This week’s blog from PPI-CY is written by Lead4Peace member Andriana Kasapi about her experience from the PPI-ME exchange trip.
Hi again from PPI-CY!! As LEAD4PEACE participants, we had the great opportunity to travel to Israel and meet up with our fellow leaders and coaches from Northern Ireland, Middle East and Norway. LEAD4PEACE is a series of exchange programs sponsored by ERASMUS+. Most parents had their reservations about sending us to the Middle East, but their facilities and hospitality made us feel right at home.
The first three nights we stayed at Sdot Yam in Caesarea, an amazing camp site just metres away from the beach. At this retreat, we focused on personal development through various sessions and workshops, while experiencing how it feels to be a PPI coach for the first time. We covered a lot of topics including Team & Individual Accountability, the famous SMART goals, Time Management and we learned about the Behavioural Change Stairway Model. The Coaching Clinics were the highlight of the workshops. They taught us about Positive Coaching, how to coach, what a PPI coach is, and how to plan a practice the PPI way.
The second part of the trip was held in Jerusalem, a really holy and sacred city. After departing Caesarea, we stopped at the infamous Dead Sea. We learned that this Sea is the lowest point of altitude on earth and we had a lot of fun floating in the very salty water and covering ourselves with mud! This was really cool team building and great that we could share this experience with good friends. That evening we went for a walk outside the Old City and we unexpectedly came across a band called “The Sammons.” They played some tunes and we could not resist but to dance and sing along with them. We felt so comfortable with each other, and it was a reminder of what friendships are made in PeacePlayers. It’s true what they say: “It’s not what you do, but with who you do it with.”
Our last day, we had an Old City Tour. I was very enthusiastic about this tour and actually felt quite emotional. We saw places we have only heard of since we were children. It was memorable walking these streets with my PPI family. The tour guide had told us that Jerusalem is one of the craziest cities in the world due to the curses and the legends that are told. We also visited some of the world’s most sacred monuments like the Western Wall and the Holy Sepulchre. As a foodie, I tasted the best shawarma and humus in the heart of the Old City.
The experience was unforgettable and priceless. Fun, friendship and faith is what I took home with me, and most of all, what I learned at this exchange program, I can apply not only on the basketball court but in my community.
Thanks PeacePlayers, ERASMUS+ and PPI-ME for hosting us!