26 December, 2013

Sport connects us

For many Australians, sport is a topic of great importance. Conversations often start with comments on the weather (especially about rain) or with the current season's sport. 

We rediscovered yesterday that sport really is a way into conversation with many people.
Today, "Boxing Day" in Australia, is a big sporting day. 

The traditional Boxing Day cricket test match began today (it's a five-day event). Additionally the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht race began this morning. I believe there is also a lot of tennis played in this week after Christmas, including the Australian Open.

Even people who aren't that much into cricket will be involved in some kind of outdoors activity in these weeks: for example backyard cricket, or hanging out at the beach or pool.

We've been boasting about our eldest son's wrestling achievements on Facebook. Most especially we've put the videos of his last two bouts (which were fast wins via pins) up there. What surprised us was the response of relatives to the videos. Yesterday we had surprising conversations with people who usually don't show much interest in our lives in Japan at all, mostly precipitated by them watching our son's sporting performances. 

Wrestling is an unusual sport in Australia. I've never known anyone who does it, schoolboy or otherwise. So, we've brought this unknown sport into the lives of our families and they can relate--it's sport after all! I'm amazed but thankful. 

Finding ways to connect with family back in Australia who can't imagine our lives here is hard. Most missionaries will admit this. I'm thankful for small things which help.