I think it is safe to say that almost any male that I have come to talk to in India knows about cricket, and if they are not playing it then they are talking about it, watching it, or emulating the sport some way or another.
It’s a wonderful pastime. I think much like American Baseball used to be in the United states. The boys that I have been assigned to to help out with in the slums of Jaipur love cricket dearly, and since I arrived everyone wanted to show me their skills.
I encouraged their performances but also wanted to teach the importance of being on a team and becoming a reliable team player. Through out my time volunteering I feel it is important to help them understand why team work is important not only in games but in the real world. Hopefully they will learn something. Here’s a photo of some of the boys . Incredible India!
Some days I wonder, “where am I again”? And remember; wow, I really made it out here to India! I grab a bite to eat and then get ready for the day. I walk about ten minutes to the volunteer office where I get an assignment or just decide what to do that day. Afterwards I walk to hail a bus, jump on the bus, and it takes a good 30+ minutes to get to the slum areas of where I volunteer.
For that time I’m squished in a cramped old bus that rattles as if it’s on the last run. The bus ride cuts through town until I request to be let off at a railroad crossing near the slums most homes are squished up against the tracks and are nothing more than bricks and tin roofs. I cross over the tracks and walk about 15 more minutes to the activity center which happens to be a small three by three meter room in a rundown area of Jaipur. By the time I get here, I am pretty exhausted from the air and noise pollution as well as the everyday hustle. It’s exhausting just getting there.
A part of me knows it’s for a special cause. It’s a cause that really can’t be explained in just writing about it, but a cause that is more of an understanding for my own knowledge. Perhaps it’s for me to see what it is like on this side of the world in this community. After that long journey, I come into the area where the after school center is set up and I see these faces. The faces of kids and adults who are so happy to have someone come to their community to help them learn and grow. That is when I know the long journey to get here is worth just enough to see smiles like these. My time here is limited, my time on earth is limited and I simply can’t help everyone nor can I stay but I do hope to share the spirit and experience with other would be travelers and volunteers.
“Embracing diversity is one adventure after another, opening new paths of discovery that connect an understanding to caring, listening, and sharing with others who are different than ourselves.”
Creating a department sounds like a daunting job that takes years to develop. Well, you may be right but on most occasions most departments start somewhere, most start small and grow from there. Like anything you want to grow in life, it starts with a seed. The ideas create dreams and dreams become realities. In this case – I was hoping to work with Peace Matunda and create a sports department, with volunteer coaches and a Library for all the donated sports equipment.
I am proud to say we have partnered and with a few bumps in the road we are well on our way. The future of the sports department will depend on good management and incoming volunteers coupled with education to the youth about maintaining such a novelty in this area.
My vision is to see Peace Matunda to provide sports educations for any child in the community
After I arrived to Peace Matunda in Arusha still a bit exhausted and sick from Ethiopia. I was still adjusting to the Malaria pills that I had started. Wow do they make you feel sleepy, exhausted and just overall drained. The first two days I drank heaps of coffee just to maintain a balance. On the second day I had my plans pretty much set up. I was going to create and erect the volleyball net that I bought in Krakow Poland onto some home made Wooden posts, then teach volleyball to the orphan kids, the school kids and a group of older kids from a partner school in the community. On top off all that I made a projection to create a sports department/library of goods from all the incoming donations that past and future volunteers donate.
My new friend Adam the quite guy who worked around the grounds and took care of everything ended up being my best friend in business.He helped me with everything, I thank him from the bottom of my heart. The kids wouldn’t not of had any of the stuff created had it not been for Adam to help work with me on my visions. Within the first couple days I made it a priority to organize the sports gear, balls, and clothing into a sustainable library so that after a volunteer such as myself leaves the school and the kids could learn to check in and check out items that they desired.
So here was the agenda for the sports library in a nut shell:
1. Clear out unused science storage closet- cobwebs with giant spiders.
2. Clean walls wash floor
3. My budget was tight so we scrapped some used wood and nails from around the area.
4. Measure and create shelves for all the sports equipment.
5. Organize all the clothing into sizes, sports, and colors.
6. Paint a slogan “Believe It to Achieve It” put up Posters of sports stars.
7. Teach children how to log in and log out- check in and check out the sports equipment.
8. Help teachers to understand how the process works with borrowing equipment.