By Trevor Teeuwsen:
We have now been in Botswana for just over two months and the time continues to fly by. There are only 5 weeks left and it feels like there is still so much left to do here. A lot has happened over the last two weeks since Elizabeth’s last update.
Our beach volleyball program has now officially begun and our coaches are working hard to train the kids that are involved. Two schools are even running hour long training sessions four times per week! Each school is training at least twice per week, with one of these training sessions being held at the local beach volleyball court. We initially planned on having five schools join our program, with six kids being selected from each school. However, some complications with a few of our coaches and the sports masters at two of the schools have forced us to adapt our program. Our program now consists of just three schools, but two of the schools are training eight kids and the third is training twelve. We are excited to still be exposing 28 kids to beach volleyball despite our difficulties with two of the schools.
Our three schools are now in their third week of our eight week program. We visited the beach court training session of one of our schools yesterday and will do the same with the other two schools this week. The kids were all engaged and came ready to practice hard. We plan on visiting the beach court training sessions next week as well to get a good sense of how the coaches and their students are doing. At the end of the fourth week of the program we will meet with all of our coaches to give them feedback and make suggestions on how to improve for the second half of the program. We are continuing to work on our Long Term Athlete Development framework as well and plan to have our first draft finished by the end of July.
Outside of work, we have had an awesome couple of weeks. We celebrated Canada Day by climbing Kgale Hill, a popular hiking location for locals. The view was absolutely incredible and we were able to see almost all of Gaborone from the highest peak. The next day we attended a local event on the waterfront called Jam for Brunch. People gather at the beginning of every month for good food, drinks, and music. We had a great time there and ended up making a few new friends.
A few days later we found ourselves back at the Mokolodi Game Reserve for their cheetah interaction. We got to spend about an hour with Chutho in her enclosure under the watchful eyes of two trainers. We had the chance to pet Chutho and learned that cheetahs meow like house cats. We also got to hear a proper roar last weekend at Lion Park Resort. The park is home to five lions and a small selection of rides. Although the rides seemed fairly tame to me, it was awesome to see the excitement and fear on the faces of the locals.
We have also been playing ultimate frisbee every week and have made many good friends while doing so. Two of them will be joining us as we go to Zimbabwe this weekend, so be sure to check back in a couple weeks to see the pictures Elizabeth will be posting of Victoria Falls!
Le Kamoso, (until next time)
Tshepo (my Setswana name)