2 April 2015 — “Are we there yet?” ask the children in the bus. Despite their fatigue, they smile, clap and shout in excitement as soon as Mwanza Jamatkhana comes into view.
Bus after bus is lined up at the entrance of the majestic Jamatkhana, as participants and spectators from all over East Africa arrive for the largest Ismaili sports tournament in the region — the bi-annual Unity Games.
Participants and spectators from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda joined together to travel to Mwanza. Many of the buses journeyed for up to 20 hours before arriving to a warm Tanzanian welcome in the middle of the night.
Team Kenya’s contingent of over 300 people aged between 1 and 84 is the largest the country has sent to the Games in years. Travelling from Eldoret, Kisii, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi through the early morning hours, Jamati members kept their spirits up throughout the drive, filling the buses with singing and laughter.
In Kisii, the small town Jamat fed everyone a breakfast consisting of everything from the jalebi and gathia to eggs and sausages. Before the sports had even started, bonds were forming in the true spirit of the Games.