On 22 November, the time had finally come: the new volunteers Yamina, Leo, Vincent and Lasse landed in Cape Town. After months of waiting, the four arrived finally in South Africa for the orientation seminar before taking the bus to the new project at the DOW Academy in Botswana.
Five days of intensive preparation lay ahead of the volunteers. This included not only a theoretical framework in which the four were comprehensively informed about the objectives and values of PlayHandball, but also participation in practical sessions on how to organise handball and sports sessions in schools and communities.
“Thanks to the orientation week, I now had a concrete idea of how to plan and run different sessions in schools and communities. I go to my placement with a good feeling and a lot of anticipation. Especially the combination of coaching handball with the values and goals of PlayHandball is one of my big goals! “, so Lasse.
Of course, in addition to the different theoretical units, the practical implementation was not neglected. The sports day at St. Paul’s Primary School, where the volunteers organised handball sessions for over 120 children, was a great conclusion to the orientation.
The “cultural orientation” didn’t come too short as well during this week. An energy-sapping hike up Table Mountain made one very hungry for typical African cuisine. For this, Eve showed the volunteers how to cook the traditionelle African pap with various side dishes (beef stew, worms, pumpkin leaves and dried fish). Jumping into the (very) cold water at Clifton Beach was also a big highlight of the week!
After the training in Cape Town, the volunteers started their next journey to their placement at the Dow Acadamy in Mochudi, Botswana. To get they took the bus to Gaborone via Johannesburg.
“It was a very interesting experience. In 30 hours we saw a lot of the beautiful landscape and wildlife of South Africa. We passed by zebras, wilderbiests and antilops on the side of the road. Despite that, I hopefully do not have to sit for such a long time for a while.” concluded Vincent.
Arrived in Botswana, the volunteers finally got to know the Dow Acadamy teachers, staff and facilities and started planning their work schedule for the next school year. We will certainly be hearing a lot more from them! But for now, everyone is on holiday as the big summer holidays have started in Botswana as well as in South Africa and Kenya.