out with us on the grass. The kids were so excited by all of his gear and by the action on the field.
At 4:35, Robert's team took the field! Nile Zulus (the Jinja team) vs the YMCA Warriaz from Kampala.
Remember that the Zulus were the brand new team Robert helped last summer. Brand. New. Other teams on the field today had many men who played on the Ugandan national team in Denver two summers ago. The Zulus brought in a ringer.
Final score- Warriaz 4, Zulus 2.
Robert scored two goals!
One of my most precious moments today was standing behind this:
I have a similar picture of Robert's biological siblings watching him play! 💜
They were such great cheerleaders for him! My favorite quotes of the day:
Rogers: which one is Robert? No, wait! I can pick him out! ;-)
Patricia: when Robert gets the ball, you get ready (because I missed filming the first goal), and we will prepare to dance!
Yonna: I want to play with Roberti! I want to play with Roberti!
Magdalene: did you see him give that guy a beating??!!
Magdalene: did you see him just take a beating?!!
The other best part of the day was seeing all of our old friends from the Ugandan National Team. Patrick, Otim, Tabu, DJ Lubz, Onen... So many of them, and we got the best hugs (on and off the field!) ;-). They all wanted to know:
1. How I was doing
2. How was "the big man" /"Rob's dad" (They loved their time with him in Denver so much, and many of them haven't had a father in years or ever. He made quite an impression on them!). In fact, Tabu and Otim asked me to "carry this photo to him!"
3. WHAT am I feeding Robert?! He's taller every time they see him!
When I asked them how they were doing, each of them first responded "so good!" They told me stories of children growing up, getting to be team captains, starting new jobs, starting sports ministries, growing the girls' game, growing the game across Africa, etc. It was amazing.
The weather was perfect today. We never saw a drop of rain, and I never broke a sweat.
I had Ddembe kids with me relaxing and sharing a new experience.
I got to see old friends.
Best part-- I got to see my son so happy and so in his element.