a note from the ministry of booze
Since joining the ultimate frisbee scene in Nairobi, we had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the long Easter weekend. Each of the last four years, Nairobi ultimate players have organized FEAST, the Frisbee East Africa Sand Tournament, taking over the public beach at Tiwi for a weekend of ultimate competition, the intensity of which is only matched by the party that follows. This year, we had twelve teams, including three from Tanzania, one from Uganda, another from the newly formed Republic of South Sudan, and a joint Rwanda – Ethiopia team that went by the name Ethiowanda. We also had six teams from all over Kenya, including three from Nairobi and one team composed of Peace Corps Volunteers.
Organizing logistics for FEAST is a complex undertaking, and many of the Nairobi players pitched in, taking on various responsibilities that ranged from the serious to the fun. We established “Ministries” to take on finances, housing, transportation, and food. There was someone in charge of ensuring that we had enough water at the fields, a challenge at most ultimate frisbee tournaments, and doubly important for a competition held at the beach. There was also a Ministry of Lubrication, one of our friends being responsible for assuring that there was enough vaseline to grease up melons for the watermelon polo competitions that were one of the highlights of the post-tournament party.
S organized the tournament t-shirt order while D got volunteered to head up the Ministry of Booze, tasked with ensuring that there was enough alcohol at the party to satisfy 150 thirsty frisbee players. The previous year, the organizers took a substantial loss, selling all-you-can drink wristbands that did not account for the capacity of ultimate frisbee players to consume alcohol. This year, we opted to have a pay-as-you-go cash bar, selling tickets that could be redeemed for cans of Tusker or cups of wine. The system worked well, the only drawback being that we vastly overestimated the amount of alcohol we would need. We had sold about 20% of our stock the first night and decided to reinforce the supply when we went to buy ice before the big party the second night. In addition to purchasing all of the ice available south of Mombasa, we brought back two additional cases of beer. This proved to be a mistake, though not a huge one in the grand scheme of things. Before calling it a night in the wee hours of the morning, S emptied out the coolers and packed up the surplus beer. D stayed up until the last of the revellers left around 5am and then got up a few hours later to ensure that the leftover beer – ten cases of it – got packed into someone’s car for the drive back to Nairobi. Fortunately beer does not go bad and we’re confident the FEAST leftovers will be put to good use here.