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November 11th

            November 11th is an important day and national holiday in America as well as Poland. While Americans are honoring Veterans and those who have served our country, Poland is celebrating its Independence Day; equivalent to our 4th of July without the fireworks and elaborate celebration. Fact of the day (for those interested in Polish history): November 11, 1918 was the day Poland gained their independent statehood after World War I ended and Poland defeated all of their occupiers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, from the previous 123 years.

            The past week has brought some change for our team here in Gdynia. After a few weeks of talk among our team and club board to decide how our team could be improved, we were informed on Wednesday that our club and coach had mutually decided to go their separate ways and to bring in a new head coach. They told us they weren’t sure when we would have a new coach and it could be by the end of the week or it could take a few weeks. Well, they acted extremely quickly. When we showed up to practice Thursday our old coach told us it would be his last one and our new coach would be there Friday. We had one practice on Friday with our new coach and then played a game on Saturday. Not much time at all to practice and for our coach to change much with our team but I do think this coach will help us improve quickly.

            The game Saturday against Matizol Lider Pruskow was another that can be added to the “we could’ve won” list. We trailed for the majority of the game but in the fourth quarter cut the lead to 4. With a minute left we were down 6 however, after trading baskets and unable to close the gap we lost 62-55. A positive of the game was that the other team had 4 Americans; 2 of which I know from the Pac-10 when I was at Oregon State and 1 who was also on my team in China last Spring. It’s always fun to play against people you know, especially over here where that doesn’t happen very often!

            I can’t believe it is already almost the middle of November and I am hoping this next month or so goes quickly so it can be Christmas break. I’m very excited for the trip home; I’ve even started putting in requests for meals. It’s never to early to start thinking about home cooked meals right?!

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