Today’s blog was written by Cyprus Fellow Sean Wright about his first full week in Cyprus. This past week offered a bunch of firsts for Sean, something he really looked forward to.
I officially have my first week in Cyprus under my belt, and things are great. Last Saturday I got to experience my first twinning in the town of Dali. Twinnings are the lifeblood of PPI, as it entails Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots coming together for a practice. From the moment I stepped into the gym, I was all smiles from ear to ear. The energy in that place was contagious. It started with the coaches, Andreas and Nicos, and then flowed to the LDP participants who have been in the PPI organization for a long time and have been identified and trained to be leaders.
I had the privilege of being part of the black team, who named ourselves the Warriors. Lets just say we could have given the Golden State Warriors a run for their money. In the beginning, our team was a little divided as both the TC’s and GC’s couldn’t break through the language barrier. That all changed when we started doing activities and competitions. The language of basketball came out and the competitive nature in everyone was great. Most importantly, everyone was having fun. Everyone was passing and congratulating each other on a great play. What really caught my eye, was when someone made a mistake, the team was there to pick them back up. It truly was a great way to spend my Saturday.
Sunday I got to go to the harbor in Kyrenia, which was picturesque in beauty. Jess and I were taken out to an excellent meal by the water by former VIP Sebnem Kimyacioglu, who is finishing up her season for a women’s Turkish team. It was the perfect way to cap off my first weekend in Cyprus.
This past week offered a new practice for me to attend, located right on the water in the town of Lapta. Once again, I was all smiles. I’m starting to see a trend here. Practices and interacting with the kids puts a smile on my face. I could get used to this.
Thursday I got to witness my first Cypriot basketball game, but not a very competitive one. Apoel and Paralimni squared off in Larnaca, but the Paralimni team was a younger team as the first team did not play in protest of the game for reasons unknown to me. The Apoel team is talented and look to continue their run in the playoffs.
Sunday the 3rd is my birthday! I turn 24 years old. I don’t have any plans as of yet. Maybe I’ll go check out Limassol as I haven’t been there yet. Or if it’s warm enough, I’ll go hit the beach somewhere. Either way, I’m sure to have a great birthday!