By: Hanan Ghazzaoui (YES 2018-2019, Lebanon, hosted by CCI in Delavan, WI)
Coming together was a beginning. Keeping together was a progress. Staying together was a success. This year, I got the wonderful opportunity to be on my host school’s girls’ basketball team. Being a member of the team made me grow as a person, and as a teammate. I am forever grateful for making the decision to try a high school team sport, and even more grateful for the supportive, kind, and encouraging players I got to meet.
From the very first day of practice, till the last game of the season, these girls genuinely inspired and motivated me to climb the stairs to success. Day by day, we became closer and closer. Our friendship built on, and felt more like sisterhood. Sharing the goal of getting better and stronger, we tackled every challenge. Even on our difficult days, we focused on having a positive mindset. We played like we never lost, and practiced like we never won. And most importantly, we always had fun.
On the day of the last home game as our team was getting ready to face the opponent, I thought to myself, “I’m gonna miss them all...” But I know that these memories and friendships that I made will always be in my heart. No matter where life takes this team, we’ll always have our special bond.
In this sport, I found my passion for team sports and my ability to display sportsmanship. I learned that success is a product of effort, hard work, and persistence. Every day was a chance to improve and work harder. It was enjoyable and interesting to try something entirely new which is what the gist of exchange is all about.