“What I loved most about the United States” August 11, 2011  by      

To conclude his previous blog on the East African jump rope team’s trip to the U.S., Thomas Bwire interviewed the competitors upon their return-

“I am so happy that I got a chance to go to the United States. I will devote my time to train fellow team members in new jump rope skills that I learned,’’ says 13 year old Diana Adhiambo, a jump rope participant from Kibera. Hardly a week has passed since she returned from the United States, yet Diana is already back on the training field at Old Kibera Primary where it all started. She looks easy-going as she demonstrates some new jump rope skills to her teammates; they all stare at her as she is the center of attention.

I want to find out what she loved most while in the United States with her coach. After getting permission from Coach Innocent, Diana steps aside from her training and joins me a few meters from the field on a stone that I am sitting on.

“What were some of the most memorable moments for you in the United States?” I ask.
“People were very nice to me, I was warmly welcomed and didn’t have issues with anyone, and even people not known to me easily smiled back at me, making me feel at peace,” responds Diana while gazing at her friends jumping rope.

“Second, I loved seeing their houses that are well spaced with big compounds. That encourages me to work hard so that I can better the life of my siblings with a better modern house in the future, when we can move out of the Kibera slums. Last, I enjoyed the electric train ride that I saw for my first time ever in my life, it moved with such speed. I have always being seeing them on TV. At first I was scared, only to realize that it’s very fast and efficient with no traffic jams like here in Kenya.” She says, before politely requesting permission to rejoin her teammates.

Next in line is to be interviewed is Diana’s Coach Philip Innocent Nyangori, who accompanied Diana to the United States. He takes Diana’s space on my stone chair.

“Americans are the most hard-working people, they don’t just idle around waiting to be spoon fed. I saw them working day and night, something that I respected a lot. No one is there to police them on the roads, yes they do have better roads with many lanes, but they strictly follow traffic laws obediently. That is real self-discipline, man.” says Innocent.

“I also loved the fact that I learned new skills that will help me nurture the talent of these young stars that you see here today, simply because I was taught new skills and how to be creative by other coaches, who challenged me never to just sit back and wait, but to go out there and set my goals and achieve my targets in everything I do,” he finished.

With these strong last sentiments, Innocent excuses himself and joins the rest of the team to continue with their practice that will last for 20 more minutes. Even though they’ve just returned, their training is already back in full swing as they get ready for their next competition.

Read Thomas’ previous blogs Here.

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