Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mtuba TOC

Mtubatuba Training of Coaches (TOC) #1 just finished, and 21 new coaches trained. Our partner organization here is Mpilonhle (in Zulu, "A Good Life") and 3 of the coaches are full-time health counselors at Mpilonhle offices here in Mtuba; those 3 will manage the other 18 (plus the ones we are going to train this week), spread throughout surrounding rural communities up to about 1.5 hrs drive away. Next week is TOC #2, where we're training 24 additional coaches. TOCs take a lot out of you, but "training the trainers" is always really fun. When the dust settles this Friday, we'll have 52 new Grassroot Soccer Skillz Coaches spread throughout 12 rural communities, aiming to work with several thousand kids before the World Cup starts. Exciting!

Briefly, Zulu is an awesome language which requires clicks and pops and squelches and all kinds of crazy noises that I have no chance of ever correctly creating (how would you pronounce Hluhluwe? I'll give you a hint: it requires puffing your cheeks out and shooting saliva everywhere). My forays into Zulu pronunciation, at least, give the coaches some entertainment.

TOC Graduate Group:

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Big changes, and life is a bit too hectic to fully explain right now. GRS needed somebody to head out to rural KwaZulu-Natal to help with a project, so I've actually moved away from Richmond temporarily and am living in Mtubatuba, KZN. The environment (jungles, rivers, close to the ocean) is sweet, the GRS work is amazing, the Zulus are a crazy group to be working with, and life is great.

Will be writing about life here soon.

In the meantime, here's a map of where I am:,32.199383&spn=0.07383,0.154324&z=13


Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't worry, I am alive...

But just barely, for a variety of reasons but - most recently - after somehow emerging unscathed from ramming into an enormous baboon that decided to launch a surprise attack from the roadside bushes outside East London, sprint across a lane of highway traffic, and pulverize the front of my smallest-car-possible-allowed-by-law rental vehicle. I do, at least, have the cool license plate as a souvenir.

Sorry for not writing; it has been a hectic 3 weeks of African backpacking and travel. I decided not to go home for Christmas and, instead, gallivanted around South Africa and Mozambique from the end of work on 18 December and arriving home only at 6 AM the day work started again, 11 January.

Impending updates to include:
- Richmond Community Center Christmas Party (Santa on a Donkey Cart)
- Port Elizabeth - Durban "Surf" (read: belly-board) Trip, Christmas on the beach
- The 30-hour bus/taxi/shuttle journey from hell from Durban to northern Mozambique
- New Year's in Mozambican Paradise
- Durban - Port Elizabeth reverse Wild Coast Road Trip

Will put ink to paper on these stories and adventures as soon as I'm able. In the meantime, hope you all are doing well!