By: Paul Morra
It has been three weeks since Savannah and I touched down in Gaborone. The more settled in I have gotten, the faster time seems to go by! Unlike some of the past Queen Elizabeth Scholars, our travels were quite smooth. No major delays and no lost luggage. We were picked up from the airport by Modise and BK from the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) and they drove us to the place we would call home for the next four months.
We were met by our caretaker, Dipuo, who showed us through the house. Once we started to unpack, I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Those feelings went away however when Dimpho and Kaleba from the BNOC took us around the local Riverwalk mall. After getting more accustomed to our surroundings, we went home for some much needed rest.
During our first meeting with the BNOC, we learned that our primary focus will be
working with the Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) to develop a Botswana Long-Term Athlete Development (BLTAD) Model. This LTAD will be used by schools and clubs across the country to ensure rugby has long-term success and sustainability in Botswana. Our secondary focus is to create an Implementation Guide for the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA), based on the BLTAD that the previous interns completed.
Over the last few weeks, we have had introductory meetings with the BRU Development Manager, Zilwele, and with Aobakwe of the BTA to learn more about each organization. Currently, we are wrapping up our Implementation Guide for the BTA before we shift all our focus to the BLTAD creation for rugby. I must say, working between three different organizations has been a challenge but it has also given us more insight into how sport is governed here in Botswana!
Outside of the office, we have tried our best to connect with people around the city. On Wednesdays and Fridays, we play ultimate frisbee with a great group of people from all around the world. It has been really fun playing frisbee again, a sport I played in high school, as well as connecting with people from all over southern Africa, the United States, Germany and Romania.
This past weekend, six of us ventured out to the Mokolodi Nature Reserve in our new friend Chris’ truck. It was awesome going with people who had experience on the reserve, as they were great at spotting and tracking different animals. We also got extremely lucky, as we spotted all five of the rhinos on the reserve within the first hour. They let us know how fortunate we were to see such rare animals on our first game drive! The next day we woke up bright and early to hike Kgale Hill with our friend Jarvind. It was a difficult climb but the view from the top was well worth it. You can see all of Gaborone and the beautiful landscape that surrounds the city.
I am very excited to continue working on our projects and to experience more of what Botswana has to offer!