Friday, February 25, 2011

Nananana Nanana-na hey, hey hey. Good bye.

My time at Hebron school has come to an end and among heart felt goodbyes and promises to keep in touch there was definitely a happiness at the thought of coming home. Before home though was an important detour in my itinerary – a trip to Nagpur to watch Australia play New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup.
My Business Studies Class. From Left Vikas, Anand,
Pratul, Mr Isaac, Debbie, Sarah, Me, Kiran, Nishant

When you think of world class sporting tournaments you think of packed stadiums, excited crowds and exciting sport. All these were on the menu at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground today, however one of my lasting memories will be one thing that isn’t commonly linked to cricket’s major spectacle - the ticket booth. Now a ticket booth is not an especially glamorous term and it was therefore an appropriate term for the shack outside the VCA ground in Nagpur. I had booked my ticket online a month ago and selected the ‘venue pick-up’ option on knowing how long things can take in India, I left my hotel at 5.45am for the 9.30 start and arrived at Jamtha (where the stadium is) at around 6.30. As I walked around the ground I couldn’t see an identifiable ticket sales counter and so I began asking the security staff. They directed me to a temporary shack about 200m away from the stadium and said ‘ticket, ticket 8 am’. It dawned on me that I would have a significant wait before anyone could help me so I struck up a conversation with some of the locals. One man in particular was outlining to me the difference between Indians and Pakistanis… “Indians nice people, pleasant people. Pakistan nasty people – they murder their coach” referring to the tragic death of the Pakistani coach (Bob Woolmer) at the last World Cup.
In the background, one of the most impressive structures in
Nagpur. In the foreground, well, its hardly a structure is it?

At around 8am, a man wearing a shirt of the ticketing company (Kyazoonga) stepped out of a rickshaw. He had a small backpack on and he climbed into the back of the shack and the mob of people wanting tickets started queuing up for their precious pieces of cardboard which would enable them access to the stadium.

Wing North, Gate 6, Bay V, Level 3, Seat 310. Could
have said anything, there were no allocated seats.
I handed over my confirmation pages and the mysterious backpack man gave me my ticket. Hardly the seamless sort of set up you would expect at a World Cup, but I had my ticket and a day at the cricket beckoned. I was a volunteer writer for cricinfo for the game, so you can read my review on this page.

It was a fantastic game and a great way to spend my last Friday in India. Tomorrow I head back to Mumbai to have a final Church service with the Vision Rescue guys before heading back to Sydney on Sunday night. I can’t believe its come to an end already.

Prayer Points
Thank God for the time he has blessed me with in India
Thank God for my safety and good health
Ask God for continued safe travel over the next few days
Ask God to help me adapt back to normal life when I get home

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm sti-ill alive - sti-ill alive...

Sorry to remind you that men can sing that high, but the Bee Gees summed up this post in a lyrical format a few decades ago. Just thought I would let you know as it is about time I blogged something.
I am still kicking which is encouraging. 

We're back into the swing of things at Hebron School in Ooty and it would seem that teaching is my new profession. I am taking all the year 7,8,9 girls PE as well as a couple of older boys classes and I am also telling the year 12 Business Studies class what Marketing is all about.

Back to important matters though. Many of you will recall my disappointing day on the field during the last student staff cricket match (link here). The good news is that I have two chances to redeem myself next week with two more games on the Tuesday and Thursday. With no formal cricket of any sort since the last game I could be a little down on form which is sending worrying thoughts around the staff team.

Ricky Ponting tries to shift the focus away from his broken little finger, and
thus creates the biggest ear we've seen on the cricket field since
Adam Gilchrist. Thanks to my friends at for the picture.
I have decided to focus on the positives though and my aim is to back up the Australian selectors in their assertion that just because someone hasn’t played cricket in two months (Ricky Ponting) they can still compete at the highest level. Admittedly, the ICC Cricket World Cup might not have the intensity of a Hebron School Staff v Student game, but if I succeed in any way shape or form (1 run, catch or wicket will do) then I will declare the selectors’ decision vindicated and will proceed to nominate Ponting to be the Player of the tournament at the World Cup.

My tip? I will fail miserably. Therefore Australia better not be reliant on their skipper to bring them success on the subcontinent.

Prayer Points
Thank God for the time he has blessed me with in India
Thank God for my safety and good health
Ask God for wisdom as I teach the students
Ask God for continued safety during my time in India
Ask God for guidance as I speak at Assembly and the Student Prayer breakfast next week