Posts Tagged With: Cricket

Cricket… Not the insect.

Cricket: a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. (Thank you internet definition)

The original game itself can last anywhere between a few hours to a few days. Yes folks, that’s not a typo. In fact, the record for longest game is 150 hours and 14 minuts. The shortened version that I attended on this day was called Twenty20. Each team is allowed only one inning that’s restricted to 20 overs (google it) and tends to run about three hours. I was warned by a dear friend to bring a pillow just in case I fell asleep. We’ll see.

Walking up to any stadium always sends a unique chill throughout my body. Maybe it’s the energy from the excited fans or the view over looking the massive field. Whatever it is, I feel it.

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The Kingston oval was no different as we peaked over the stairs to our seats, a childlike “goosy” sensation ran over my body.

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Sitting from my seat, I was able to capture a few good shots of the field and some random entertaining pictures.

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Snack time? This guy was selling peanuts and grapes. Classic.

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People often ask me if I ever see hairstyles around the world that inspire new ideas. Hmmm….

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The marching band certainly made a show with instrumental versions of Soca music. Good stuff!

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Cheerleaders? Of course! …and look who joined them.

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The mini break (I would refer to it as the half time show) consisted of hip hop dancers tumbling around the field.

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Hours later of learning of runs, overs, hits and such, it came down to the last 2 pitches. Barbados needed to score 6 points with 2 balls left. If you’re not familiar with the game, this would be like an American football game with an even score at the 10 yard line with 2 seconds left. A baseball game maybe bases loaded, last inning with 2 outs. You get the drift that the crowd was on their feet waiting for the pitch. Lucky for me (and every other fan) they hit it solid and won the game! Does cricket have a new fan? Possibly.

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I feel like I need to come up with a different phrase other than “thank you” for Ryan. So many experiences that I would have never been a part of without his guidance and willingness to let a happy little backpacker tag along.

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How do I ever repay him for this experience and new found sport?

Haircuts for the whole family!

I didn’t bring my proper tools this trip because I carried on my bags and protective TSA (enter sarcastic smile here) would have taken my shears. I wasn’t too concerned though, as we could just use what they had, right?

Spray bottle? Nah, we have a water hose. Perfect!

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An average size combing device? Umm, nope. The pink comb would have better used to brush the mane of lion and the small black one was technically for the beard/mustache. “There’s no need to fear… Erika is here!” Only funny to those of you who watched American cartoons anytime from 1964-1990.

Here’s Ryan, he went first. A pointless funny side note: Neither one of us knew about the faces we were making.

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Now his sister Melodie, her husband Kris and their precious baby boy Tiernan (who’s little noggin was the perfect fit to the mustache comb).

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If this beautiful family looks familiar it’s probably because in years past they’ve been a part of my Barbados journey. Quick pic recap!

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Last but far from least is their mother, Barbara. Not only was she brave enough to let me play with her hair, she was kind enough to welcome us into her guest studio apartment for the last week of our stay.

Wherelse better for a Bajan haircut than under a mango tree!

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Angkor Children’s Hospital… All starts with a pink tuk tuk!

Northwest of Phnom Penh is another popular city that’s the gateway to the sacred temples of Angkor Wat. Semhal and I decided to take a weekend jaunt in that direction to explore the fascinating sights of Siem Reap. In addition to everything this historical city has to offer, it’s also home to the Angkor Children’s Hospital, a very special place that was introduced to me by a fellow traveler. (Ill describe that farther in the post). For now, lets get out of town!

7:15am – Semhal and I discuss what would be the best option to get to the bus station, a motorbike or… Wait, what’s this? A pink tuk tuk with a matching scarf around the drivers neck? Sold! What a perfect unique handstand shot! I cant dedide what I like more, his tuk tuk or that he’s holding up the hand signal for “Rock on” or “I love you”!

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The bus providing us with the 6 hour journey is clean, comfortable and $13 per person.

8:45- Departure!

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The first leg of the trip offers up some photos that capture the daily routine of the locals that live in nearby villages.

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11:15- Our first pit stop allows for a 10 min leg stretch, bathroom break and quick snack. There was fruit, baked goods, fried plantains and a variety of spiders, crickets, and beetles… or were they worms? I’m not really sure, but either way, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to partake in this local delight!

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A young local who didn’t speak English took it upon himself to show us through example, that the bugs weren’t only edible, but tasty too. Can’t you just see it in my face?

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11:30- We pulled away and now have turned our focus on the bag of bugs in my lap. Since Semhal is a vegetarian (good excuse for not trying eight legged creatures) it was all on me to embrace this unique tasting.

Cricket, gross. Grasshopper, same. Bumpy worm thing, worse. Tarantula, like teriyaki jerky? Wait for it… Oh, nope… Gross.

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We had to work for the other surprise snack as it was a bamboo stick that was properly packed with tightly bound leaves. Once unsealed, we found sticky rice and beans that seemed to be flavored with a touch of coconut milk.

