Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In which Diemer International is revealed

After some public shaming on an international chat board I have been galvanized to get after it and update this blog.  I discovered that I started this post last summer and never published it, no doubt a victim of maternal brain suck, as much of my life over the past 20+ years has been.  Except that since the son doesn't live here anymore I may not be able to claim that excuse.  Menopausal brain suck?  Ah well.

Last Summer was the summer of Diemer International.  Diemers Abroad.  One fateful day, Monday, July 16th, there were Diemers on three continents.  The one located in North America was doing some major facebook sniveling. 

I had the honor to serve as team manager for the U16 (that's under 16 for the uninitiated) national polocrosse team.  We spent 20 days in New South Wales, Australia, and Team USA played in three carnivals in the South West Slopes Zone of the Polocrosse Association of Australia. 

Now, you have to ask yourself, how desparate is someone to visit the Land Down Under that she would willingly volunteer to ride herd on 8 teenagers for three weeks.  Not to mention a 16+ hours plane ride coming and going when this person has taken a vow.  It's like a vow of poverty.  Never pee in the lavatory on an airplane.  Once, a long time ago, I read a story (fiction) about a passenger who got stuck on the loo inflight. 

The team met in Dallas and we endured the flight to Brisbane and on to Sydney.  Quantas gets many many thumbs up for being a first class airline.  I would fly with them again any time.  Landed in Sydney, relieved to discovered that all did indeed follow instructions regarding electronic travel authorities, and after a four hour mini-bus ride we arrived in Harden, NSW.  Did I mention when we left the US the eastern seaboard was enduring record highs?  100 plus temps each day?  Weather in Harden - cold and rainey.  High 40.  Overnight lows in the 20s.  First order of business, a trip into Young for purchase of merino wool long underwear.  I lived in them for the entire three weeks.  The team played well the first weekend, winning two out of three matches, and at the end of the weekend we headed off to our respective host family haciendas for a week of real australian living. 

Real australian living, as far as I can tell, usually involves sheep.  Lots of sheep. Moving sheep.  Counting sheep. Breeding sheep.  Shearing sheep.  Moving sheep again.  It also involves being off the grid as much as possible.  Huge cisterns to collect rain water for bathing, drinking and clothes washing.  Wood stoves for heating.  Lots of tea.  Brekkie.  Instant coffee.  Did I mention overnight lows in the 20s?  I slept in my merino long underwear. 

The floats are different, the lifestyle is different.  The polocrosse play is spectacular and the television is distressingly the same.  

At the same time I was coming and going down under, the son was headed below the equator to a different continent.  The Open National Polocrosse team headed out to Zambia, and played a series of test matches against the Zambia national team.  While the results weren't what Team USA had hoped for, there were great photo opportunities and it sounds like it was a trip of a life time.

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