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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sports and pictures

I had a wonderful weekend filled with many sporting events.  The college here on campus has so many wonderful sports teams and a three minute walk from my house gets me to the gym, the basketball court, and the soccer field.   It's amazing how much "showing up" does as I am seeing familiar faces and getting to know some of the college students.  I love showing my support and also talking in the stands with others who are cheering on their classmates. There is always a very lively cheering section.  This usually consists of congo drums, dancing, and jumping on the bleachers so hard that those sitting bounce up and down.  Although I don't know the cheers yet, I am highly enjoying watching everyone else cheer!

On Friday, I was planning on heading over to the field to watch the soccer game and then heading into the gym to catch some of the volleyball game.  I also wanted to make sure I caught a few minutes of the netball game (I told you, so many sports!)  As I was leaving my classroom, I got a call asking if I would take photos of the teams since they just received new jerseys.  I grabbed my camera and headed over. I had no idea I would use my camera this much and I'm absolutely loving it. There aren't a lot of pictures taken over here and I'm finding it's a way I can capture a moment while also sharing with others.  It's also incredible to have such an amazing digital SLR that I can take as many pictures as I want and show people right away (this is perfect for in the villages!)  Here are a few shots of the teams:

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to a village with the Chisomo Idea.  You can check out the Chisomo Idea online at  I didn't know about this until coming here, but I'm so impressed with the goal of connecting western and eastern cultures.  This truly gives those who are  privileged a chance to help with issues of poverty in Africa. This is done in villages through providing children centers focussing on education, sports recreation, and spiritual development (discipleship).   It was so moving to see so many kids, old and young gathering around to  play and watch soccer.  I saw such a mixture of determination and joy on their faces as they went through the drills and listened to the coaches.  I had never thought of soccer as being a way of building community as well as self esteem, but I saw this as I watched those who had the chance to play.  I also saw a respect in the younger ones who gathered around to intently watch.  I was so excited to see the joy in these kids and the lessons they are learning as they work together as a team, have positive role models to look up to, and have fun with one another. One of the ABC graduates has worked with this organization and faithfully goes 2-3 times a week to oversee and help with the program.  He also takes out soccer balls and works to provide the kids with uniforms for school.  In the public school system here, you cannot attend school without a uniform.  Uniforms cost about as much as one latte from Starbucks would cost.  Unfortunately, many of the kids in the village cannot afford uniforms.  After we finished with soccer and were about to leave, uniforms were given to 6 of the boys so they can attend school.  It amazed me to know that something of so little monetary value was prohibiting them from receiving an education.  Cos asked if I would take pictures of the boys with their new uniforms on. It was an honor to take pictures of the boys and I love the little one holding on his shorts because the buttons hadn't been sewn on yet.  Cos is the one in the middle and he does so much for the kids and this program.  I didn't do much this week with the actual soccer training, but I did use my camera.  The kids in the village followed me around shouting, "Azungu" which means "white person" and wanting me to take their picture.  The moment I'd point the lens somewhere, they would all run at that spot.  They would then want to see the picture on my camera and would shout with joy when they saw themselves.  I took lots for them to see and they were disappointed when I wanted to take some of the kids playing soccer.  They would wait patiently and then ask again for another photo to be taken.  The children are absolutely beautiful and I was amazed at how many young girls were taking care of babies or toddlers.  Many would carry them on their backs and watch soccer at the same time.  I posted a picture of this for you to see.  I truly enjoyed going and seeing what the Chisomo Idea is doing here in Lilongwe.  I hope to go again soon to take more pictures and maybe even help out with soccer.  

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