The season started April 15th - the beginning of fourth term. Boys could participate in rugby or softball. The girls play volleyball. Elijah informed the youth leaders that Jay had coached softball in the past, thus volunteering him for the job. (He coached summer softball for Kristol three summers when she was much younger.) Jay found another father to help him coach. Thank you Marty.
|Practice game with some adults at Ukarumpa. Elijah batting. Movable backstop. Jay keeps wondering where could we put a diamond|
|loading up the vans at 6am or so|
Practices were Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after school for one and a half hours. The field they practice in is all grass. The lines painted on are black (used oil). Much of the season the boys were practicing with water on the field due to all the rain. The school provided used gloves at practice. Many of the boys played bare foot.
|Elijah playing 3rd. The National teams wore the same color shirt. One team did not even have numbers on them so one had to be creative with statistics|
The first tournament was in Goroka. They have a sports center with a couple softball diamonds, volleyball courts and rugby fields. So that Friday all the sports participants went in vans to the Goroka. It was a sunny day. We had to bring our own water and food. The water at the center might not have been safe to drink. They did have regular bathrooms, so that was a plus. We played 3 games. Two games were against PNG teams and the other was New Tribes Mission. We had national umpires. Only a few parents were able to come. Jay asked me to keep the stats. I have never done it before with softball or baseball. He printed out instructions and sheets for me. I thought “I can do this.” However in the 2nd game I discovered the umpire was not keeping track of the outs as he was relying me to do so. I accidently told Jay 2 outs when we only had one, but the umpire did not know so on the next out the game was over. Needless to say I was a little overwhelmed with keeping stats. The last game I made sure I marked the outs, but I think I missed one run so the game went a little longer. That day we won one out of three games.
|Elijah waiting to run. New Tribes had impressive uniform|
|The Field in Goroka|
Eight days later we had our second/last tournament. It was at New Tribes Mission Center on this side of Goroka. We left around 6:30am. Unfortunately the other coach was ill and Jay had the added responsibility of driving the 15 passenger van. I sat in the front seat by Jay and the holes seem even deeper from there. Remember we are also driving on the left hand side of the road. The boys knew he was new to PNG, but they did not complain about the rough ride. We followed the other van of volleyball girls. We played 3 games: the men of New Tribes, a student team and a national team. Our boys did not win any games but they played very well. The coaches and umpires from New Tribes did well with statistics. New Tribes had a food stand so that was a special treat. Jay and Elijah gave lessons to the missionary kids on our team who did not know the American tradition of sunflower seeds. We made it home around 6:30pm. The other van had a flat tire but it took only 20 minutes to change. Needless to say Jay was pretty tired but it was a great day all in all.
|First road trip in PNG with Jay driving|