June 25, 2013

The American students are being pushed to the brink. I am amazed they haven’t mutinied! They are being so amazing about stepping up and getting the work done. We are really only two days into this experience, we are sore, tired, and it’s tough to motivate, but there they are, ready to work and eager to tackle the daily tasks.

Today we had an early wake up call. I knew that the recipients of all these books would begin showing up at 8am, but the books were not nearly organized enough and we still didn’t have a full grasp on what we had. The container held over 500 boxes of books, clothes, etc. – we were now left with the task of sorting these materials. So we arrived at the center at 7am to continue unpacking. We had barely started when organizations began showing up. Once word got out that we had books for all the NGOs and schools in the region, they were quickly lining up to collect what they could for their classrooms and libraries. We spent most of the day walking people around the books, explaining what we had and how these books could benefit them (I felt a bit like an NYC apartment rental broker), then we recorded who took what, and moved on to the next group. It was an incredibly hectic morning, but we felt quite pleased to see the pile reduced by a few hundred boxes.

Unfortunately, we had to stop giving away the books because we were involved in a major international sporting event that afternoon. Shortly after lunch, we loaded our buses and headed over to Thuso Rehabilitation Center. Thuso brings individuals with disabilities into their center and provides them with assistance, support, training, and rehabilitation to manage their disability – they also have soccer and netball teams, thanks to the outstanding work of the Peace Corps volunteer stationed there. This is always a great event and today did not disappoint. Both BBL and the Americans faced off against Thuso in a round robin of games, with the still undecided winner walking away with a trophy to proudly display for one year. (There is some confusion about who won which games and how that influences total points used to determine the final victor…cheating optional, but required.)

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