The semester is over!! This semester was the first in awhile that didn’t feel like it flew by! I’ve left to Pittsburgh for a wedding and Santa Rosa to see family all within this semester, so I’ve kinda been getting around. It was another semester of great classes, helping me learn a lot about myself and to grow. I’ve read more books this semester than I have over the last 2-3 years combined. Not a very impressive feat given I wasn’t reading a whole lot but I got close to 10 books this semester. I just finished my Performance Specialist Certification from EXOS this week after watching 24 hours of educational material from Nick Winkleman, Denis Logan, and other great coaches from the company over the course of the semester. I could go on more about this semester but I’ll save that for another post. Okay so yeah about the headline…
I’m going to Nairobi, Kenya…on Wednesday 12/16!!!!!!!
Mission trip? No. Volunteering through an aid organization? No. Going to “watch poor children enjoy the simplicities of life that we take for granted?” ….no!
In my goal to spread the best training techniques throughout the world, I will be working with the Centre of Sport Academy and Excellence CESACE to conduct a 3 week athletic performance clinic for various youth soccer coaches in Nairobi, Kenya! I will also be doing performance training and consulting for Baba Dogo FC in Nairobi. The first week will largely consist of meet and greets with many people involved with youth soccer in Nairobi and discussions about leadership and creating a “high performance culture”. During the holiday I will be spending time in Ethiopia, I’ll get to that in a second. After the new year, the next two weeks will be the nitty gritty of coaching Baba Dogo FC and of the performance clinic conducting workshops on improving athleticism, sport nutrition, and injury risk reduction/care for post rehab. It has been quite the task to put together the agenda and all of the education pieces for it. It certainly is the opportunity of a lifetime and I wouldn’t have even considered it had it not been for me going to Belize and realizing such a thing is even possible. Mimi alisoma kiswahili pia. Let me not mislead you, my novice Spanish is far superior than any swahili I think I know haha!
I mentioned Ethiopia earlier. It is one of the longest standing independent nations in the world. Boastfully, the only uncolonized part of Africa from Arabic expeditions and more notably, the European exploitation and colonizing of most of Africa. Italy had a brief military occupation in 1936-1941 but it wasn’t technically “colonized”, which involves the signing a treaty with a variety of conditions. When I found out that fact, my interest in the country shot up. I’m not going to go a rant about history, but it’s a fascinating part of the world. Upon the setting up the performance clinic I decided that that’s where I will go for Christmas, but not Ethiopian Christmas though which is January 6th, as I’ll be back in Nairobi. You can click on google about why that is such the case. I’m going to Ethiopia to vacation (read: explore and eat doro wott, not resort relax, what is that?) for Christmas and New Year. I’ll stay largely in Addis Ababa with a likely trip to Lalibela, Dire Dawa, and Harar, where Emperor Haile Selassie (popularly known as Ras Tafari) was raised. Yes, you read that correctly.
How did this all come about? In a Sport and International Relations class I took last semester, the class focused on sport diplomacy, the Olympics during the Cold Wat, and national grand strategy. Our midterm was to create a sport diplomacy program with another country based on USA grand strategy. One of the groups in class presented one of their options to be the EACCES (East Africa Community Coach Education System) and so I wrote it down. I researched it and found Paul Otieno, the man hosting me in Kenya, on LinkedIn who use to work for them. After a series of correspondences, it was confirmed over the summer that I would come and do what I just spoke about above. 9 month project you could say. I never thought I would get to go to Africa so soon. And about my safety, I should be fine overall. The only thing about East Africa that’s more dangerous than daily life in Texas for someone like me are the mosquitoes.
Thank you to following coaches and professors helping in reviewing my material and advising on how to do this:
Coach Jake Hicks
Coach Dale Boring
Coach Denis Logan
Coach Darelle Noel
Coach Shawn Venable
Coach Tim Morrill
Dr. Matt Bowers
Dr. Michael Sanders
Dr. Marlene Dickson
Dr. Ed Coyle
Thank you to everyone who supported and all of the coaches I’ve work with to get me to this point, especially Chuck Davis, who’s positive influence in a hard time in life made me even want to coach.
Well that’s the grand announcement, be sure to subscribe as I will try and publish a lot more while I’m there! Check out my Instagram account as I’ll have a number of photos posted there!
Kwahiri and dena hoonooh!
PS. I’m staying a day in Istanbul, Turkey as part of my layover! If you have recommendations on what I should see, put it in the comments!
PS again. Shoutout to my friend Jessica aka Upper Reality. She hosted an amazing performance the other night which delayed the publishing of this post but I’m sooo glad I went! Such soulful music and great people. How she makes her own beats, writes songs, performs, and makes Dean’s list as an Economics major is beyond me. Album drops around 12/14/15 https://soundcloud.com/upper-reality/tracks