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Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 – ACJ Primary School Holiday Sports Program

7:30 – We hear Sean’s alarm of “She Wolf” by Shakira blaring in the room next door. We can also hear footsteps of other people upstairs getting breakfast on the table.

7:45 – Once we walk upstairs, everyone is preparing their rooibos tea and bowls of yogurt and muesli. Everyone is trying to squeeze in a quick ten minute Xhosa review session before we head to the ACJ Primary School, which is where we have been working for the past two weeks. After we’ve demolished our breakfast, once again everyone is in the kitchen trying to prepare their lunches.

8:30 – We hear Marius, our bus driver, pull up in the driveway. Everyone loads up and we’re on our way to Nomzamo. Eager to start the day, we plug into the aux and have our own version of carpool karaoke. Chelsea kills her solo in “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.

9:00 – As we turn the last corner before reaching our destination, we see our students’ eyes peeping around the brick wall of their school. Immediately, they begin to wave and chant “Teacher! Teacher!” as we pull up and unload the van.

9:15 – Balls are flying everywhere and children are joyfully playing. Jess, our GVI Sports Coordinator, yells “Yiza! Yiza!” to the kids to have them line up, so they can participate in the activities we have planned for them. During this time, we are all setting up the equipment on the field and getting our stations ready. For the morning, Araad and Teaghan set up the basketball court, Julia and Chloë prepare their field hockey drills, and we set up the high jump and triple jump at the athletics station.

9:30 – To kick off camp, everyone gathers in a huge circle in the center of the court for our daily group warm-up. The children fight for who gets to lead the first stretch of the day. After a few stretches, our muscles are warm and ready to play their favorite kind of tag – freeze tag. To conclude our warm-up we play a competitive, but friendly game of teacher vs. students’ dodgeball (the teachers always win, of course).

10:00 – Everyone breaks out into their specific sports stations. Throughout the morning, we have three groups of determined athletes pass through our station. With each of the groups, we teach them fundamental skills and techniques to improve their jumping abilities. We are amazed at how quickly they pick up and apply these new skills.

11:30 – The whistle blows as our tummies start to rumble. Fanchon, a GVI coordinator, gathers a few of the children to pick up their lunch, which is made by a local woman in the township. As soon as they arrive back at the school, we can immediately smell the umgqusho in the big metal pot. We couldn’t tell who was more excited – the teachers or the students. Luckily, today we didn’t just get to enjoy the smell, but also the taste of the warm, homemade umgquso (samp and beans). This is one traditional dishes of South Africa; it consists of maize, beans, and other vegetables. During lunchtime, the children teach us new dances moves, such as the qualla qualla, as well as other new recess games.

Children Braid ACE Student-Athletes' Hair

12:30 – After we refuel, both the students and teachers are energized and ready for an afternoon filled with different sports – soccer, volleyball, and softball. We are stationed at the back of the school to play soccer with the kids. Today’s focus is two on two and three on three to small goals. The boys and the girls love mixing the teams and get very competitive when it comes to keeping score. Since the children play soccer in gym class and in the streets in their free time, basic skills are a piece of cake for them. From megging each other to dancing around with the ball, they all love to show off their fancy footwork.

14:00 – We gather together to play yet another competitive, but friendly game of teacher vs. students’ soccer. The game is kept to fifteen minutes, so our ego won’t get majorly damaged by their superior skills.

ACE Student-Athletes Play Soccer with Children

14:15 – The whistle blows once again and it’s time for the children to go home for the day and for us to hit the gym. We load up the metal shipping container where all our equipment is stored, and give high fives to all the kids as they walk out the gate.

17:00 – Marius awaits us outside the gym and we load our tired bodies into the van. On the way home, we pick up dinner from the GVI main office. Luckily for us, one of the ladies in the township cooks our meals for us, so all we need do when we get back to the accommodation is reheat it. Everyone calls dibs on who gets the shower first as we rush in the door. For the people toward the end of the list, they aren’t completely bothered since they are able to snap some stellar sunset pictures overlooking Gordon’s Bay and Cape Town in the distance.

18:30 – Christine and Maya we on dinner duty tonight, so they are busy at work in the kitchen. Once the dining room table is set, we all gather around to have a feast to fit for ten hungry student athletes, our GVI coordinators, and our special guest – Professor Cambell (a Stanford professor who specializes in the history of nations that have dealt with major racial issues).

19:30 – With full stomachs and fascinated minds, we had a Q&A with Professor Cambell talking about what we have observed so far about South African culture. It was interesting to hear his insight about how South African lifestyle and culture has changed since he lived here twenty years ago.

20:00 – While drinking our rooibos tea and munching on traditional South African rusks, we go over tomorrow’s agenda and come up with new skills and drills to run through with the students on their last day of sports camp. Once this is completed, we all disperse and head to our rooms as we wind down for the night.

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