For the past two months I have been playing cricket for Menlo Park High School in Pretoria. I arrived on the 9th of January after a very eventful flight. I was scheduled to fly from Dublin to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and then to Johannesburg but a passenger fell ill and the flight was diverted to Cairo, Egypt which caused me to miss my connecting flight.
I was then stuck in Addis Ababa with no other flights to South Africa on the day, so I was forced to fly to Nairobi, Kenya and then to Johannesburg, which extended my travel by nearly a full day. And to make things worse my luggage only arrived two days later!!
Menlo has five senior teams and a very nice clubhouse and indoor nets and we train three times a week before school at 6am in the morning. It has been a real challenge to train that early and to play cricket in the extreme heat. I played in a day/night match one day that finished around 10pm that evening and we were back in training at 6am the next morning!
I have been playing mostly for the 2nds and we have been very successful winning most of our matches. It hasn't been just cricket for me though as I also had to attend some classes in school and in my spare time I mostly relax by the pool or play a few holes of golf and also spent a lot of time with my newly made friends.
I also went to the Menlo foam party which was a disco with a foam machine and it was a lot of fun. I also went to a Valentine’s ball and we had a great time. My cricket here is coming to an end soon. It has been a great experience to play on hard wickets, different conditions and all games played at such a high standard.
My game has improved a lot and the coaches at Menlo have been a great help. When my season ends here I will be traveling down to Durban with my family for a week or so to the beaches. Then I will be flying home at the beginning of April. I have made lots of new friends here and Brían from Cricket Leinster and I met the two boys from Menlo Park, Sebastian Van Rooyen and Jaco Lange, who will be coming to Ireland to play cricket for a couple of months this summer.
I'd like to thank Cricket Leinster and everyone at Menlo for this wonderful opportunity. I have really enjoyed it and I do hope more Leinster cricketers can come out here in future. I'd also like to thank my family here in Pretoria for letting me stay with them and for everything they've done for me and I'd like to thank everyone at the Hills CC for their continued support.
Heinrick Walser Skerries Community College & The Hills CC