By Elizabeth Kujbida:
I’m having the hardest time wrapping my head around the fact that my time in Botswana is only 25 days away from being over. It feels like almost yesterday that we first touched down in this beautiful country!
Since Trevor’s last update two weeks ago, our workload has really increased and we are finding ourselves working extremely hard every day to meet deadlines. Even with the heavier workload though, we are absolutely having an amazing time and greatly enjoying the work we are doing!
As mentioned in Trevor’s last post, our beach volleyball development program is in full swing, and our coaches are currently wrapping up the fifth of eight weeks. We have been visiting the beach court three days a week for the last two weeks (once a week per school) to oversee the training and take notes on the coaches and the development of the kids, and I can confidently say that many of these kids have improved so much from the first week of the program to now! I absolutely
cannot say enough great things about our coaches as well. The dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm that they have for this program is truly admirable! We have also had a few of the coaches for the school’s indoor volleyball team join us on days we go to the beach court. It has been a great learning experience for us to see how the kids are being taught in their school program, and great to include the schools as much as possible in this program!
Last week (the midway point of the program), we scheduled a feedback meeting with all of the coaches to discuss our thoughts about the program so far, and how we can continue to make improvements going into the second half. We received great feedback from everyone as to what they expect from us during these next weeks, and I can tell from attending the sessions this past week that the coaches all took our feedback for them seriously and are working their hardest to use it.
Outside of the beach program, Trevor and I have been working tirelessly to complete our BLTAD. Every day we get closer to completion and will have a first draft ready to meet our deadline at the end of the month. Working on this BLTAD has been such an enjoyable experience and has really helped to broaden my knowledge of long-term athlete development. It’s amazing to see all of our hard work slowly coming together!
We have also been having an amazing time outside of work! July 15 – 18 was a long weekend here in Botswana so Trevor and I, along with two friends that we have made from Ultimate Frisbee, took a trip to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe! I truly do not have any words that can sufficiently do justice the scale and beauty of the falls. I am thrilled to have experienced one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but am also very glad that I decided to bring my rain jacket!
While in Victoria Falls, we also decided to take a day trip to Chobe National Park (about an hour from Victoria Falls in northern Botswana). The day consisted of a morning boat trip on the Chobe River and afternoon game drive where we saw many hippos, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, zebras, many different species of birds, and much more! Botswana apparently has the largest concentration of elephants in all of Africa and it definitely did not
disappoint! The highlight was undoubtedly on the game drive and a herd of about 30 elephants (some of them babies!) were right alongside our vehicle for the longest time! Overall, Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park are both very beautiful places and I feel so lucky to have this opportunity in such an amazing place!
Going along with exciting things, as of July 26, I’m officially 22! My birthday was spent at work during the day, before heading off to Ultimate Frisbee that evening and then going to Bull and Bush for food and drinks afterwards to celebrate. I am so grateful for everyone here and I’m so lucky to get to spend my birthday with such great people in such a great place!
For now, make sure to check back in in two weeks for Trevor’s next update as we’ve got some exciting things coming up!
Until next time,