This week’s post is the first written by PPI – South Africa’s newest Fellow Kristin Degou, who we introduced you to last week.
It has officially been one week since my arrival in Durban, and I have already learned so much about the country of South Africa, the city of Durban, and the lively culture here. My trip to Durban started off very special, as I arrived on my birthday! After about 24 hours of traveling, I was met at the airport by current PPI fellow Taylor Brown and Nasiphi, an area coordinator for PPI. They brought me beautiful flowers and a necklace. It was a small, yet extremely meaningful gesture that shows how the PPI family cares about one another, (even the new fellows!)
My first full day in Durban consisted of a tour of the city with my (excellent) tour guide, current fellow Taylor Brown. We took an elevator up to the top of Moses Mabhida Stadium (the soccer stadium built for the world cup). From the top I was able to see a beautiful view of the unique Durban skyline. I was also able to see a PPI-SA tryout at Glenmore Primary, one of our 33 partner primary schools. I have arrived at an exciting time, as our tryouts and programmes are just starting! Seeing the excitement on the children’s faces, and the enthusiasm of Nasphi as she helped coach, was a great reminder of what had made me want to work for PPI-SA in the first place. I am already in love with the way PPI as a whole has harnessed this sport and used it as a positive influence for so many children.
I have done so much in Durban so far, but I will share a few highlights of my first week! I was able to attend a staff meeting, where I was introduced to the PPI- SA staff and learned a lot about what was going on in all of PPI-SA’s different areas. On Wednesday, the PPI-SA staff was asked to help teach life skills to over 400 primary school students at a camp in Umlazi. There I learned about the Zulu- cultures love of music and dance, the kids couldn’t stop dancing, they blew me away! I tried to learn some moves, and many laughs were shared by all. I have been lucky to play basketball in a variety of settings already, including an outdoor court built by PeacePlayers in Molweni, pickup basketball at Kearsney College, (with some members of the South African national team!) and also with our own PPI-SA staff.
I am both grateful and humbled by this opportunity to live and work in this vibrant city. PPI- SA is ready to do some great things and I am excited to be a part of it. Thank you to everyone in the PPI family for welcoming me and for the support of all my wonderful friends and family at home. Working for PeacePlayers is the opportunity of a lifetime; I can’t wait to put my heart and soul into it all.