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Reflections on a visit to TRP

31 Dec

Working on the rug

TRP Board Member Bra Cornish and his wife Marcie came out to visit our programs in Uganda, here are some of their thoughts and reflections from their journey.

Our trip to Uganda in late October/early November was a blast, and reaffirmed our belief in the wonderful work of Ready to do relay racesThe Recreation Project!  Besides some wonderful time spent with Ben and Holly, we both had the opportunity to share some parts of our lives with our other new friends in Uganda.  This is a great over-simplification, but we found the events that The Recreation Project hold to have a lot of similarities to a Young Life camp in the United States. 

 

Marcie drew upon her eight years of Young Life leadership by conducting a half day training of The Recreation Projects wonderful facilitators.  Besides having a lot of fun in the new games and activities she taught, Marcie was able to share how these can be used to teach life lessons.

 

Brad has coached softball for 16 years, and was able to use that experience to lead a two day baseball clinic for sixty 10-13 year olds.   Many of the boys have played for a few years through TRP’s Waveland Academy, and they already have some impressive skills.  The Colorado Rockies could use some young Ugandan arms in their bullpen! Working on the rug Teaching the boys enthusiastically participate in new drills and seeing them compete in scrimmages was a thrill.

 

It was rewarding for both of us to be able to find what God has had in our lives for so many years be transferable to our new friends in Africa.  And again, we came away with a renewed respect for the how The Recreation Project is dramatically changing the lives of Ugandan youth and young adults.   Ben, Charles, Irene, Mike, and all of the other leaders/facilitators:   Keep up your remarkable work at TRP!

The 12th Day of Transformation

24 Dec

norbert

For our 12th and final Day of Transformation, we’re celebrating the story of Odong Norbert Mao whose life has been transformed through TRP Sport’s Waveland Academy.

Since the first time Norbert put on a baseball glove there’s been no turning back for him. After only six months in Waveland’s program he became norbertone of the first boys to make it onto Waveland Academy’s all-star team from Gulu Primary School.  In his entire life he had never crossed the boundaries of Northern Uganda, so travelling with the team to the national competition was a dream come true.  Norbert is so proud of being one of the pupils in his school to travel for a competition and feels that earning the right to represent the school proves that he can do anything and become someone important in the future.  Although he was soft spoken at first, he has made friends within the team, and his teammates have learnt to believe and look up to him.

Help more kids like Norbert experience the transforming power of outdoor adventure and sports by supporting TRP.

The 11th Day of Transformation

23 Dec

Gulu giants

For the 11th Day of Transformation we’re celebrating Waveland Academy’s all-star team, The Gulu Giants.

This year the Gulu Giants played in the Ugandan Little League National Championships.  This amazing experience provided the opportunity for Gulu giantsWaveland’s students to take the skills they’re learning on the baseball diamond on the road.  This was only the second year the Gulu Giants have played in the national championships, and the team made it to the semifinal round.  During their games the team showed off their growing baseball skills, registering the only three home runs in the entire tournament! The Giants also demonstrated important life skills learned through baseball at Waveland Academy including perseverance, respect, team work, and self-esteem throughout the tournament.  The team’s enjoyment of the tournament and their practical application of these important skills clearly shows the positive impact TRP’s sports program are having on the lives of Uganda’s youth.

 

Help Waveland Academy continue to positively impact the lives of their players, Support TRP today!

The Tenth Day of Transformation

22 Dec

GYDA

We’re celebrating the 10th Day of Transformation with a story that exemplifies the value of challenging kids to try new things.  This is the story of Richard’s time with TRP:

In one of the many groups from the Gulu Youth Development Association, we had the pleasure of meeting “Richard”.  Richard is an energetic young man.  After our warm-ups and ice-breakers, Richard’s group was taken to the “River Crossing,” a game that requires the group to pass from one side of a stream to the other using only two planks of wood.  The activity requires teamwork, communication and creativity to solve. GYDA After being give the instructions and rules of the activity, the group wondered why we were asking them to do this. But, as good students, they began trying.  Immediately they began arguing. Individuals broke off from the group, and general chaos ensued.  It wasn’t until our facilitators debriefed the activity that they started to understand what the activity–in fact the whole day–was about.  Richard felt duped.  He wanted another chance to cross the river.  However, time was up and they hadn’t succeeded.  We don’t shy away from experiences of failure at TRP.

The next day a new group of students came to the forest.  To our surprise, Richard walked into the forest too.  He snuck away from GYDA to come see us!  He paid his own transportation and lunch costs to get another shot at the River Crossing.  He said “I didn’t sleep well, and I felt bad for not understanding what all of this is about–I want another chance”.  Because of his drive and determination we welcomed him for another day in the forest, and this time his team successfully passed over the river.  This game is impossible without help.  It shows us that we need one another in all things and we shouldn’t just look after ourselves,” Richard said in the second debriefing–while several participants laughed out loud knowing it was his second try.  We appreciated and were encouraged by Richard’s honesty and determination.  We are so grateful to provide spaces for kids to come, try something new, fail, and then just maybe try again!

Kids like Richard learn life lessons at TRP, partner with us and help us to spread these valuable lessons.

The Ninth Day of Transformation

21 Dec

girls softball

For the Ninth Day of Transformation we’re sharing the stories of Olivia and Phebe, two of Waveland Academy’s soft ball players.

Olivia and Phebe are softball players at Vienna Primary School. They believe that TRP Sport’s program has helped them spend more time girls softballconcentrating in school and has prevented them from joining bad peer groups. When they play they feel relaxed which has also kept them healthy.  Through softball they have had the opportunity to both meet new friends and play with boys which they believe is important because it provides an opportunity for the boys to develop respect for them and vice versa. Olivia was a very shy and reserved person but she says that through softball she has developed the courage to voice her opinions in class and at home.

 

Help us continue to foster confidence in more young women like Olivia and Phebe- Donate to TRP today!