It is so refreshing to see the love and compassion that the people of Rwanda have for one another. Every day when I leave my house, there are always kids that come running up to me and hug me and say: “hello, how are you?”, in English. They are not even kids from the courts, yet they still come running to me and trying to learn my language. I find that very impressive considering I am the one trying hard to learn their language.
So Matt and I handed out some of the Lakers’ jerseys that were donated to players at the courts. Word of mouth got out and the next thing I know, I have about 20 new youth added to my roster in Kayonza. I think it’s great! The jerseys were definitely an incentive to get more youth involved. But I made sure that any new player if they want a jersey they need to come to practice everyday.
The kids are on vacation now so we are doing morning and afternoon practices. And with the kids on vacation, we have started inter-court vacation league games. The first week of games went good for the most part. More people kept showing that I have never even seen at practices.
Now that we have more kids at the court in Kayonza, I was able to get someone to help me out, Christian. Christian is Thierry’s older brother. Thierry is one of my players. He has been helping me out with the younger kids as well. Both of them have been a tremendous help with translating, and getting the younger kids settled down and listening.
So the most intriguing event that took place this week was when we were doing shooting drills in Kayonza, the ball hit the back of the rim and the rim snapped completely off the backboard. Luckily, we had a spare; however, the other rim isn’t in any better condition either. And Last week at the Rukara court a rim fell off as well. But luckily the Rukara court is an easy fix, and just needs new screws. I was able to get someone out to Kayonza yesterday so both rims are looking great! And I plan to get someone out to Rukara this week. Practice yesterday at Kayonza was a little difficult however yesterday. With one rim broken off, and someone was fixing the other rim, I was very limited with drills to do with over 30 primary kids. And trying to keep their attention is difficult as it is. But practice was a success and everyone was able to work on their ball handling and passing.
Well, I hope everyone is doing well back in the states. We are truly having a great time here. And I would like to wish everyone a Happy Belated Veterans Day! 🙂