Posts Tagged ‘I’m white

12
Oct
09

Settling In

Picture 023I can’t believe this is the start of my sixth week of work. The time here blows by – working everyday from 9(ok, closer to 10) to 5 (well… more like 3:30) and then having different Connect events or going out afterwards really drains you and keeps the days busy. Its rare to have a few days with nothing to do, and even rarer to have entire weekends with nothing planned.

The last few weeks have been filled with work projects. Two weeks ago we held a holiday program for the girls in our program while they were on their spring break. The idea was to have each community have a day camp for the girls, culminating in a tournament. I organized the event, starting with a budget and moving to the actual day-by-day planning stages. The girls who have worked in the program for years aren’t very creative with what they do, and its part of the reason the organization has seen very little growth recently. They don’t think outside the box, and basically just replicate everything from the year before. Not that anything I do is revolutionary – its all basically stuff I’ve picked up from working lacrosse camps and things I remember from going to soccer and lacrosse camps as a player.

Picture 017

So I planned the week with the girls in charge of each community. On Thursday and Friday of that week I went out to the townships to document the program. The way we planned it, there was supposed to be around 60 girls broken up into 4 groups, doing soccer drills and life lessons. It looked great on paper, and I know had it been planned as such in the US it would have gone off without a hitch.

When we arrived at the field, the first thing I noticed was a cow skull. It was in the grass near the soccer field. Vuyo said that it’s a pretty normal thing to see in the townships – the people take everything they can from the cow and then leave it be, but the head is useless because their brains are too small to eat. So they leave the skull.

I gave my camera to a little girl, and this is what I found later

I gave my camera to a little girl, and this is what I found later

When we walked closer to the field we noticed that the girls playing weren’t actually girls – it was a group of boys. The girls were all sitting off to the side, huddled around each other giggling and laughing. We all exchanged looks of frustration – this was what we were afraid of. Its part of the reason this organization doesn’t exactly draw me in – the overall futility of what we’re trying to do quells any unknown desires I have to give it my all and dive in head first 100%. I don’t think it’s the organizations fault – I’m pretty sure its just the way this kind of thing works. The frustration level is astounding though. I’ve barely been here a month and already when we go out to townships I expect to find unorganized and poorly funded events.

I’m now spending the week trying to find a way to implement an MVP improvement and evaluation form. Basically the MVPs right now have no way to measure their growth over the course of the year, and have no program to make sure they’re learning new things and improving their coaching techniques. They have no method for growth, and its my goal for the week to figure out a way to get them to improve and evaluate their performances. I have meetings with them and am drafting up various forms and programs for them, we’ll see how it all goes. Its an uphill battle, but you gotta start somewhere.

More on the past weekend – I reffed a basketball game, made sandwiches for 300 kids, listened to MSU win its second straight game, and went to the beach.

This might be my favorite picture of all time

This might be my favorite picture of all time

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