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1:20- Honestly nothing much, I just wanted to post this picture because I think it’s beautiful!

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2:00- Our last break for lunch captures my eye for another handstand shot, it’s not everyday I get to kick up next to these beasts.

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3:58- We arrived at the Siem Reap bus station and were quickly greeted by an adorable tuk tuk driver that led us to our hostel. We had him put a rush on it due to the fact that the hospital was closing at 5p and we still needed time to check in and donate blood.

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4:32- When we arrived to the hostel we just put our bags behind the counter to save time as we took off for the Children’s center. Showered by the rain, we ran in mud covered flip flops in search of the green sign that would lead us to our donations.

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4:52- As we eagerly entered, they welcomed us with a smile and a direct guide to the donation room.

I’d like to pause here for a minute and personally thank Sabrina, the backpacker I met in Spain last year who is the mind behind encouraging me to check this place out. Her sincerity towards the children and passion for helping them was more than enough to send me on my way.

Step one: Check to see if our hemoglobin number is high enough in the “donating zone”. Unfortunately Semhal’s was too low, so she got served a dose of iron pills (and dietary-nutritional advice from me) to boost her levels with the hope to donate next month. I was in the clear, so I snuck a bite of our handy rice bamboo stick (we hadn’t eaten in awhile) and now I’m feeling ready!

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Step two: Lay down and let the process begin!

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Step three: Trade in the awkward sack he put on your lap for a goody bag full of sugar crackers, a coke and a t-shirt!

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If you ever get the chance to visit this city, I highly suggest going to the Angkor Children’s Hospital and giving 20 minutes of your time for a life enhancing experience. You get to meet the families that are directly affected by your energy and its a guaranteed spirit lifting event!

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Serious side note: It’s becoming such an issue that they suggest, “If you’re taken to the hospital and you may need blood… bring a friend”. For more information on the need for supply in Cambodia, here’s a link that was just posted this month in regards to the shortage.

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dining and dancing the Bajan way

I couldn’t have planned better for such a wonderful lunch with a group of happy hearted locals. This family goes all out only a couple times of year and I got to join! Ryan took me the long route to his Aunties house. Here are some of the sites along the way.

The drive through the Mahogany trees to reach the popular look out point of Cherry tree hill.
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The view from Cherry tree hill.
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I had no idea that Barbados had the second largest amount of windmills per square mile in the world (Holland being number). This is the last standing on the entire island.
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Getting closer to the east coast town of Bathsheba.
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Got to catch a round of some locals playing cricket.
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We made it! (I made that sound like it was a huge trek, but you can get from one side of the island to the other in less than 45 min… Driving slowly). These were taken from the lunch table on their balcony.
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Then there was the feast!
Options of meat: seasoned pork and skins, chicken and gravy, fried fish, flying fish and shrimp curry.
Average Sides: Beans, rice, salad, cooked veggies with cheese, green beans, and twice baked sweet potato.
Tradition local dishes: Macoroni pie, corn pie, bread fruit baked or in a casserole, bacon wrapped plantains and candied yams.
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Sample platter? Yes please.
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Rum punch! Obviously not the bottled kind from the store in which the first ingredient is corn syrup, oh no no… This is “Aunt Pats High Octane” Rum Punch. Delicious and deceiving.
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As soon as I thought I couldn’t take one more bite, they announce desert is being served. This is when you casually unsnap the top button and lean back for a stretch. Hmmm, would it be homemade cookies or maybe a pie? Turns out it was a spread that would put hometown buffet to shame! I personally like the young girls face as she eyeballs the cupcakes in front of her.
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A personal thanks to Ryan and his family for the open door, pleasantly full belly and great conversation… Especially that chat about only being as old as you feel. Cheers to a youthful spirit!
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Like most of the events this week, I’ve just been saying yes and going with the flow. Not really knowing what to expect leaves me with the anticipation of a kid on their first day of school combined with the excitment of a 20 year old the night before their birthday.

Tonight’s festivity is a concert. The talk around here has been as if the Michael Jackson of the Islands was coming to town.

Machel Montano is a Carribean super star that sells out crowds and keeps them going till the sun comes up. I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP experience of this incredible performer.

The show!
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Complementary drinks and food all night, so we started with the Mojito’s! As you can see, they don’t hold back on the mint.
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These vibrant girls decided to give me a personal bajan dance lesson. In America they say “dancing” or in this case “grinding”. In Barbados what you may hear includes but is not limited to: Whining, wuking-up, juking, gyrating, or in a full sentence: “I guine down de road tuh pelt some waste”.
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The fun keeps going…
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And going…
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And going! I wanted to post these blurry pictures to prove the energy that is produced with the intensity of the spectators. The crowd never stops moving! Jumping, juking, singing, dancing and my favorite is the bandanas being whipped in the air. These people have redefined the word “party”.
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Bedtime this evening: 6am

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