By Nick Hayman:
Hi there, Nick here with some more Swazi shenanigans.
It’s been quite a slow past 3 weeks around the office as there have not been too many events scheduled and it has been raining almost all the time. I’d estimate that 2 of every 3 days I’ve been here it rained at some point and a lot of the time it rains really hard. As such, it’s been difficult to plan to do many tourist-like things. I’ve now started planning some adventures for the future as I am now fully settled into the Swazi environment. Next weekend I will be doing a canopy tour of some mountains and I’m planning on taking a weekend trip to Victoria Falls sometime in November. There will be lots of fun times to come in the second half of my internship here.
After SOCGA’s disability week, we brought 5 kids with a disability from St. Joseph’s school (that was mentioned in my previous blog), to teach the games we had taught them to others not living with a disability from grade 1-7 at another school. It was luckily a lovely day and it seems all of the kids involved had a great time. The St. Joseph’s kids taught sitting volley, a cup stacking game, as well as Jenga. As I learned here; the younger the kids you teach, the less likely they are to understand anything you’re saying. Who knew?
I have been continuing to work with Swaziland’s one and only wheelchair basketball program every Saturday and we have yet to get rained out. Although it has rained a little bit most mornings, it won’t stop the players from wanting to play. Last Wednesday was the launch event for the wheelchair basketball program at the Olympafrica Centre, showcasing the sport and the progress of the players to officials from Basketball Swaziland, SOCGA, the National Sport Council of Swaziland, and the High Commissioner of Australia. Jo (pictured on the right in the last photo), who runs the program, has been in Swaziland from Australia for the last little while as a volunteer working with Cheshire Homes who manage the program. The Australian High Commissioner was there to donate 400,000 rand (40,000 CDN) to the program in hopes to improve quality of life. This will include upgrades to the wheelchairs that the athletes use, new nets that have backboards on them, and a ramp down to the court where the athletes play. There were many speeches at this event, a nice lunch, and a demonstration game. I did not arrive to this event knowing that I was going to be the referee of the game, so I refereed in my business professional office attire. Once again, we were lucky not to get rained out.
I have recently taken up the pastime of walking around outside my house and finding a nice mountain to climb (when it isn’t raining). Each one has a unique spectacular view from the top and I am super lucky that I live in a place where I can just climb up a different one whenever I want. Some climbings have involved some rather tricky navigating as there are no trails or paths that go up, just raw nature. Luckily I haven’t encountered any vicious animals yet and let’s hope that continues. On my way to work each morning I try to scout out new places to climb and I hope to finally go up a mountain with a view of the city centre.
That’s all from the last couple weeks here in Swaziland. There will be more exciting adventures to come in the following weeks as I enter the second half of my internship.
Do some rain dances for me,