Day 13 – secondary school visit, football and finishing touches

Today we put the finishing touches to the bridge, including painting and putting the wire on the railings of the abutments. Midway through the morning, a group of us headed off to Apecas Muyunzwe Tvet School, a local secondary. We met a group of students who are studying construction, and spoke to them about famous bridges around the world and the similarities with the Gasyogogo bridge. It was great to see young people so excited and engaged with engineering! At the end of our visit, we handed out the footballs kindly donated to the school by Celtic FC and Rangers FC. They were very well received!

After returning to site and putting finishing touches to the bridge (dodging the frequent rain showers), we headed into Muyunzwe for a football match with the local bridge building team and B2P.

The orange team took an early lead, direct from a corner, which they took into half time. Jean and Eric led a rousing half-time team talk, which, when coupled with some tactical changes, including moving Eric from centre midfield to centre forward, completely altered the complexion of the game. Eric tore up the defence to win a corner, which he then took for Jack to power in at the near post, after beating Matt’s marking to draw the game level. Eric set up the next goal, along with a scuffed pass from Jack and finished off by William before finishing off a solo run to put the game beyond doubt. Matt moved into midfield and made a difference but it was a case of too little too late and was unable to draw the game level. Final score 3-1 to the green team. It was great to see the community come out in force to watch the match, and thanks to Holly for refereeing!

Following the football, we invited all of the local bridge build team to our accommodation for a barbecue. Despite the rain showers, a great time was had by all and huge thanks to chefs JP and Evariste for cooking up a feast!

(Thanks to Jack for the match report!)

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