Saturday, May 20, 2017

Frisbee Fridays.

One of my favorite things about this season on the Africa Mercy has been Frisbee Fridays.

Since my first stay on the ship back in 2011, I've played ultimate frisbee with crewmembers from dozens of countries, with varying skill levels and language fluency; on different surfaces including concrete, sandy beaches, and dry and sometimes squishy muddy waterlogged soccer fields.

I remember in Sierra Leone, where we walked up bad-boy lane to the school up the road to play in a dusty field; for some reason I specifically remember one game on someone's birthday, every time that person (DC) caught the frisbee, Ali would yell "Happy Birthday DC".  I remember thinking this community is really remarkable.

So many weeks I planned around the Friday frisbee game, because I knew that getting sweaty and dirty and sprinting around on the field in a competitive yet not too too competitive game was absolutely the best thing I could do for my emotional, mental, and physical health.  I've left anger, frustrations, irritations, blood, sweat, and tears out there on that field.  For me, it's been a healing game; an opportunity to practice patience, teaching others how to play; an opportunity to love this community in a different way and shape and time and place.

Last night was my last frisbee game; I will desperately miss this piece of this season. Thank you, Frisbee players, for welcoming me into the fold; for welcoming everyone into the game, for teaching me patience and how to lessen my competitiveness, at the same time as giving me a socially acceptable place to work out my irritations, aggressions, and still allow my competitive side to show up. I will always remember with fondness the Frisbee Friday sunsets, playing until we can hardly see; the stinky car rides back to the ship, the glorious shower afterwards, and the incredible community represented in the game.






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