Hello from Uganda!
This is Kelly Brait, checking in from Uganda. I'm a little more than halfway through, and I've loved it so far. I'm working with an organization called Soccer Without Borders. We target mainly children of refugees (mostly from Congo) and teach them English and Life Skills, then train in the afternoon. Life Skills can be anything, ranging from teaching about respect and teamwork to teaching the cardiovascular system. The past two weeks we've been teaching about animals, and this Friday we'll take the kids to the zoo! The coaching staff is great. They're very helpful and friendly and the director is teaching us some Swahili. I'm living with three other Americans that are involved with Soccer Without Borders.
Some of the stories of these kids are crazy. Many of them have been uprooted from their homes in Congo and live totally different, impoverished lives here in Uganda, but they're still so excited to come to school and learn and play soccer.
Working out has been a unique experience here, and it almost always involves children. There are always kids hanging around the pitch, so whenever I run, I'm joined by a gaggle of barefoot or sandaled kids that do some laps with me. Sometimes when I do sprints, the kids will start halfway and begin when I do. It makes sprinting so much more fun when you're chasing giggling kids (maybe a job for Sierra in the future???? J/K). Today I did a circuit with my housemates, and since we have no weights, we did step ups and pushups with toddlers on our backs- they thought it was a fun ride. On mornings I don't have to teach, I get to train with the U-17 boys team. U-17 is a loose term, since many of the "kids" are over 20-years-old (and much faster and stronger than I am...), but they're really fun.
I'm living in a town called Nsambya, which is on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda's capital. We buy our food fresh off the street or from the market or store, and we've made many friends with the women or men that sell fruits and vegetables on the street and at the open markets. I've really loved my time here so far, and I really want to come back after I graduate.
I'll try to check in again soon with more!
Until next time,