Today’s blog is written by new PPI fellow, Ryan Hage. He writes about his first twinning experience and his perspective on the whole event.
I am new to the island and also to PeacePlayers as a whole and was very confused when I first heard the term ‘twinning’. I have a twin sister, Lindsay, so the first thought was maybe it has to do something with twins on the island? Obviously, I was not 100% correct.
For those who are not familiar with the term, it is an event hosted every weekend that brings a team from the North and a team from the South together to take part in games and icebreakers. For many of these kids, this is the first time they have met and interacted with a Greek-Cypriot or Turkish-Cypriot. The ‘twinning’ event gives them an opportunity to interact with each other and play a game that they both love.
With such an event, I was not sure what to expect. Would the kids enjoy the event? Would the coaches be able to communicate with players from both sides of the island? Within minutes all of my questions were answered. Even if the kids did not speak each others language, or English, they all followed along and understood how to perform each drill or game within a very short period of time. Not only were they able to participate, but also they had a great time and interacted with one another seamlessly. It helps to have great coaches from both sides to help mentor the kids in each activity and help with certain language barriers.
Twinnings have already become my favorite part of the week. After the games, PPI provides pizza and drinks for all of the kids, which gives them another opportunity to interact and get comfortable with each other. Despite no sets of twins being in participation, by the end of the event kids from both the North and South were acting like old friends.