Rainout!

Cricket anyone?

Cricket anyone?

My two-week Easter holiday… well, I got further acquainted with the school library. Needless to say, it’s not been the most exciting two-week period of my life. But this weekend was actually going to present something new. If not, very interesting.

You may have seen elsewhere in this blog that several of my classes are held in a building that overlooks a cricket ground – Headingley Stadium. Actually, Headingley Stadium is considered one of the more famous cricket grounds in the country and it occasionally welcomes international matches – including some this summer.

The warmup

The warmup

But the attraction wasn’t an international match – it was a match between the cricket teams at Leeds Uni and Leeds Met. The women would start at noon on Friday while the men would commence four hours ago. There’s a competition between the two schools named Varsity in all sorts of sports. The big day of competition was in October but this spring, there are some other competitions between the schools. Today was the day for cricket. Trish loves cricket so she invited any of us in the course who might be interested in the match to come out. Unfortunately, I can’t say I understand the rules but I figured the day would be fun. If nothing else, Trish would explain the rules. As I haven’t attended a football match yet 😦 it was about time I attended a sporting event in this country.

But this being the UK, the weather can act up at any time. The previous few days had been quite lovely, but… well, the sun decided to take the day off. Even worse, Trish told me shortly upon arrival that there was a 80% chance of rain. But once the match started, we jumped out to the lead 🙂 (Don’t expect me to explain what happened, though. I’m still far from being able to describe what takes place in cricket).

However, the good news was not to last. The rain – although not pouring rain – won out and at roughly 12:45 p.m., the umpire ordered everyone off the field. And that was all for that day’s cricket – the women’s match will resume in early May. The men’s match – which never got off the ground – will also take place on the same day. Oh well, I have more time to learn the rules of cricket. And this probably won’t be the last time something fun I have planned in the UK is rained out.

(Speaking of rain, prior to my first ever visit to the country, my impression was that it rained all the time. Since I’ve been in Leeds, I don’t think I’ve experienced terribly awful rain)

Well, another day

Well, another day

Onto better news, I finished second in the ParkRun yesterday 🙂 My ParkRun results have been like a yo-yo but I had a good feeling about the race shortly into yesterday’s race (I normally have an idea how the race will fare like less than half a kilometre into it) and while my time could have been better (I still haven’t come closed to dipping under 17 minutes), I’m quite pleased with finishing second.

Several days of celebration for Madiba

Several days of celebration for Madiba

I thought I had actually gotten my fill of Madiba tributes last December but fortunately, Leeds has been feting him recently as the city has organized several events in his honour. I wondered why the events were being at the end of April but the timing makes perfect sense – today (April 27, 2014) represents the 20th anniversary of the first multiracial, democratic elections in South Africa. In addition, April 30 (the last day of Celebrate Mandela) is the anniversary of the day Madiba visited Leeds in 2001.

Anyway, yesterday at (quite appropriately) the Mandela Centre, a dance company in town named RJC Dance organized a showcase of spoken word, music and dance – the highlight of it was when a woman named Tywana Anderson uttered several famous Mandela quotes. Today’s Mandela Celebration event (held at the West Indian Centre) featured a lot of steel pan music – which I had always thought is more Caribbean than African (Then again, we were at the West Indian Centre) – and a trio of Zambian singers. But it was a lot of fun. Probably the best part of the show was the performance of a poetry slam group named Leeds Young Authors. They did an amazing job in their set paying tribute to Madiba. Now that I think, I should have brought my Flip Video and had it ready for their performance. While the two steel pan groups could have chosen a better selection of songs (I love “Get Lucky” – but it’s more appropriate another day), one of them did appropriately play “Over the Rainbow” for South Africa is the Rainbow Nation. Here are some pictures from the two days:

Near the Mandela Centre

Near the Mandela Centre

The duo sang the South African national anthem

The duo sang the South African national anthem

One of the dance groups...

One of the dance groups…

One of the Steel Pan groups

One of the Steel Pan groups

The Zambian singers

The Zambian singers

I think his name is Ansell Broderick and he ended the festivities

I think his name is Ansell Broderick and he ended the festivities

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