It is hard to believe that I have been in Botswana for almost two months. It feels like I have been living in fast forward since arriving. As Gandhi said there is more to life than increasing its speed and I am definitely embracing the slower, laidback way of life here in Africa. I can now say I am fully settled in and accustomed to the city of Gaborone.
Since my last post Savannah and I have made some major strides with our projects. We are currently still working between both the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) and the Botswana Rugby Union (BRU). Last week we were introduced to Tapiwa Marobela-Masunga who is the Southern Africa Development Officer for the International Tennis Federation and a former elite tennis player. She had some new ideas and visions for the BTA LTAD, and she communicated all the changes she wanted us to make. We should have the final document completed within the week.
At the BRU office, we have been working on our data collection stage for the LTAD framework. We have designed and distributed a coach survey and a national structure survey which will help us identify the strengths and challenges that rugby faces in Botswana.
We have also done some considerable work on a concussion education and prevention document for the BRU as a side project. Savannah used her past experience to design a document outlining some baseline testing and concussion survey techniques. I then found some excellent concussion resources online through World Rugby, which we forwarded to our BRU supervisor Zee. We also discussed making these documents mandatory for all rugby clubs and schools with the BRU President, Sean Irish.
This past weekend we were able to get out to the Canon Jaguars rugby club in Gaborone and take in some local club rugby. While there we met a lot of other important players for the BRU, all of which will be useful contacts as we continue working on our LTAD.
Outside of work, we have been keeping our weekends very busy. We were invited by our friend Alex and his father Paul to go camping on the Limpopo River one weekend. We went deep into the bush and through some questionable roads to get there, but it was well worth the journey. We also had some special guests in Gabs, as Carly and Narissa visited us from Swaziland! We spent the weekend touring the city. Some of our stops included the Gaborone Dam for some kayaking and hiking Kgale Hill. We have also acquired a third roommate named Chris, who is here on an internship from Germany. She has since been joining us on all our adventures as well!
Now I would like to end this blog with some personal news. I unfortunately lost my childhood dog, Billy, on February 18th. He was my best friend and a huge part of my life for almost 16 years. It has been very difficult being so far away from my family during a difficult time but being around so many great people has helped me keep my mind clear. My time here in Botswana has taught me to live in the moment, because everything else is uncertain.
Until next time,