Thursday, May 20, 2010


I have let down my vast (and apparently very demanding) readership by failing to write anything for a long time! Sorry Mom, Granny, and Danielle.

Many apologies. Have had lots of visitors and whatnot. Will catch up in a hurry.

Paganello was excellent. My team was very good and very fun -- particularly enjoyed playing with some hilarious young Austrian kids who were really good players and seemed to know the words to every Will Smith song ever made (except for the Fresh Prince theme song, which they had me rap for them within an hour of meeting them. We finished something like 5th, and the weekend was cold and wet but a great time. Definitely hope to return to Paganello again. Here's a picture of me playing frisbee on the beach, and a picture of our team:

From Rimini, I went with Mark and Rebecca and Dad and Andrea up to Venice. We stayed on Lido, and I went to a crappy circus on Lido the first night. Very enjoyable. Spent the next day walking around the city, which is great and beautiful once you get away from the particularly crowded touristy areas. I worried at first that the whole city was going to be like Piazza San Marco -- luckily the rest was extremely charming.

From there, I went with Mark and Rebecca to Bologna, which I also really liked -- it felt more like a real city and less like a tourist mecca than Venice. Stayed near the University part of town. The highlight by far was a huge lunch that we had at a trattoria just outside the south west corner of the city. Tagliatelle bolognese followed by a zucchini stuffed with meat and a tasty tomato-ey bottle of sangiovese to go along with it. Great meal. Otherwise, walked around the city, saw stuff, drank lots of coffee, ate lots of gelato, etc. Fun times. Had a crappy trip back to Cape Town, getting stranded overnight in Madrid and getting home much later than expected. C'est la vie.

Hosted a flurry of visitors soon after getting back from Italy.

At one point somewhere in there, played in South African frisbee nationals. Our pool games kind of ran together. I enjoyed matching up with the big guy on the Stellenbosch team who was doing everything for them -- Nils, a big German kid who turned out to be only 18. He happened to know the same Austrian kids that I played with in Italy. We played in the showcase game against Johannesburg on Saturday night -- though a meaningless game because they'd underperformed, they played pretty well against us and we only won by a few. Ate some delicious food after the game and had a couple of beers at the party before crashing at Ant's house so I didn't have to drive back and forth to Paarl. Beat Zebru (another Cape Town team) pretty easily in the quarters. Then had a good semis game against Khayoba (Cape Town + Khaylitsha), who beat us the two times that we played them when I was there (including in summer league finals). They're a strong team with easily the best actual frisbee talent in the country. I think they took half on us, but we snuck back in the second half and eventually received on double-game-point. We turned it when Finn shut me down on a dump and we threw a desperation huck to the end zone. They marched it back down, but turned it themselves on an ill-advised hammer attempt. Finally we marched it in for the win. In the finals we played against the Long Donkeys from Pietermaritzburg, who were these enormous dudes who threw thumb forehands to each other. I guess a couple of them might have played for the SA basketball team at some point? I don't know. Anyway, I managed to knock away a couple of their early attempts to bully us in the air, so they had to move on to plan B -- they were not as good at plan B. The game cruised along until it was double game point again, them receiving. We intercepted a pass to the end zone, worked it down and punched it in against their tired defense. Wahoo! So I'm now a South African national champion. Fun tournament.

Once my Mom, Lily, and Roberto were here, we took a trip over to the other side of the country. Flew into Durban, rented a car, and drove a few hours north on the N2 to go stay at a game lodge. We lived like kings there -- tasty buffet breakfast and dinner, a game drive each day, massages, pool, etc. It was the first time in memory that I've been on a spa-like vacation, but all of the pampering felt somewhat justified because, other than when we went on game drives, we were basically confined to this small area of a reserve roughly the size of a football field. Game-wise, we saw a family of elephants (who weren't really wild), warthogs (my favorite because they reminded me a lot of Watson), nyalas, impalas, wildebeasts, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, and probably some other things that I'm forgetting. Cool stuff. Will be interesting to compare the game lodge on a somewhat small reserve experience to the safari that we're going on in Kruger National Park in June.

Almost directly after flying back from Durban, I got myself together for a vacation to Mozambique with Kris, who was in need of a vacation. I kept a running journal during that trip and took some pictures, so I'll get that up tomorrow or this weekend to get you critics off my back.

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