Here is the video that Viktor Pesenti put together from our equipment donation in India. He did a fantastic job with it.
I just returned home from a couple of weeks in Ireland. I thought I’d share a few stories that show how fantastic the Irish people truly are.
So, I wasn’t exactly too organized for this trip. When I booked my flight to Ireland, I gave myself an extra day before attending the Navigate Media Bloghouse. The Bloghouse involved spending 3 full days living in a castle (tough life) and learning about blogging. I thought I’d give myself a day to acclimatize before the work started. Great idea, but then I forgot about it. When I arrived at the pickup point early, I waited a couple hours for the Navigate crew. After the pick up time passed, I remembered that I was a day early and no one was coming. The only other person at Limerick Junction was Paddy. Paddy is a cab driver. He told me it would cost 15 Euros to go to Bansha Castle where the Bloghouse was taking place. I thought I would go check it out. Again, I didn’t look at the castle online before arriving. I thought I would see if they had a room for the night and/or maybe other people from the Bloghouse had already arrived. They didn’t and they hadn’t. Paddy and I were in front of Bansha Castle and I asked him if he knew of a bed and breakfast close by. He got on his cell phone and made a call to Gerry in Tipperary. Sure enough, Gerry had room for me at his bed and breakfast. Tipperary was about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the Bansha Castle. I asked Paddy how much it would cost to go back to Gerry’s B&B. Paddy’s response, “Don’t worry about it, I’m going that way anyway”. Not exactly the response you’d expect from a cab driver. Paddy then drove into Tipperary, took me to Gerry’s door and made sure I was checked in. I tried to give him some extra money, but he wouldn’t accept it. We were both persistent (I am half Egyptian) with me trying to give him more money and him refusing. Eventually, he accepted half of the extra money I tried to give him. Paddy Redican, what a fantastic guy.
This photo is from a Refugee camp in Thailand in 2006. I was working with Right to Play at the time. Some of the people on the camp had heard that Right to Play set up a basketball court on another camp. I didn’t know anything about this as it wasn’t our project. I asked if they wanted to see if we could build one and they were all about it. I started going on about how we could put up a backboard and a pole next to their soccer field as it seemed like the only place to put it. I knew that I could find a basketball rim in town (which was about 40 minutes away through the jungle) but other than that, I had no idea how we were going to set it up. After about 20 minutes of me talking about options (took a long time due to translation), I realized I was talking to a lot of confused faced. I asked what the problem was and they told me they didn’t know what basketball was and had no idea what a basketball hoop looked like. Guess I should have clarified that first.
We ended up using two bamboo sticks for support poles. For the backboard, we used a piece of wood that was being used as a gate to keep the chickens in (I hope they found something else). In the photo, you can see Bo Meh using his machete to cut out holes for the bolts. We erected the hoop beside the soccer field and it worked like a charm…I’ll have to search to see if I still have a photo of the finished product.
I was going through some old stuff and found this article I wrote when I was working in Thailand with Right to Play in 2006.
The photo is from the camp, not the game in the following story:
I sometimes wonder how I get myself into such strange situations. However, they do make for good stories. I think this one is near the top of the list.
A few days ago a friend of mine from Canada was in town. We decided to go and see if we could play football with some of the locals. We ended up playing on a field about half the side of a regular field without about 30 people. Needless to say it was a little crowded. A guy who was watching from his truck hammered on his horn and waved us over. Through the help of a translator he asked us if we were interested in playing for his team on the weekend. We weren’t sure if we were 100% clear though as to what exactly he was asking. At first it sounded like an over 35 league. I’m suffering from no disillusionment about the state of my growing forehead. But, the hair on my head must be going on vacation at a much faster rate than I previously thought if I’m getting asked to play in a 35 and older league. My friend told them he wasn’t going to be around on the weekend, so he was off the hook. I said,
“no problem, Sunday at 1”
“but isn’t it for 35 and older”
“no problem, Sunday at 1”
“Okay, I’ll try and make it, but don’t count on me”
“okay, see you Sunday at 1”
“I’ll try, but don’t count on me”
“See you Sunday at 1”