On October 24, Carl Roberts, Quinn Wetherall, Brother Dent-bey decided to go to the local gym to play basketball. As we all played, we met some great Aussie players and made memorable connections. The basketball game was actually organized and we just showed up hoping to get in the game and maybe play a little. Fortunately, we were able to play more than we expected. The minute we showed up we were recognized and welcomed with open arms. The other players wanted to know where we were from and invited us to play. The director of the program mulled it over and said sure! Why not? We got in the game and showed them how we played basketball and it was the best time ever. We made great shots and even had Professor Davidson there to cheer us on every step of the way.
The Aussies had great skills and it was a live game that started to get pretty intense towards the end. The score was pretty close in the last quarter, but we managed to only lose by six points. Not bad huh? The great thing is we didn’t care anymore about the score we just cared about playing the game we loved with people who shared our interests. We loved the intensity and the passion that they put into the sport and it reminded us that when it comes to sports we are not so different. I met a great kid who I nicknamed “ Kobe” and he was very talented. He had a great shot and we bonded after the game.
After the game, we all established our own individual friendships with the players. I became friends with Josh, the guy I met and nicknamed during the game, and continued communication with him on Face book. Carl received an interview with the director of the program. Quinn and Brother became friends with two men from their teams. We all created connections and formed a bond that can be shared internationally. It was amazing how this one sport could bring us together and help us to realize how unique and different our countries are yet we all became one on the court, and I think that was a moment that I will always cherish for the rest of my life.
My name is Barend Woode and I am currently studying abroad in the great country of Australia. I am sharing my experiences with you because I just wanted you to know how thankful I am to be a part of this program and this wonderful institution. Hope you enjoy!
I recently had dinner with my Aussie family and it was amazing! I met a great young man named Josh on the basketball court and we became instant friends. During a conversation, he invited me to have dinner at his house and I happily accepted his invitation. After basketball practice his grandmother came and picked us up. Immediately from the car ride we were having good conversation and excited for what was in store for dinner.
When we got to their beautiful home I met Josh’s mother, his four sisters, and his little brother. They were all ecstatic to meet me and I was just as ecstatic to meet them.
His mother and I spoke a lot about the history of Australia, about the Aboriginal history of Australia, and how people feel about the Aboriginal people today. We also talked about government, economy, and the comparisons between the U.S and Australia. As we started talking about various subjects, it was already dinner time! We had a great Australian meal.
The name was Gristles and it was something that I had never eaten before. It reminded me of a meat patty filled with a bunch of different vegetables. I loved it, and it tasted great. I sat down with all the kids and we all talked and laughed around the dinner table. Josh’s little brother Jack really liked me, and he was one of the smartest two year old I have ever met. That little guy would not stop talking and he made me laugh all night.
After dinner Beth, Josh’s Grandmother, spoke to me a lot about what she used to do and how she recently retired. She worked in Real-Estate and retired the day before I got there. We spoke about school, and how different the school system is in Australia compared to the U.S. We had great conversation all night and at the end of the night I didn’t want to leave. They accepted me as part of the family by the end of the night and I loved every minute of it. The hospitality, care, and great food made it a wonderful experience and I hope to keep in touch with this family for the rest of my life.