My big project, Finishing the Ward 4 AMICAALL/Nhlangano Town Council Social Center, the PCPP


Peace Corps Partnership Proposal (PCPP) with the Nhlangano Town Council (NTC)

First application draft submitted Feb, 2011
Approved & Funding Begins on PC website May 17th
Construction started on Oct 24th.
All exterior construction done by Dec 20th.
Grand Opening Jan 5th, 2012
Round 2 of the Funding arrives in early January.
Interior Only Construction Restarts Jan 16th.
Construction all done Feb 16th (minus a million tiny To Do's)
Project Officially Closed May 4th, 2012

Let the children play, learn & be safe.

As of Aug 25th, 2012, I am no longer a PCV, I am now RPCV (Return Peace Corps Volunteer). This blog is my experience in Swaziland between June of 2010 & Aug of 2012. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Disappointment turns into awesome opportunity.

I wore my brand new LA Galaxy tshirt.

So my team was scheduled to play in an 8 team tournament basically a one day play three games to win it all including a cash prize. The game would be with official referees, lined fields and nets. Most of the friendlies we have played so far have had none of those (there is a referee but it is just some guy with a whistle). Our team was scheduled for the first game in the morning 8am. Using Swazi time our team showed up at 8:45 AM. The rules disqualify a team that is more than 30 minutes late. So we showed up and then negotiations happened to try and solve the issue but to no avail. We went home losers without even playing. Needless to say with the season starting next weekend, this would have been a really good test. But since I am not the one in charge of organizing transport and getting players the info of when the games start, it is totally out of my control.

So I walked home very very disappointed. Just thinking I would hangout at my place and sluk (sp?) Literally, as I entered my front door I got a text from Kris, a PCV, saying he was in town and wanted to hangout. So I made some French toast and went and meet him in town.

Now here is where my crazy life here in Swaziland keeps having surprising and positive events happen. As if my life is so in sync that no matter what happens (of course I understand that my actions do have consequences) something amazing seems to happen.

So we walk to the Southern Swaziland Country Club, basically a safe place for us foreigners to drink (both real safety & to safe guard a reputation). It is closed until 3pm, it is around 11am. So we decide to walk over to the Sun Casino Resort hotel. This is Nhlangano’s version of the Orion except not as nice and they don’t have high speed internet. As we are walking up there is soccer game playing and we walk over to see who is playing, it is two Super League teams (my league). The soccer commissioner of the Sisweline Region (basically the Swazi version of a county) who I meet last Saturday is there were a bunch of white people with him, they were actually from the UK and SA (South African) and one white Swazi and are the sponsors (ie moneymen) of the league. So of course introductions all around and everyone is surprised that an American is coaching in the league.

And here is the awesome opportunity that comes from disappointment. There is an awards ceremony at 1pm to give the trophy away to the winner of last year’s league and other trophies and more important the cash prizes connected with league end placement.

But we have some time to kill before 1pm and get in a conversation with the main Swazi league sponsor who is very interested in helping kids and has all kinds of things happening on top of the soccer league stuff here in Nhlangano. Duh, US Peace Corp/AMICAALL day job. So Kris & I will somehow get involved with what he has going on locally. But then 1pm rolls around.

No exec from the Black Terrors is there so I become the official representative. And Kris & I sit, they go through the intros, give out trophies and then cash prizes (actually checks) I go up when Black Terrors is called but since I am “just the coach” they don’t actually give me the check. But anyway I was standing in front of the whole group about 100 people from all of the teams in the region. I go back and sit down. The UK & SA sponsors leave the meeting and the language is switched to siSwati, and Kris & I just kind of zone out. Then the Guy in charge of the entire Swaziland Soccer federation gets up to speak. He makes the announcement that he is speaking in English just for Kris & I. He talks about how the league is growing and getting stronger and that he is proud to have an American coaching one of the teams, amongst other things. He asks me to introduce myself, so I say Josh Eggebeen or Sibosiso Mazibuko, Everyone laughs and the newspaper guy takes a photo. It was quite a big deal and pretty much now gives me a very big status amongst the soccer community here in Super League of Nhlangano. I really hope I can do some good work as coach now with my team, even though it is very disorganized.

Anyway, what an amazing turn of events in the span of one day and the crazy luck (or as I really prefer to think of it as God’s hand guiding) to just stumble upon that event.

What a day!!!!!!!!!!!!

In fact it seems like every day is just filled with all kinds of stuff happening. Have to keep reminding myself to Thank God.

1 comment:

  1. Always great to read your progress (or disappointments) - Every day is a chance to see God at work. Don't kick yourself over the "loss" due to the time problem.