This weeks blog is brought to you by Brooklyn O’Hare and Erin Clark, participants of the recent trip to Cyprus.
In my opinion the Cyprus trip was amazing; it was a trip to remember. My favourite part was when we did bowling because it really brought everyone together and even though we were split into teams i felt like i was able to spend time with everyone and get to know everyone. If i was to change one thing, i would change that i spent more time with other people as i really only spent time with people i already knew. The sessions and the site seeing was remarkable. The site seeing gave me a little more insight into the culture and how everything is for them such as the borders. The sessions wit up2us was amazing; the first thing i did when i got home was get my junior boys to create handshakes and seeing their faces light up was just an amazing feeling. Overall this was an experience id never swap for anything else. I hope to continue these exchanges as these help me grow as a leader but grow as a person as well. I think anyone who gets a chance like this should take it and take advantage of it and grow from it. I am really going to miss all the friends that I have made from these exchanges, especially this one. I hope that I will see them soon and I hope I get to form new friendships as well as making the friendships I have stronger. Just want to thank PeacePlayers for this opportunity!!!!! It was really sweet to the beat!!! – Brooklyn O’Hare
I have been on many incredible trips with PeacePlayers, but Cyprus has been the best in many ways, the main way being how eye opening the trip was. Many times throughout the trip when we had to go somewhere we always had to have our passports to go through the border from the Greek side to the Turkish side and vice versa. One night in particular it hit me when we went into the town and we got to go and get food from anywhere we wanted. I went with a group to the Turkish side and we got to the border and one of the Cypriot girls was not allowed to go to the Turkish side because she did not have permission from her parents to cross. This moment just had me thinking a lot about how thankful I was for what I had back home. I remember thinking to myself, imagine what life would be like back home if I needed my passport to go and see my friends and sometimes even not be allowed access to see them. One of the highlights from the trip for me was when we went to St. Hilarion castle, this was a great way for everyone to bond and interact with new people. Throughout the walk some very deep conversations took place, especially in the group I was with. Everyone was encouraging each other and motivating each other to keep going, even if you were afraid of heights. Another highlight of the trip for me personally was having the Coaches and staff from Washington DC and Up2Us. The Up2Us sessions were very beneficial and it was really cool getting an insight of how other programmes outside of PeacePlayers are trying to make a change through sports. The PeacePlayers DC coaches brought a lot of extra energy throughout the week and what I loved was how genuinely interested they were about having those harder conversations with us, as young leaders, about our culture and the struggles we all faced individually. Throughout the trip the coaches didn’t see us as kids, but rather as young leaders. The presentation Coach Shawn, Coach Victor and Coach Kayin gave us about the newly set up projects in Brooklyn, Baltimore and Detroit was very eye opening as well as all of the PeacePlayers sites are so different from each other, but we are all working to achieve the same thing. This is why it is #cooltobeapeaceplayer – Erin Clark
P.S., a message from Managing Director, Gareth Harper.
“So, along with some other brave souls, I will be taking to the Irish Sea on Boxing Day to raise funds to support the work of PeacePlayers. If your are not plunging, please consider dipping into your pocket and making a donation to our Just Giving page. The link to do so is posted below.”