No pain, no gain?

I have played my first ‘game’ of volleyball. I say ‘game’ because it wasn’t a match at all, it was more just like practice. I met with my student, the organiser, and she put me with a couple of other students who were just throwing the ball to each other. Then she got me into a game she was playing with others. Everyone was nice and went easy on me (I heard laoshi a few times; this is the Chinese for teacher, and I think they were telling each other to let me have a go at serving etc). Today I saw her again, but she was busy judging the competition. After school, I played with some different students (Senior 3 students from the ICC (International Curriculum Centre)) who I think took pity on me for my atrocious skills. I don’t expect to get better overnight, and my student said I could join her team, and that she doesn’t know how much game time I’d get in the matches. That’s fine by me really because with me playing I doubt very much we would win, though I can jump and I am reasonably tall, which I think is an asset as two of the other team members are quite short. I think my job will primarily be to hit the ball back over the net if it comes towards me. And I can – probably – do that….

My arm, however, is suffering. From all the hitting (and you hit the ball in a very specific place), it is difficult to get it right, and my arm is dealing with the results of that. It will be bruised, I think, for some time…. But I equally think you get used to it, and no pain, no gain, right?

The first ‘game’ was tiring – I did a lot of back and forth running, and on an empty stomach too (it was Come Dine With Me – so we were not eating until 7.30) – but it was a lot of fun and enjoyable, despite the pain. And tonight, I got to meet some ICC students who I hadn’t met before, so that was nice too. Next, I have to practice my hitting technique I think, and my serving technique – I can’t serve at all.

My colleagues had initially expressed an interest in forming a team but they were not organised enough to sign-up before the deadline, and so they have likely missed the opportunity to play.

Tuesday also saw the next CDWM meal. The theme was European. The starter was a Greek dish (stuffed peppers and feta cheese), the main Spanish (paella) and the pudding was (apparently) Portuguese (it was some sort of custard pie). The food was nice and the entertainment was interesting. We had to guess the flag of the European country (there were obscure ones – it was quite difficult) – and we also had to make a cocktail for the hosts, who then judged who had won. We worked with our CDWM partner in both tasks – and we didn’t win either. The food was nice enough, though I was hungry, and it was a nice break after tiring myself out with the volleyball game earlier.

We have one more meal to go – in a fortnight I think – and then it will be the final meal where we all bring something ourselves and watch the videos were have all recorded at the end of the meals.

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