Let me first start off by thanking everyone who has supported me on this trip the past two years. I especially want to thank my wife and family! I know my wife would love to be here with me but she gave me her full support. With God’s grace she will be joining us next year. I also want to give thanks to Geoff, my friend, mentor, and role model, for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the Red River team. I have told him many times before that I owe him so much and will forever be in his debt. Don’t worry GG I will be in Austin soon to finish off my 3 days of work that I owe you. The whole Rich family is so generous and I love them dearly.
At Wadi Sports Camp Grady, Hayden, and myself are teaching “American Football” which is really flag football. The kids range from age 16 to 18 and really want to tackle, but it is far too dangerous for us to play without proper equipment. They have progressed so much in the past days. We started with basic drills including passing, catching, handoffs, route running, and pulling flags. Today we started a Super Bowls series between two teams named the Sharks and Warriors, and since we have two major times a day, which are when the campers go to the designated sport they choose to participate in, we already have a winner. The Sharks with Noor leading them at quarterback won two straight games. They are calling plays on their own and doing a great job of utilizing all the knowledge they have learned from us coaches. We as coaches instituted a run rule that only allowed them one run per 4 downs. Otherwise flag football would turn into rugby!! Tomorrow we are going to the pool in the morning and playing some tackle in the afternoon to satisfy their wishes. The campers themselves are great and some I remember from last year as staff since we worked a younger camp. They are all so kind to me and work so hard to learn and get better. They however do not like the Mexican chili lolly pops I brought from home. In fact, out of the 30 or so I have given out no Egyptian has said they enjoyed the taste. As Greg put it “they must not have the Latino pallet”.
The other major sports event today was a Championship series between the Alphas and Omegas. The campers are divided into these two teams and compete all camp long to see who gets the most points. Today they choose their best players in Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, and Soccer. The Omegas won all the games with the exception of Boys Dodgeball. One of the main attractions was the Omega girls dominating performance by Nada with a hat trick.She kept wearing an A&M shirt that she got from Chris last year so I had to give her my favorite Texas Intramural soccer shirt. I told her she must stop wearing the A&M shirt!! Sorry Chris but not really. The other main attraction was the boys soccer match that had an atmosphere of a UEFA Champions League. Dinner was served and the Omegas put on a show winning 4-1. Mario who is in the American Football major scored an incredible goal off the top crossbar. Hayden and I sat with Bessel who is a camper and lives in the UK. His brother Youssef is his twin and I could not distinguish them from one another. I finally asked for a tip and Bessel told me Youseff has a dot under his left eye. From time to time I still get their names wrong. We talked about the differences in each others’ culture and religion. I really enjoyed our talk today and the many others I have with all the Wadi campers and staff.
I want to thank God for giving me the chance to visit Egypt and serve its people. Sports has always been a strong suite for me and the fact that I can use that skill that God gave me to serve in his name is incredible. The awesome part about coming to Wadi is the fact that I learn so much from the Egyptians at Wadi. They are all so kind, loving, fun spirited, talented, and wise. They have had a huge impact on my life in so many different ways. My faith in God grows with every second I spend here. All the camp staff from leadership team, counselers, admins, and work crew volunteer their time to impact the lives of the Egyptian youth. Many of them are doctors, dentists, engineers, and college students that could of easily put it off but instead take time off and work at Wadi Sports Camp. I want to thank you for accepting me as part of your family and want you all to know that I love you all. I hope and pray that I have made a small impact in their lives as well.
Thank you all for your prayers and support please continue to pray for our team as well as the people of Egypt!
Alfonso Garza, Jr.
(Edited by Hayden Rich)
p.s. I still get campers that think I’m Egyptian and still love the bidet!