What drew you to PeacePlayers?
After graduate school I knew I wanted pursue a career in international development. As a life-long basketball player and fan my dream was to find a job that would allow me to combine both interests. I eventually found PeacePlayers after a Google search. After looking over the website and reading about all of the amazing peace building projects PPI is involved in, I knew I wanted to get pursue a fellowship immediately. I was so excited when this opportunity to become a fellow arose!
What was your first week like in this new work environment?
My first week has gone by so quickly! I departed from NYC last Thursday and arrived to Cyprus on Friday. Saturday I jumped right in and participated in my first Twinning. It was amazing to get to be a part of a Greek Cypriot (GC) and Turkish Cypriot (TC) bicommunal event right off the bat. I had the best time playing with the kids and saw first-hand how basketball can really get GC and TC kids to play and work together towards common goals. I also had the chance to attend a couple of practices on the island, participate in a team building activity with PeacePlayers-Cyprus staff and watch a girl’s club team play in Nicosia. Overall, it’s been a phenomenal first week!
What is your vision for PeacePlayers-Cyprus as you begin your position as International Fellow?
I would love to get the opportunity to take a group of girls from our Leadership Develop Program to compete in a tournament overseas at some point during my time here with PeacePlayers-Cyprus. I think it would be an incredible experience to see the LDP girls competing together against other teams outside of Cyprus and their own communities.
Have you been able to meet a lot of the kids that participate in PeacePlayers-Cyprus?
The Twinning was an excellent way to meet the kids involved with the program. I also got the opportunity to participate in a practice on the North side of the island with a group of kids from the English School of Kyrenia. ESK showed me an incredibly warm welcome and the kids were so enthusiastic and excited to be playing basketball, learning and having fun together. This weekend I will also be participating in an exchange with a group of kids from Norway, as we host them here in Cyprus. I’m so excited to meet them and participate in some of the fun activities the PeacePlayers-Cyprus team has planned.
What is your favorite part of PeacePlayers-Cyprus so far?
Working with the kids has got to be the most exciting part of the fellowship. Their energy has been contagious during my first week and I can’t wait to work and play with them at our Spring Tournament and Summer Camp! I look forward to really getting to know them throughout my fellowship and seeing them grow and develop as people and players in the coming years.
On another note, Cyprus is an incredibly beautiful island. Although I have only been here about a week, I have met the friendliest and most welcoming people, seen some incredible views and landscapes and tasted some amazing food!