By Megan Harper:
Hello again from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands!
It has been a month since my last post. When I think about the time that has passed it is almost a conflicting feeling; on one hand it seems like the month flew by and then on the other if I were to describe to you everything I’ve experienced, this post would be extremely long. I will settle for a quick summary!
In regards to work, I continue to run my weekly school sessions. There have been a few interruptions as each school on the island has their own Sports Day, there has also been an Inter-High Track and Field meet, and they are now preparing for an Inter-High Volleyball tournament. It has been very interesting to observe how competitive the schools get before each competition. Due to Easter break, which is two weeks in TCI, next week will be my final week of school sessions; this is very hard to believe!
Last week I was invited to attend an Extra-Curricular Fair put on by the British West Indies Collegiate. I spent a couple days designing a poster and power-point presentation, and also had students leave their e-mails so I could forward them information about getting involved in club rugby. Another event I attended recently was my first Turks and Caicos Islands Rugby Football Union (TCRIFU) Executive meeting. We discussed current and future goals for the Union, as well as my replacement Ryan, and some other house keeping items.
Saturday mornings are still reserved for Youth Training. I have become quite attached to my small group of Under 9’s, while Mr. Fielding runs practice for the older children. We have been using these sessions, as well as a few friendly matches, to select an Under 14 team to participate in a tournament in Freeport, Bahamas in May. It’s awesome to see how fearless some of the kids are as they progress from tag rugby to full-contact competition.
The Women’s National Team remains dedicated to practicing twice a week. Two Senior Men’s players, Clifton and Hendriks, have stepped up to the plate to aid in coaching the ladies. Mondays have become tackle and technique practice, while Wednesdays are now fitness training. They are hoping to compete in a Sevens tournament in Florida this June.
One of the biggest focuses of the TCIRFU is their Under 19 squad. At the end of every month I have been helping to organize a tournament at Meridian Field where athletes from Providenciales, North Caicos and Grand Turk compete against each other in eight, 10 a-side games. The point of these games is to demonstrate to Rugby Americas North (RAN) that we have enough competition to qualify for funding. The tournaments are also good training and preparation for the young men, as well as a good way to identify talent for TCIRFU coaches. The coaches are currently in the process of selecting players to represent the Under 19 National Team at the RAN Caribbean Championships in Nassau, Bahamas this May.
On the social side of things I have new roommates. The family I was previously living with moved to a new location and I chose to stay at the same location, but in a different unit, with two young gentlemen from my office. They are also the two Senior Men’s players, Clifton and Hendriks, I mentioned that had stepped up to help with the Women’s team. We have created a hashtag #lastmonthbestmonth because we have decided that my last month should be the best yet!
On my days off I love to snorkel. Recently I had two friends from Canada down to visit and we got some awesome pictures with the sea turtles that like to hang out around Coral Gardens beach. I also went on an ocean horse back ride, several boat party tours, and have been enjoying time spent with my new friends and roommates! I am looking forward to the middle of April as my Dad and his girlfriend are coming, as well as another good friend from home.
Until next time,