Posts tagged World Cup

World Cup and Malaysian Airline

I suppose I am your typical American, I did not watch any of the World Cup. I’m not interested in soccer or “football” as it is called elsewhere. I haven’t even watched our own games of baseball so I guess I am not “INTO” sports. I think Germany was a good win for the World Cup, they probably worked hard and a great team effort. Someone wrote that the main objective is to keep kicking the ball towards the net, the more you do that, you wear down the goalie and the ball is apt to get into the net for a score.

Life is like that in a way. If you keep working towards your objective, you will little by little achieve your goal. If you are wandering around the field with no good plan or teamwork, you will have no success. I have been getting stronger and stronger where I weeded a flowerbed that was entangled with quack grass and lilies of the valley plants. The latter had taken over and was very intense as a root system, superficial but irksome nonetheless. My husband helped me free the ground up because it was too big of a task for me. Now I have impatience plants and begonias replacing the tall grass. What a marked improvement in my flower bed that has old bed posts on the top and bottom of it with railroad ties on the sides.

This morning I went after another area by our shop to put in holly hocks that I got from my mom. I found all sorts of metal pieces that had been thrown out perhaps 75 years ago. LONG nails and other ancient items that don’t decay with the soil. So, now I hope to have holly hocks growing, an old kind of flower.

That’s the thing, you have to keep fighting the weeds. If you give the weeds’ roots just an inch, it will go the full mile. Kind of like the northern neighbor to Ukraine. They want more land and are having a full out war over this. The Ukrainians want peace and do not want separatists or others that are known by another term in the eastern part of their country. It is like weeds, they need to be pulled out NOW otherwise, worse things will happen.

The commercial airliner that was just shot down with almost 300 people on board is an example of someone using their missile to take an aircraft out. The bodies are strewn throughout Ukraine over 7 miles, we know the impact happened in the air. Maybe it was a bomb on board coming from the Netherlands and its final destination was Malaysia. Not now, currently they will be pulling all the pieces together to find out what hit this plane that should not have been hit.

This is a world wide problem, this is not just some small incident. The World Cup was big, yes, but it seems that what is happening in Ukraine is much, much bigger and will start to affect us all.

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World Cup news…and the rest is history

Tonight I discussed with other ladies about the World cup of U.S. versus Belgium. I was among some who think that the sport of soccer is boring, especially when the score is so low, like 1-0. I guess I am your typical American who grew up on baseball and got to know and understand football, our American version of it. I have watched my girls from composition class play in their soccer matches. I must admit that if you know some of the players, it does make a difference to at least cheer for your team.

I suppose soccer will never catch on in the U.S. because there is also the sport of basketball which also can be very exciting as well as hockey games. I know that one of the ladies has her heart in Brazil right now because two of her sons are there watching the games. They submitted to a kind of lottery where they won three places of games to go to. I understand they won’t be back to the U.S. for another two weeks. I don’t even know how long this World Cup event is going on, that shows you how much I follow the news. However, this mother is watching the World Cup news closely because she hasn’t heard from her sons since they arrived to Brazil and to tell their mother they were fine. I understand that a mother’s heart and mind needs to know more minute to minute coverage than just the initial “we’re fine, we arrived.” Hopefully, her boys will find an Internet café and text home to give a few more details. One of the sons has wanted to go to the World Cup for the last 5-10 years. He is an unusual American kid, his brother went with him to help protect him.

Well, what is the rest of the history that I am looking into? I received from an 81 year old Norwegian bachelor farmer ten pages, single spaced and typed nicely about his life. I had to piece together all the details because it was fairly scattered in its organization. However, there are so many good pieces of info about what life was like for him living as a pioneer farmer in my part of the world. It is as if this man was taken out of a time machine that went back 100 years. He wrote about how a pack of dogs chased their family’s flock of sheep to death. He knows about shocking grain and creating hay bales. He did hunting and sold a mink skin for $33.50 to Sears and Roebuck back in the 1940s. He has so many tidbits that I think people from my community will enjoy reading. I currently have the privilege of editing his ten pages down to something manageable for the newspaper. I think I will have at least four articles out of what he has written.

So, life goes on even though the U.S. is no longer qualified to play any more games in the World Cup. They gave it their best shot, I’m proud of who the players are even though I don’t know who they are. Also, life goes on for this elderly gentleman who is still very sharp and witty. I hope that if more people would get to meet him in my town, they would really enjoy his dry sense of humor. It doesn’t really come through in his writing or reading his quips.

Summer is 1/3 over with, now that we are into July. I have MUCH weeding of my flower gardens to do before my family descends upon us in about three weeks. My mom will turn 80 years old and all of my siblings and her sister will come for the big event that we are planning. It will be fun to see everyone from my family gathered together for this happy occasion. She seems much younger than the 81 year old man I am writing about. He has had a hard life of great physical labor, living as a farmer on not much acreage.

Life is short, handle with prayer…

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Ryan’s First Impressions of Kazakhstan (Part IV)

Read past posts to know who Ryan is and what impressed him about Kazakshtan:

July 5, 2010

Hey everybody,

I’m hanging out in an internet cafe in a mall listening to country tunes from home to drown out the ear splitting Russian Techno they play here. The fact that it’s Russian I love but man…why the techno? I have so much that I could tell you guys which is why I need to catch up on my journaling because I’m so afraid I’m going to forget some before I write it down. Travelers out there…can I get a witness?! I’ll do my best to give you guys a synopsis of what’s been going on the last few days.

