Trainee-Update from Addis Ababa

I am here too! =O)

I think it is about time, that I make myself heard on this blog ;o). Jonathan has been doing a great job by updating you on our arrival, the first experiences and the new kids that are part of the “Sport Builds Bridges” project here in Addis Ababa. Now it is my turn to explain what I have been up the for the last two months.

Project Implementation – successful

Sustainability is writ large for Sport-the Bridge as well as for my personal project. The organization has been running its so called “Club System” for little more than one year. It is now the desire of the management to on the one hand enlarge the offer and to improve the quality of the football and the karate club on the other hand.
For the last six weeks I have thus been teaching so called life-skills through sports to “my older teenagers” (of about 15-20 years of age). I lead their warm-up and try to come up with some crazy ideas for drills and games which serve as a basis for a lesson on body, rules, acceptance (of the other and oneself), fair-play and teamwork. It is a lot of work but a lot of fun too. And speaking of acceptance – I am now almost one of them, which makes me really happy! The boys force me to do the activities with them, and find it quite funny to observe that I am usually the weakest person on the field – but it brings us closer together, which makes it worth to amuse “my boys”.
The second part of my project is to teach these youngsters English. Some of them have some knowledge and you can understand them quite well, but their spelling and structure of the sentences are usually quite bad – so yes, there is a lot to do! I teach them that there are different tenses, that a sentence is supposed to have some kind of a structure and yes, there are rules in English too! The main task is nevertheless to make them speak about different topics, such as sports, family, countries, food, etc. I really hope that someone will keep on teaching English once I am not here anymore, because I am convinced that for their personal future this will be more than just an asset!

The Great Ethiopian Run

I think I just had my best experience ever here in Ethiopia – a huge party which is called the Great Ethiopian Run. The task to fulfill is a 10 km run that you have to cover on foot in a red t-shirt together with the other runners who wear the same t-shirt! But let’s start at the beginning.
Of course Jonathan and I felt the urge to prepare ourselves for this big event. The Jan Meda sports-ground offers a great opportunity to run (away from the streets). The problem is just that due to the elevation (2.400m above sea-level) and the pollution, we usually drop half-dead after 4 km. But we still keep up our hopes that we will “go ab wie die Raketen” once we are back in Switzerland (we will keep you updated on this issue ;o).
Anyways, the mission was very clear for the 15 STB participants on competition-day: to get as much attention as possible! (zu Deutsch: Auffallen um jeden Preis!). We thus fabricated our own wigs out of old rice and sugar bags and sprayed them in the Ethiopian colors. We took about 1h40 to cover the 10 km dancing and sticking our heads into every camera possible. Mission accomplished – even Reuters interviewed us when we crossed the finishing-line!!! Jonathan and I were however the only ones who realized how important this TV-station is world-wide ;o). Anyways, to cut things short, after a day in the streets of Addis Ababa we were all dehydrated but overwhelmingly happy.

Merry Christmas to all of you,


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