I showed up feeling a little out of place, of course, but I was immediately included in conversations which led to more introductions and so on. I did know one of the guys (Michael, from the stag hunting picture in one of the first blog posts), so I hung out with him for a while. The matches were set for the night, so I wasn't expecting to get to play (and I've never played before). But then the president came up and asked if I would 'like to have a hit' - meaning would I like to play a match. I said yes, of course, and he said, 'ok, you're playing Michael'. So that was pretty comfortable at least. Maybe I was too comfortable, though, because he stomped me. I think it was about 45-20..... yikes. I didn't embarrass myself, though. I had a lot of people tell me they thought I did great 'for my first time'. I then told them that it is quite a bit like racquetball, which I played a little bit during medical school. The biggest problem is that the squash racquet is quite a bit more narrow than a racquetball racquet, so I missed the ball a lot.... so maybe I did embarrass myself just a little bit. But I had a lot of people cheering for me. And Micheal was a good sport.
Overall, it was a huge success. I talked with a lot of new people, and I had a great time. I'll be going back. And they said if they ever need more fill-ins, then they'll put me in! There's free-play afterwards anyway, so I could always just show up towards the end and have unofficial play with people there after the official matches for the night.
To catch you up on the rest of my weekend (because I know you are just sooooo curious about what I did for the rest of the day)... I skyped with Erin Fisk this morning, and talked about having her come do a rotation down here, which is pretty exciting. Then I went and helped the neighbor paint a room in their house. In return, he took me kayaking on the local river. It is currently flooded. Apparently it is otherwise too boring to bother kayaking on, but it was a good intro to river kayaking (a lot different than the lakes I'm used to at home in my big kayak). We were on these little tiny short kayaks, and had to wear wetsuits because it was really cold here this weekend.
I only tipped over twice. I consider that a victory. Once right at the very beginning, and again literally 25 yards from our stopping point. The water was freezing. I almost tipped in the middle, but it was really shallow, so I just stuck my arm down and tipped myself back upright. Those little kayaks were tricky... I"ll get better.
Anyway, it's back to work tomorrow. (It was Labor Day here today, by the way, so I had today off). I"m probably going to be very sore due to my paddling, squash, and random ab workout I did Sunday out of boredom when I was feeling like I was on house arrest on call. That's ok. It will be a little reminded of some of the fun I had over the weekend. Now I have to start planning next weekend!
This is the Aparima River. This photo was taken when it was not flooded. It was much more mighty today when it flipped me out of my kayak...twice. Trust me : )