It is hard to believe that yet another month has come and gone during my time in Botswana. I have now reached the half-way point on my journey of this internship. It is crazy how fast the time has flown by with my adventures in Botswana! This month has been busy as work continues to pick up and Luke and I have continued to explore.
Work continues to accelerate as we have switched from working with the Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) to work with the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA). This decision was due to the struggle we faced with the implementation phase of the Long-Term Athletic Development (LTAD) program as it is the examination period for students within schools. As a result, our journey with the BTA has begun as we are helping to create a LTAD plan specifically for this sport. Luke and I have made a draft of the document and continue to work on it to provide the sport of tennis with a specific LTAD outline. Since we began working with the BTA, Luke and I attended the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Coaches conference. It was a great event filled with a lot of information on how coaches can contribute to the athlete development and growth within the sport of tennis. Luke and I gathered key information that we will apply to the LTAD framework we are working on.
After the Youth Olympic Games came to a close, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) organized a welcome back ceremony that Luke and I were in attendance for. Even though none of the athletes brought home a medal, we are still extremely proud of how far they have come and how they represented the country of Botswana. I look forward to seeing where their journeys as athletes continues to bring them in the future!
Finally, this week Luke and I also got to attend the 40th anniversary celebration of the BNOC. We celebrated how far the organization has come and heard about future goals the BNOC wishes to accomplish. There were speeches made by the board members of the BNOC along with former Olympians. As the event was close to lunch we also got to enjoy a wonderful meal along with some great cake!
Outside of work, this month has been quite busy for Luke and I. We attended a rugby game at the beginning of the month in Pretoria, South Africa. The New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ came to play against the South African ‘Springboks’ for this game. I was very excited to attend as I knew the rivalry between the teams was high and our seats were quite good for the last minute decision. We ended up sitting besides a couple that live in New Zealand, the husband is a native New Zealander and the wife was originally from South Africa. It was great to speak to them and share stories about Canada and New Zealand as I have previously lived in both locations. The game was fantastic and the All Blacks managed to pull ahead within the last few minutes of the game winning by a conversion and taking the game 32-30. It was such a close game and I loved getting to see some world class rugby!
The following weekend was filled with a variety of activities. It began with a farewell party at one of the local restaurants, Bull and Bush (one of our favourite places to hang out), for a coworker from the BNOC. It was a good night filled with laughs and great food!
The next day, Luke and I got to attend a wedding of our coworker. It was a very busy day as we also had a meeting with the BTA that afternoon. After attending the meeting where we got to meet the board members of the BTA we rushed back to the wedding. We got to experience the full African wedding filled with dancing, food, and many outfit changes made by the bridal party. Overall it was great to attend a proper African wedding and to experience the different traditions compared to a Canadian wedding ceremony.
This last weekend, we finally got to climb Kgale Hill in Gaborone with a friend. Once we made it to the top of the 1,287 metre climb the views were spectacular. The whole city of Gaborone could be seen and it was a fantastic way to end another great month!
I look forward to the next month as I am planning a trip up north to experience a proper safari. I can’t wait to take in more of the beautiful nature of Botswana!
Until next time,