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good night march madness

Pj hairston on suspension.  #UNC #uncbasketball #pelvic #thrust
the only action PJ Hairston saw at the Dean Dome this season

well, the unc basketball season came to an unceremonious close on sunday night. 

it was very sad and confusing at the conclusion, and i had tears coming down my face, but the tears were not of sadness, they were leftover tears of joy and pride from when james michael mcadoo hit both of this free throws! after a season-long horrific charity stripe struggle, what may have been the first time ever, he HIT THEM BOTH. to tie the game, in the last 10 seconds, when it really mattered, he hit them both. way to go j’michael!

too bad it didn’t matter and the end was terrible, turble, terrible, but i am looking forward to seeing these guys play again next year. i believe marcus paige is an outstanding human being. and at least they made it further than dook. success!

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sports requiring helmets


for the second time in two weeks i broke my own rule about avoiding helmet sports.

i put on that helmet right there, complete with face mask, and smacked some slow softballs.
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kevin put on a helmet of his own and smacked some very fast baseballs.

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he was very good at this

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then we went to kenya to play 18 holes of putt putt. 

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the course features life sized elephants, zebras, giraffes, volcanoes and waterfalls.

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tropical gardens mini golf and batting cages – YESSSSS!

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baseball in cuba

beisbol!

baseball is the national pastime in cuba. there were pick up games going on all day in every park.

baseball game white vs. white

in the middle of the havana streets, little boys played “taco” – stickball using a cut off broomstick for a bat and plastic water bottle cap for a ball.

kids baseball team

i never saw a girl playing.


on friday night kevin, his parents, and i went to a baseball game. without internet it was hard to determine if there was a game, and what time. we heard it might be cancelled because the stadium lights were broken. the stadium (estadio latino americano) is located in a rougher, darker, part of town. we got in a taxi and said “beisbol? pelota? estadio?” and the cab driver started yelling “beisbol! beisbol!” and was pretty sure there was no game that night and the stadium would be dark.


latino americano bench


we drove up and the floodlights were on and the game was on and starting at 8pm and excited fans were going inside. we were (nicely) directed by police to go buy tickets at a window charging $3 instead of $1 that locals paid, and ushered to seats on the visitors side through the farthest gate away.


el leon azul (blue lion)

the local havana team is called the industriales. their mascot is a blue lion, and they are like the yankees of the cuban league. they were playing the cigar makers from pinar del rio.

fired up crowd

the stadium was big. and clean. and full of energy. and people. and people blowing vuvuzelas. air horns. there were drummers. non-stop. we walked around the entire stadium, and it was on the verge of out of control going through the home team side. they did not serve beer, which kept it from having a hooligan feel.  it was exciting.

kevin was impressed with the pitching. 

30 second video of the scene:

we had to meet people in old havana at 930, so after the 3rd inning the 4 of us left and went into the street and kind of wandered looking for non-existent taxis. a few older men were sitting on a corner stoop, saw us and said “taxi?”  we hesitantly followed him down a dark alley and got into his small old honda civic-like car after he shooed a cat out of the front seat. he was not a taxi driver, he was a man with a car looking for some tourist cash. the gas light was flashing and his brights were on as he drove us over potholes back to town. we gave him $10.