Dumela (hello) everyone!
It has been almost three weeks since Luke and I arrived in Gaborone, and we have been welcomed with open arms! I have been adjusting well to the local life and I am learning to keep cool in this warm weather, which I have been informed is quite cool for this time of year.
The first week of work began on Wednesday, with an initial meeting with the Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) and the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) members where we found out more about our task for the duration of the internship. Luke and I would be executing the implementation phase of the Botswana Long-Term Athlete Development (BLTAD) framework within the sport of table tennis. We will be bringing the sport into designated pilot schools and focus on getting children aged 6 to 12 involved, interested, and educated on table tennis. We get a completely blank slate for this implementation phase – which is both an exciting and daunting task.
That Friday, Luke and I joined in on the Olympic Day Celebration that the BNOC organized for the community. The day began with a 10km walk/run for students that lead us to the National Stadium where more activities were held. We joined in on the walk about half way through and were welcomed by the students! Once inside the stadium we joined in on the zumba warm-up with a few of the BNOC members.
We then participated and watched as the students, staff, and community members partook in the activities of relay races, 100m sprints, football (soccer), traditional board games, and my personal favourite to watch, the donut race. This was where the kids ran 100 meters to where there was a row of donuts hanging from strings for them to eat. The first person to finish his or her donut was the winner! The children loved the games and it was a great way to end our first week of work!
Over this last weekend, I ventured out and went on my first game drive in the Mokolodi Nature Reserve just outside of Gaborone! The 5am wake-up call was well worth it as I got to see many animals. My favourites included some giraffes, baboons, ostriches, impalas, and even a warthog!
The driver of the truck, Eddie, kept the morning lively and navigated the rough roads like a pro while searching for the animals! We stopped for a quick snack and drink on a hill that overlooked the valley of the reserve. The view was spectacular and it was an incredible experience. I will definitely be back in hopes of seeing some rhinos!
This week, the BNOC hosted a fair-well sendoff for the athletes heading to Argentina for the Youth Olympic Games. Luke and I got to join in on the morning event and it was nice to see the athletes that were going to represent the country of Botswana. Since it was a morning event, breakfast was also served and it was fantastic! I wish the athletes the best of luck on their journey and I will be sure to watch as they compete for the country!
I cannot wait to see what else is in store for the remainder of my time in this beautiful country!
Until next time,