Home Again 1.3 :-)

Bloggers, bloggarians, bloggites, bloggafarians, Lingueres and Samba Lingueres! Apologies for not coming on yesterday and the day before that. Blame NAWEC for depriving my household of electricity. My laptop battery has refused to charge, so it only powers when connected to the mains. Now you know what that means. Oh well, here I am. Your Linguere is down with cold and it is not pretty at all. My purse is gradually getting drained by the ’tissue-paper budget’. Only positive thing is that my voice has grown a tad bit deeper and I LOVE IT!! You must think I’m weird, out of my mind or in a man’s body. Lol . Well we can never know, can we?

On to business now! You know that dream I have? That dream of becoming an International journalist?That dream of filling Aisha Sesay’s shoes? Scratch that… that dream of moving Aisha Sesay’s shoes and replacing them with mine? Well, yours truly has taken the first step. My internship at the Daily Observer( now did I mention that here?) got better this week. That might be because I haven’t set foot in the office all week. I think I love it better working outdoors than indoors. My 1st year TV Professor would be glad to know that. Well, I get to receive my first certificate as a ‘Journalist’ tomorrow, Incha’Allah at the closing ceremony of the SAC Basketball Camp. I AM EXCITED!!!

Today marked ‘DAY 4’ of camp. Day 2 and 3 were really amazing. Campers were introduced to various skills in basketball ranging from lay-ups, dribbling, passes( chest, overhead e.t.c), shooting, rebounding etc. Techniques in both the offensive and defensive positions were also practised by the campers. Each day of camp starts with a warm-up session ‘to keep the campers alert and prepare them for the day’s practice sessions’. Campers enjoy short ‘water breaks’ at ‘equal intervals’. In line with the theme for this year’s camp ‘ Education and Sports’, each day at camp involves a lecture from various speakers. ‘Theme speech’ time comes immediately before lunch each day. On Day 2, campers welcomed Musa Ceesay. a Gambian sports journalist and brother to Jatto Ceesay, National footballer. Musa spoke to campers about the different opportunities in sports. His speech was preceded by a short introduction from Mr Bisenty Gomez. Mr Gomez gave a very brilliant citation: Aspire to acquire what you desire……(I’ll try to get the full citation soon).  The climax for me , however, was the emotional testimony given by Peter Bonu Johnson, former coach of the National U-17 football team. Coach Johnson harped on the importance of discipline and how far one can go with respect and dedication. While recalling his experience at a training in South Africa( hope my memory is right), Coach Johnson could no longer hold back his tears. Now that got to me and my ever-faithful tears did not let me down. (No worries, nobody saw them drop :-D).

Day three’s theme speech was handled by members of the SAC Board. This took the form of a discussion between the Board members and the campers. Campers were given the opportunity to give suggestions on how to keep the spirit of the game alive, even after camp. They unanimously decided to set up SAC clubs in their various schools, with the support of the SAC Board.

Now today’s ‘Theme speech time’ did it for me. Mrs Agnes Campbell and officials from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education gave a talk on HIV/AIDS. Now you know why it was my favourite theme speech of the week! Six campers, with only 5 minutes briefing, staged the most ‘edu-taining’ drama piece I’ve seen in years. Storyline was just the usual. Girl meets semester, Semester asks girl out, ‘good friend’ warns girl. girls ignores advice, Semester and girl start dating, they have sex, girl gets pregnant and also discovers she is HIV positive, semester denies responsibility, good friend comes in with the ‘I told you so’ cliché . The beautiful thing, however, was that the drama piece had no script. The campers came up with the ideas in five minutes and had the audience roaring with laughter. They were able to pass their message across in their own words. IMPRESSIVE!  Campers also handed in their entries for the ‘Writer of the Year’ contest. Each camper wrote a one-page essay on their experiences at camp. I had a really tough time grading the articles and selecting the best five. The Ministry for Education has to do something about English Language in The Gambia. Grammar and spelling are weak points even for Senior Secondary School pupils. Sentence construction and punctuation is also one thing that needs to be looked into by the concerned authorities. I feel the school-going kids need to be exposed to more reading materials. Encouraging the culture of reading in the young societies will go a long way in improving their spelling, punctuation etc. A rich vocabulary will also be developed! At the end, I was able to select the best five. Sigh!

Sadly though, camp ends tomorrow. The week has been really exciting and the campers do not want it to end. The closing ceremony comes up tomorrow afternoon. Campers are expected to do demonstrations of the different skills acquired during the camp. Inter-group games will also be played. All campers will be awarded certificates, while the ‘Player of the Year’ will receive a trophy. You can check out the camp photos on the SAC Facebook page here! Will keep you posted.

Until I get on here again (very soon), have a great weekend! 🙂

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