By Elizabeth Kujbida:
It’s been about two weeks since our last update (a month since my last one), and we’ve officially been in Gaborone for just under 2 months. I absolutely cannot believe how fast time is going by so far! These past two weeks have been a pretty exciting one in terms of work and exploring more of Botswana!
I’ll start off by giving you an update on what we’ve been up to at work! As Trevor mentioned in his last post, we have been working on developing and implementing a beach volleyball program to take place in five secondary schools around Gaborone, each including six students and 2-3 of our FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) trained coaches. The past two weeks we concluded meetings with the schools to get their permission for student participation and facility use. After that was all approved, the coaches were able to get started and have been busy at the schools selecting students to participate and beginning training to get an idea of their volleyball knowledge. The program is eight weeks in duration and we are set to begin this week after figuring out transportation logistics for bringing kids to and from one of the beach courts here in Gaborone.
A few weeks ago we also held a safety-training course for the coaches in order to know how to appropriately handle any medical concerns that may arise during their program sessions. The morning was a little worrisome that day with a few factors not going entirely according to plan, but we were able to adapt and have a successful day in which all of the coaches passed and became certified!
Getting the beach volleyball program off the ground has been Trevor’s and my main focus for the past weeks, but we have also been taking time to continue working on a Botswana Long-Term Athlete Development (BLTAD) framework to act as a guideline for continuing the growth and development of volleyball as a sport here in Botswana. Granted, this has not been the primary focus as we continue getting the beach program started, but we should have much more time to work on it starting next week!
Finally in terms of work, we attended the send-off ceremony for the men’s and women’s national volleyball teams yesterday that are travelling to Mozambique for a qualifying tournament, so best of luck to both teams!
Moving away from work now, we recently went with a friend at the BNOC to
the Mokolodi Game Reserve, about 20 minutes outside of Gaborone. The reserve is home to giraffes, rhinos, zebras, warthogs, cheetahs, impalas, kudu, and many different species of birds and reptiles. We were unfortunately not able to see all of the animals, but it was an amazing first experience with African wildlife!
This past weekend we were able to travel about two hours away, just outside of the village of Kanye and see the Toyota Kalahari 1000 Desert Race. The track is a lot larger than I originally expected, so we did not see any of the actual racing, but it was still a great day with friends and taking in the incredible atmosphere! The race is the biggest off road race in Africa, and definitely has a very large following as people set up camp in tents and vehicles for miles along the track.
For now, I hope you all enjoyed the update of everything we have going on, and check back in two weeks for another update from Trevor!
Until next time,