So this certainly isn’t news to anyone living in New Zealand (unless you made like Shrek the Sheep are living in a cave somewhere), but for those of you non-Kiwis reading this, on October 23 the New Zealand All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Imagine the Superbowl combined with the World Series in a country the size of Colorado, and you essentially have an idea about how huge rugby is here. The K-12 school schedule was even adjusted so that the kids would be on holiday during the World Cup. This is the second time the All Blacks made it to the finals, and the second time they’ve won, but that last happened in 1987. Like the Olympics, the World Cup only recurs every four years.
So yeah, pretty epic deal. I watched the game on the big screen in the Centre, and it was great to be surrounded by so many passionate, patriotic Kiwis. I actually enjoy watching rugby much more than American football, primarily because the game doesn’t stop every 22 seconds. This game was especially intense, as New Zealand only beat France by one point. France put up a good fight, and if they were ever in the finals against a team other than the All Blacks, I’d probably root for them.
One semi-final game this season was New Zealand vs. Australia. New Zealanders love the All Blacks just about as much as they hate the Australian team, so this was an intense game to say the least. But I’ll let you experience a bit of the atmosphere for yourself. My friend Nina was amongst the chanting group:
Sorry, I couldn’t get the video to insert directly since it’s not YouTube. Worth a watch, if not for the rugby madness then at least for the accents.
Last Sunday the Rainiers had Suzie and me over for a braai, a South African-style barbecue. The afternoon was gorgeous and we ate outside. I didn’t even mind the mosquito bites I found the next day; they were worth the price of a tiny snippet of summer! At the gathering we also met the Rainiers’ daughter and two of their friends, another couple from South Africa. The husband teaches environmental science and said there’d been a lot of research done in that field in Spokane, of all places! I reiterate: small world. Don’t worry, I won’t make you listen to the song. However, in Googling “braai” to make sure I spelled it correctly, I came across this video, which I thought you might enjoy:
I imagine with slight variations you could apply the content of this video to just about any country. As my dad is fond of saying, men don’t cook unless there’s an element of danger involved.
Anywho, in the land of academia, I sat two exams today – my only ones this semester – so now I’ve just got three assignments before the semester is complete. Thanks to some much-appreciated extensions, my last one is now due November 9. Three days later, I leave!
- paddling pool = wading pool
- suss = realise
- twink = white out (love that one)
- yonks = ages
- done and dusted = finished
- New Zealand celebrates Guy Fawkes Day (i.e. where that whole, “Remember, remember the 5th of November” bit originates