US Wins World Cup

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Let me begin this post with unsurprising two confessions.  #1 I am not a soccer fan.  #2 I am not much of a sports fan in general.  So the fact that I watched two World Cup soccer games this last week is crazy.  And that I actually truly enjoyed this last game is really amazing.  But can you blame me?  It was a great game.  For a typically low scoring game, when 4 goals are scored in the first 5 minutes, it’s pretty exciting.

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Ryan and I spent the afternoon at a friend’s house to hangout and watch the game.  The US winning the Women’s World Cup was a great way to end the 4th of July weekend.  Talented athletes, good food, good friends and a game or two of corn hole.  Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!

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Back in the Water Again

After about 2 years, I’m finally swimming again.  I’ve always loved the water.  Some people think swimming in a pool is boring, just back and forth, back and forth, but I enjoy this kind of monotony.  I get to put my head down and feel the water around me, stretching and using the muscles that seem to hide until you get into a pool.  I get to count my laps and just focus on breathing.

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When I moved to Camarillo, I was disappointed that there were no outdoor public pools (there is one but you can’t just swim, you have to join their gym).  I believe swimming has it’s perks besides exercise- sun, getting a tan and being outdoors.  So I wasn’t super motivated to start swimming in an indoor pool.  But with my husbands encouragement, we finally found a deal we couldn’t refuse.  It may be an indoor pool but since I swim in the mornings, the sun isn’t up anyway and most importantly, I’m swimming again.  It’s a wonderful feeling.

On This Day in History

Happy May Everyone!  Here are a few random fun facts to welcome this new month.

On May 1st 1786 Mozart’s opera “Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Vienna, Austria.

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On May 1st 1883 “Buffalo Bill” Cody put on his 1st Wild West Show.

On May 1st 1920 Babe Ruth hit his 50th career homerun and his first homerun for the Yankees.

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On May 1st 1941 Orson Welles’ movie Citizen Kane premiered in New York.

On May 1st in 1966 the Beatles played their last British concert at Empire Pool in Wembley.

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On May 1st 1967 Elvis Presley married Priscilla Ann Beaulieu in Las Vegas.

On May 1st 1991 the Milwaukee Brewers beat Chicago Cubs, 10-9, in 19 innings. (I had to throw that one in for Ryan.)

Surfing in Australia

Any surfers out there!?  Come on over to Australia!

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  • Surfing was introduced to Australia in the early twentieth century from Hawaii.
  • More than 1 in 10 Australians are surfers.
  • Jeff Rowley made Australian history by being the first Australian to paddle into a 50-foot plus wave at Jaws Peahi, Hawaii.
  • Australia has 3 of the world’s deadliest waves.
  • Surfing is a popular national pastime.
  • In 1933 Elston, Queensland took a bet on this national pastime and changed their name to Surfer’s Paradise.  This successful name change allowed them to grow from a sleepy seaside hamlet to a booming beachside getaway.  And evidently the surfing isn’t too bad either.

Outcasts United: A Refugee Soccer Team, an American Town – A Book Review

You don’t always have to get on a plane to travel around the world.  My first trips were taken through books.  Reading opens up doors and gives us eyes into places and people we may never be able to see face to face.  Books can take us to different places and different times that we might never experience any other way.  My recent read took me to Jordan, Liberia, Bosnia, Mozambique, Burundi, Kosovo, Somalia and many other places that, because of their histories, are not typical travel destinations.  I was able to peek into a world of  ethnic conflict, civil war, refugee camps, displaced people, war-torn families and other terrible realities.  And this book isn’t fiction.  These aren’t just words on a page, they are people’s lives.

All of these countries and histories are woven together in the story of The Fugees, a soccer team started in Clarkston, GA.  Clarkston use to be just a typical southern town but over the years it has been transformed by refugee resettlement.  It still remains one of the most diverse places in the United States.  This book shares some of stories from the lives of the children and what brought them to Clarkston.  It also details the journey of the Fugee’s coach, Luma and the struggles the Fugees faced getting started.  Such a diverse group of boys coming together through such adversity is an amazing story in itself.

This isn’t a book that sugarcoats the realities and hardships of life as a refugee in America.  Instead it shows just how hard and unpredictable life can be.  But soccer can make a difference and it ends with hope.  I would recommend Outcasts United by Warren St. John to anyone who wants to read about the realities of war on our world, true hardships, soccer and lives being changed.