Under the cloudy Tanzanian sky two football teams are playing on a dry and dusty pitch. The white lines are barely visible, but the children are all smiles, energy and enthusiasm, and the game barely pauses as a motor bike roars down the road that runs through the middle of pitch, belching black smoke in all directions...
Of all the stories that Angel brought back from volunteering trip to Africa with an Irish charity, this is the one that stuck in my head. And there were a lot of stories.
When she arrived home last week, the words just tumbled out. From the long flight after I waved her off in the middle of the night to a very happy reunion in Dublin airport a month later, there was a lot to tell!
Stories of airports that had never seen an e-ticket, luggage that disappeared for a week, hanging onto the sides of overcrowded buses, cheap diesel fumes clogging the air, and that was just the transport.
Angel and three of her friends stayed in a well-appointed hostel, they even had some access to broadband. The food was good and plentiful, but the water was not. All drinking water was bottled, there was no washing machine and the shower was just a trickle, so clothes and skin needed lots of cleaning when they returned home. Even Western-style toilets were rare, apart from the hostel and a handful of the restaurants.
In the mornings they headed across town to the orphanage and school. It could be an interesting journey as the terrain was tricky, with pot holes and open man hole covers at every turn, mud and dust and piles of burning rubbish outside the low-rise buildings. Bizarrely the street signs were all sponsored by Coca Cola.
All the children were eager to learn and interested in everything their visitors could share. They spoke in Swahili and Angel's sentences are still peppered with words that she absorbed. I'm actually not sure who learned the most! Did you know that there are 15 different varieties of bananas? And that Tanzanian oranges are green? That caused lots of confusion when trying to teach English to the children.
After a late lunch the girls helped the kids with their football training and matches, but only till around 6, when dusk begins. It is pitch black by 6.30. Their evening were spent eating and playing cards.
The friends also squeezed in a couple of touristy trips too, a safari and a jungle trek. All of them had an amazing time and are vowing to return again next year.
And Angel? Well she left Ireland as a teenager, and returned as a confident young woman. More helpful and more thoughtful. She's questioning the life that we take for granted, and the stuff that we think we need. Like milk frothers.
"They don't worry so much in Africa," she says, "they just soak up the joy of living."
There's a lesson in that for all of us. Perhaps I should go there too...