By Mitch McSweeney:
It is now the month of July and there is only about five weeks left until Jenna and I complete our internships and return to Canada. As usual, it has been extremely busy at SOCGA and a ton has happened since I posted last. To begin, the OlympAfrica Centre (OAC) has been continuing the sport and education project in various schools, and have now begun visiting schools every Wednesday and Friday that are sponsored by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (TFCF). Working in partnership with the TFCF, OlympAfrica volunteers have been teaching and playing sport games and activities with youth in primary schools. The youth love playing all day with the volunteers and they even get to have a break from school (which they seem to like quite a lot!).
Also, since I posted last, the SOCGA hosted three different Olympic Day Runs, on June 23rd, June 25th, and June 26th, all in different cities in Swaziland. These events involved runs for adults and youth, lunch and food for participants, music and cultural dances, and games and activities all day for youth that were run by volunteers. Additionally, at the Mbabane Carnival, there was a flea market where people could buy local products from vendors. All three events were a great success and, in total, 2190 people attended.
For July and August, there will be a lot of preparations in the SOCGA offices for the upcoming Olympics, where two Swaziland athletes will be participating in the Games in Rio. At the OAC we will be continuing to visit schools for the school and education project and are also planning a Parent Day at the Centre in order to show parents the benefits of the OAC and what their children do when they attend events and activities.
In non-work related news, we have been quite busy going on various adventures. We have visited some shops to look at traditional Swazi cultures and ornaments, which are all so very cool. The big news is that we have recently just completed a once in a lifetime opportunity, the world renown Kruger Safari, that was five days, from Thursday to Sunday this past week. We were extremely lucky and saw all “Big Five” of the animals on the first day, including the leopard (extremely rare to see), lions, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes. Our tour guide said that we were the luckiest people on the planet once we saw all five. The people on the safari with us were extremely fun and we had a great time with all of them, meeting people from all over Europe (Germany, Holland, Switzerland, England, and British) as well as had two experienced South Africans with us who were veterans of Kruger Park. It was an awesome 5 days!
That’s it for now and time goes by so fast here that it won’t be soon until I will be saying goodbye to Swaziland (even though I really do not want to). I’m looking forward to the last two months and can’t wait to see the completion of the internship!
Goodbye and sala kahle (Have a good day) for now!