Let’s start with last Thursday. I came to Mega with a friend of Cindy’s and we hung out and I had a local hamburger. We got a chance to talk and practice our English and Russian respectively and play some computer games before we had to go back. It was a lot of fun to just hang out and I found an internet cafe which is always good. Then I went back to work and worked with an English conversation club.

We listened to a Beatles song called Blackbird to help their English. The song was slow and relatively simple. I was just amazed at the symbolism in the song. It’s about a blackbird finally having the chance to fly…pretty cool when you considered that it was written as a response to Civil Rights Movement. I’d never heard it and was really impressed with it. Youtube it! Then we played a game called “What’s that word?” where we wrote down a person place and a thing and had to describe the word to get people to guess it. It was fun!

There was one girl that wrote down “Stevenage” which is a city in England. I had to confirm it with Cindy but it does exist. After that I took the bus to another English conversation I was to be a part of. They were beginners which made me really pay attention to my word choice and speed of talking. I worked with an intermediate group the night before and it was a blast as well. They’re really interested in learning about life in America.

Side note: livestreaming a hometown radio station makes me very happy and less homesick. One of the great things about being so busy that you’re just exhausted is that it leaves very little time for homesickness. I also have made some great friends here that whether they know it or not get me through the hard times. He knows exactly what we need when we need it, yeah? Friday I slept in for a little bit and woke up some time after nine. I read and relaxed for a bit before meeting some friends. It was nice to hang out and talk.

After that I went home and relaxed for a bit before Sergei made shaslik (meat kebobs) that were amazing. Then I went for a really cold swim before calling it a night. The next day I got up and everyone else left so I watched a movie called “The Hairy Father” in Russian. It stars Tim Allen and was a hilarious movie. I went for a swim later in the day before meeting up with some of the people that I taught English to. Again, I had shaslik…can we say a lot of meat! I loved hanging out with them.

Yesterday, I relaxed before going to meet with friends because that was all in Russian. That’s hard to not be able to understand much and have to really work to understand what you do. I waited for my bus after getting done on the internet only to realize that mine had stopped running. So, I grabbed a taxi and had to wait for the driver to get ready to go. Then when we got to my house he had no change so after getting some he gave me a partial refund. I was getting a little annoyed but I’m glad it all worked out.

Today, I had a really good lunch with Cindy and Elizabeth and then we went and bought tickets for the next leg of the journey which will start on Saturday the 17th. Now, I’m chilling (not really it’s pretty hot in here actually) and saying hi to you guys. I can’t wait to really explain

Backing up a bit, I am REALLY glad I got my visa for Kazakshtan. It took thirty hours from their receipt of my paperwork to it being back in the mail. It could have taken 5 days. I got it and I’m here now in Kazakhstan. The flights were interesting because I’ve never spent that much time on planes before. I enjoyed it but I’m certainly glad that’s over. I got to spend some time in Amsterdam. I had lunch and randomly met an Austrailian nurse while eating. I had a quick lunch of french fries and mayonnaise. The Dutch are deep in the Midst of World Cup fever. Orange(their royal color) and Dutch flags are everywhere. Everyone’s talking about soccer…it’s great!

I loved European trains…so nice and fast…furthering my belief that America should invest in such things. I got here about 4.15a and went through passport control. It was really simple and my bags made it here with me so all was well. I must have been asked if I wanted a taxi about 50 times while waiting for my ride. He got there and we set out to find where I was supposed to stay. We found it, finally, and I met one of my contacts, Vicky. She’s house sitting for some Americans so the house I’m staying in is really Western. I love it because I needed a hot shower and a bed and I got them both. It took me about 20 mins to fall asleep but once I did I was out until about 2p. Now, I’m just adjusting and relaxing. So..I’m here…I’m safe and sound…Peace, Ryan

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Kazakhstan’s Team Astana and Tour de France

I know NOTHING about Tour de France, only that Lance Armstrong has won it many times.  What was it 7 times?  These guys pedal their bikes over rough terrain for 90 hours over the course of a week or two. Okay, I admit it, I don’t follow Wimbledon or the World Cup either.  Too much else to do. You see, I’d rather bike than watch other people bike or run after a ball or play tennis.

It certainly has been a good year in sports for Spain what with the World Cup and all. But I think this has to be put in the context of where Kazakhstan fits in with all the hoopla. I didn’t know about Alberto Contador, the Spaniard, who rode with Team Astana. Next time maybe it might be a Kazakh or Kazakhstani that could stand on the winner’s platform for Tour de France.

My American colleague at work, who is a great biking fan (means that he does his own pedaling around Astana whenever he can) informed me with the following:

“It is all over but the champagne ride to Paris.  Team Astana rider Alberto Contador has won the Tour de France by less than one minute and one of the five closest margins in tour history.  Tomorrow is only a ceremonial ride with no real competitive riding, except for the sprinters at the end of the race.  We should feel proud that Team Astana has won. It is the only team in the race so closely associated with a country and, as we know, a team that the President of Kazakhstan has shown a direct interest.  All Kazakhstanis should feel proud.

And let us not forget Vinokuorov. He was the highest placed KZ rider and won a stage on his own.  He has demonstrated that he is a top cyclist, placing well in the rankings and assisting Contador in his victory. I am sure that we will hear more of him in the future.”

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