During In-Service Training, there was a session that a large number of our Staj missed. During that session, there was one quick comment that went something like this, “We also have a basketball camp coming up. If you are interested, come see me after we are done.” That was it. I jumped to the front of the room when the session was over. He put me in contact with the man running the camp and told me it started only a few hours after In-Service Training ended.
When our training ended, I jumped on a train with ten other volunteers. Three of us got off in Rabat. We made our way to the camp site. I was blown away by the campus. It is as close to an American School as you will see in Morocco. We met with everyone and were shown our beds. The guys all slept in this big yoga room on mats. Throughout the week, we would have 20 overnight campers in the room with us. Their late night would lead to my gradual exhaustion as the week went on. It didn’t help that the NBA finals were going on at the same time.
Camp started on Monday. We had more than 100 campers. I was assigned to the Juniors (8 through 10 year olds). It was perfect. I love working with young kids. Since I’m not all that great at basketball, my limited knowledge went a long way. We went over basic Basketball skills in the morning. We usually followed that up with art and pool time. The afternoon was reserved for competitions. To my surprise, these youngsters got really into the competitions as the week went on.
There were plenty of highlights from this crazy, tiring, and amazing week. My favorite happened after art class. One of the young girls came up to me and told me “I drew a picture of my favorite coach.” The picture had blue eyes and a full beard. I seriously felt like I could have melted right there. It was amazing. By the time the week came to a close, many of the campers were asking me if I would be back next year. I told them I would try my best. In all honestly, I really want to bring a couple kids from my town on scholarship next year.
This weekend has been all about catching up on sleep. I completely skipped the Cherry Festival in Sefrou. Instead, I went straight home and slept for 13 hours. I now have a good five days to catch up on everything before I head back out to camp (this time for ten days). This summer is going to fly by. I have a vacation to Gibraltar in July and will spend the whole month of August in an SOS orphanage.
I am at 20% completion of my Peace Corps service…and I can feel the time flying by.