Opening Ceremony in Kigoma followed by work in Geita

May 6th, 2011.  On Saturday we put an exclamation point on our final day in Kigoma as we attended the Opening Ceremony of the SportCourt field at Katubuka Primary School.  It was a huge success, with several local politicians in attendance, a good turnout from the district’s media, hundreds of townspeople, and – of -course – the children of Kigoma, who seem to have taken up permanent residence around the perimeter of the court since its completion last week.  The ceremony began with some traditional dance from a small group of the Katubuka students, followed by scrimmages of the boys’ and girls’ teams (both matches were decided by tense shootouts, much to the excitement of the crowd).  There were then some short speeches, including one from us “mzungus,” and a ceremonial “first kick” from the District Commissioner of Kigoma.

All in all, we couldn’t have had a more positive experience in Kigoma.  Everyone we met was incredibly warm and hospitable, and by the end of our stay, we were able to walk around the village and recognize some familiar faces.  We also are tremendously pleased with the outcome of the SportCourt – not just because it was completed successfully, but also because of how much the townspeople seemed to appreciate it.  Everyone from the Mayor to the Head Teacher to our motorcycle taxi drivers told us how grateful they were to have to SportCourt in the community, so we are confident that it will be treasured for many years to come.

We are now in Geita after a 7.5 hour Landcruiser journey that took us over some beautiful African countryside.  After arriving yesterday, we spent most of the afternoon getting our bearings.  Today, we coached our first session at the Kalangalala Secondary School, with kids aged 12-17.  It was clear that they and their coaches have been practicing many of the drills that last year’s Coaches Across Continents volunteers taught them.  There’s as much natural talent and athleticism as there is enthusiasm, so it should be a fun group to work with.

More to come soon!

Best,
Colin, Jessica, and Nate

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