Been to Botswana and Back!
Contributed by: Bob Westbrook
January 26, 2020 - We are thrilled to report we are back from our trip to Africa having had the privilege of representing our country and volleyball club halfway around the world. I've been fortunate to travel with A5 teams all over the world for over 10 years now and this year our team of players, coaches and friends took on a very challenging travel schedule. We spent 10 days together which actually felt more like a month due to the lengthy plane and bus rides and getting up before dawn multiple times to participate in clinics and play in tournaments.
While the volleyball was competitive and good, what was even better was the way our players treated our Botswana friends and each other. The gratitude, grace and selflessness demonstrated by each of our players was truly remarkable. We met people who have so little, yet give so much and this left a lasting impression on all of us. Sure, during our stay there were iconic animal moments like when we saw 100 elephants in a flood plain and the stunning views of Victoria Falls, but in reflection this pales in comparison to being able to pursue what we love to do and being of service to others. During our trip, we felt genuinely embraced as members of the community rather than opponents/tourists and we will never forget our new friends or take lightly the value and meaning of their caring and acceptance.
Take a moment to enjoy the video blog documenting all the details of our trip and my hope is you will experience some of what we experienced which has left many of us wanting to go back.
Africa Video Blogby Conor Lounsbury
After a full 24 hours of travel including 17 hours being in the air, we have finally arrived in Botswana! We were welcomed at the airport by the Botswana youth national team who we will be traveling with and competing against during our stay!
We had a volleyball-filled day with our first morning practice to get the team loose again and then we got to lead a school clinic where we taught them some basic volleyball skills! Our night game got canceled due to bad weather and a power outage in the gym but we are back at it tomorrow!
Day 2 was extremely eventful with a morning game drive at the Mokolodi National Wildlife Reserve and then we went to our make-up match against the Botswana National team and got the win 3-0!
We started off the morning leading a clinic with two Botswana boys and girls teams as they prepare for the Botswana Games! Then in the afternoon we had our second game against the Botswana National team!
Can you say Rhinos and more volleyball? Today consisted of a short (4 hour) bus drive to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and then we went straight to our 3rd match against the Botswana National Team! This game was much closer with A5 pulling out the victory 3-2!
Practice, Clinics, and our final game in Botswana.
Last episode! Also Gabe and Jing dancing. Thank you Botswana, it was amazing being with you.