Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Tanzania! Many exciting challenges ahead. Miss you all!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pics from Moshi

Keo, Zee and Leps are all members of the South African Gymnastics Federation who traveled to Tanzania to help teach jump rope. They brought all their skill and enthusiasm as we worked with the new kids from Tunahaki and Amani, and some of the older jumpers from Mkombozi.

Keo, Zee and Leps also took some great pics, which you can see from the links below:

Instructors from the South African Gymnastics Federation


Saturday, December 12, 2009


“I am here to make miracles”. This is one of the first things Sello “Zee” Sethunya said to me, as we sat in the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport with Lebogang “Leps” Terrence and Keolebogile "Keo" Mokolopo. Since Day 1, all three of them have done just that - every day, in every place, with every kid they have taught.

Zee, Leps, Keo, and I have been teaching at the Tunahaki Centre for Street Children and the Amani Children's Home for the past week. The kids at Tunahaki are excellent acrobats, and pick up new skills very quickly.
They are a very close-knit group of kids, extremely focused and determined, and just so full of life and energy. It's been a lot of fun working with them.

Lukas is back! He and Rogers, both from the Mkombozi Centre for Street Children, joined us at Tunahaki for the past two days. Lukas got his frog, pushup, leap frog, and switch in double dutch, a few nice single rope combinations, a backwards elephant cross, and a toad to pushup.

The kids at the Amani Centre have been great, too. I will post more about them soon, but for now, here is a video from their first day of double dutch.

It really has been a blessing having the South African jumpers here. Each of them brings their own unique teaching style, an arsenal of new skills and combinations, and an amazing passion for the sport. They bring so much energy to their teaching, and the kids are benefiting immensely from it. Expect big things from Moshi.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What a Difference a Month Makes

I arrived in Moshi last night, but spent all of last week teaching at the Dogodogo Centre in Dar. I'm starting to wonder if there's anything Amisi and Athumani can't do with practice. Not only had they mastered the skills I taught them during my first visit, but they had created new combinations, and taught the basic skills to other kids at the Centre. Here a brief summary of what those two picked up this week:

180 triple under
sideswing triple under
double under TJ
pushup landing in a cross, behind the knees cross, and toad
backwards TS
AS to TS
kamikaze with a cross

Kamikaze with a cross? Are you kidding me, Amisi? It's been amazing seeing this kid in action. I'm looking forward to watching him grow over the years. Here's a nice combo he recently put together:

Athumani has really stepped up as a role model for the other kids. He takes time away from his own practicing to teach anyone who is interested in learning. He is very patient, and thorough in his explanations of skills.

As hard as it was to leave Dar, I couldn't be more excited to start teaching in Moshi. The kids at Mkombozi have been practicing regularly since my first visit in January, so I'm very eager to see how they've progressed. I'll also be teaching at the Tunahaki Centre for Child Development and the Amani Children's Home.

On Saturday, I'm traveling to the Nairobi airport to pick up Lebogang, Madigomang, and Lesala, three extremely talented jumpers from South Africa. They will be teaching with me in Moshi for the next two weeks. Special thanks to the South African Gymnastics Federation, and to Sandile Ntombela for helping to make this possible.

Moshi is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. It's pretty amazing to look up at the peak and see snow. I won't be able to make the climb during this trip - it's about a one week trek, and very exhausting - but will definitely be doing it on one of my next visits.

Internet connection has been very hit-or-miss lately, but keep checking back for more updates. I have a feeling that Moshi will be one of the powerhouse regions in Tanzania.