By Alexander Longwell:
This will be my 9th and final addition to this blog. It was an amazing journey filled with fantastic experiences and memories I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I have enjoyed every minute of being down here, especially those spent with the children, teaching them how to play new sports and attempting to speak Siswati with them.
On Sunday April 2nd the President of the international Frontball Association Mr. Jean Michel Idiart and a team of 7 delegates visited the OAC to train the teachers and coaches in Swaziland. I was left in charge of the event as Mrs. H was out of the country, and aside from a few let downs, it went off without an issue. I say let downs because we were hoping to have 20 kids join in the activity, however we only had one show up. The other participants included close to 20 volunteers and 8 teachers representing all but one of the schools that will participate in the Taiwan Games come July. The day consisted of the Frontball delegates educating us on the history of the sport and going through different training exercises, before ending the day with lunch and a mini round robin tournament, which was lots of fun.
Tuesday April 4th Mrs H, a few volunteers and I all were invited by the International Frontball Association to participate in the christening of the brand new courts they built in Ermelo, South Africa. It was a fantastic day that allowed us to make a lot of progress on frontball in Swaziland. In addition to competing in a small tournament we used the day to network further with the President and other members of the International Frontball Association and get a better understanding of how competitions should be organized and run.
My last week of work was spent rushing to get as much done for the Queen’s Baton Relay as I could and finalize an official rule book for the Taiwan Games. I attended meetings, wrote letters, designed banners and made plenty of emails and phone calls. On my last day the office and volunteers from the Olympafrica Centre held a farewell party as they have for all interns before me. We had a traditional Swazi brai, with pap and Swazi spinach and it was a great way to celebrate the end of my journey.
I have one week left until I depart Swaziland and I plan on making the most of it. I look forward to being reunited with my friends and family back home, but I will miss the Swazi family I have gained. Good luck to Matt Hagopian who will be taking over for me in May, I hope your experience will be just as amazing as mine was!
Salani Kahl Swaziland. Until next time.
Alexander (Themba) Longwell