Weekends are always my favorite. After the rush of a long week, I am able to enjoy my time in the city. This weekend began with a celebration. One of the girls I'm rooming with had a birthday! We went out for Italian food and then had cake and ice cream. We knew that the night could not end so typically, yet we could not think of ANYTHING to do.
Finally, our homestay brother, Denning came up with a fabulous idea. We all bundled up in jackets and scarves and headed off to a playground- yes... I did say a playground. In fact, it was the most amazing playground I have EVER been to in my life. It was full of dangerous toys. It would probably shut down in America for all the hazardous events that could take place. I bet three people break bones at this playground every week. We went on tons of cool rides at the playground. We went down the zip line, raced up an incredibly tall obstacle course, and spun around in chairs. Unfortunately, my fun was cut short when I got my hair caught in metal while spinning on one of the chairs. Not only did my hair get caught on a metal pole as my friend spins me around it, but my ear somehow gets attached too. This happened three days ago and I STILL have a headache and a sore ear. Nevertheless, it was an unforgettable night.
Speaking of headaches, if you think American football players get them you should see a game of rugby. If I ever had a doubt in my mind that Australians were exceptionally tough, it was wiped away watching this game. The game is kind of like football, but you cannot pass the ball forward and you only have six tackles before you have to hand over the ball to the other team AND there is no padding or helmets. I assure you it is not because there isn't a need for them. Did I mention that the defensive players are not allowed to block the offense from tackling the player with the ball? So, picture 6 or more angry, aggressive, HUGE guys coming straight at you and their only objective is to get you on the ground. During the game, I saw at least 3 injuries- but no ambulance. In fact, when a player is down, the game keeps going on without him unless he is blocking the way. I heard one man behind me yell out to an injured player, "Get up and play, there is nothing you can do about it now!" I knew right then that I was with some serious fans.
Rugby game in Newtown
It was at that moment that I fell in love with Newtown rugby. It probably sounds heartless, but that is not my intention. I mean that for a second, I felt at home. The stadium was small and all the people knew each other. They all sat together reminiscing on the glory days of the stadium. They put their lives into this game- like grid iron football back home. They screamed at the players like their life depended on the game. It was like I was back in Alabama.
Me and Father Dave at the game
My journey on the other side of the world is quickly drawing to a close and soon I will be back in Alabama. The closer it gets, the scarier it seems. The end of this trip is the end of my undergraduate college experience. I do not know what waits on the other side, but I like to think that it will be just as magical.