Here I am, just five days from departing for my second trip to Afghanistan, and I’m finally joining the 21st century by starting my first real-live blog. I’ll be doing my best to keep this updated throughout my upcoming journey whenever I’m able to get internet access, so feel free to check back whenever the mood strikes to see how things are progressing.

At this point, brand new basketball wheelchairs have been delivered to all five existing Afghan teams – in the cities of Kabul, Maimana, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad – by the International Red Cross (ICRC), and the players have all just recently started using them. My contact at the ICRC in Kabul said the players’ first reaction to playing in the new chairs – having only played in their extremely heavy, large, offroad wheelchairs previously – was that “it felt like they were flying.” That’s exactly how I hoped they would feel, and I’m very excited to work with both the players I’ve already coached in Maimana and those in the other towns I haven’t yet met as they get used to playing in their new rides.

The plan as it stands now is that I will begin my trip in Kabul coaching the team there along with a couple players and trainers from Herat and Jalalabad, who will travel to Kabul to join the training sessions. I will then spend several days working with the teams in Maimana and Mazar-e-Sharif.

I’ll be sure to post here once I’ve arrived, and hope to have some entertaining stories and photos to share throughout the trip. Thanks for reading – more to come soon.

Jess

Thanks to Jon Graef for the custom blog design and map.