The Turkana name Nakwaparit describes the “flat white field” outside the school, used by students for informal football matches. Though Nakwaparit students were younger than TBI students, both teams were evenly matched, with neither side able to maneuver an advantage over the other until the very end.
TBI Field School student Johnpius Mpangarusya vies with a Nakwaparit student for the football during our match on Sunday.
Turkana Basin Institute Field School students and staff made their way south of TBI to Nakwaparit elementary school Sunday afternoon for a football match on the school’s wide and sandy pitch. Most of the TBI participants were students from the United States or greater Kenya, though a number of local TBI staff also joined in on the fun, including Ikal Angelei, who organized the games.
Nakwaparit students asked to play on one team, to demonstrate their abilities on the field. Most played barefoot, though the sand was hot enough at the outset of the match that the TBI team couldn’t. While many students participated in the match, others watched, or played hopscotch, frisbee, and other games on the sidelines.
Quan and Alisha, center, look up with two Nakwaparit students as they wait for the ball to come within reach.
John Mark and Ben race for the ball.
John Mark, a member of the TBI staff and field assistant, came along to participate in the game. TBI students were elated until he surprised all by joining the Nakwaparit team!
The football match was fun and provided both communities a relaxing Sunday afternoon. More importantly, the games continued to strengthen the bonds between the TBI and greater Turkana community in the region.
Photographs by Francis, Mandy, Priscilla, Alec and Meadow.