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Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
ACE Blog: Sarrami Checks in from South Africa
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 07/31/2017
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A Duke Wrestler and Stanford Field Hockey Player Walk into the Gym

July 21, 2017

By: Araad Sarrami, Duke Men's Wrestling, and Julia DiTosto, Stanford Women's Field Hockey

As our second blog post for the trip, we are collaborating on a short interview to provide our readers with insight on assimilation. Hope you enjoy! 

1. What has it been like living and working with student athletes from Duke and Stanford?

Julia: I was surprised at how easy it has been spending time with other student-athletes from my school and another university. Obviously the first few days were a little more quiet but the group quickly got close and the bus rides were filled with laughter. It’s interesting to see how similar we all are even though we go to universities across the country and all play different sports. Some of us compete on turf, others on sand, one on a mat, and a few in the pool. Even with these large differences in sports, we are able to come together and collaborate on having an impact on a community. At the same time that we are able to find similarities among these differences, each of us are individuals with various skill sets that contribute to our overall goal of working with Nomzamo Township. 

Araad: I first thought it was going to take a little bit of time and working through that initial awkward phase where everybody was still trying to get to know each other, but the complete opposite happened. As soon as we all met everyone got along great and meshed real well with each other to the point where we were all comfortable. I honestly haven't laughed this hard in a while, and for that to happen with this group of people that I haven't known for more than a couple weeks is pretty amazing. We have great team chemistry where everyone has an equal say in ideas and planning and everyone is comfortable with giving honest and productive feedback and reflection. At the same time, everyone has their personal space in the living environment, which I think leads to more productivity when it's time to get down to work. In short, living and working with people from Stanford and Duke has been a surprisingly smooth and easy transition where we all appreciate what every single group member brings to the table to create an overall positive team chemistry. 

To read the complete blog post click here: ACE - South Africa.