A week ago on Monday, I was approached by one of the Russian adjunct directors at my school and was told I was going to be participating in a sports competition that would be held on Friday. Later that day, I was approached by the gym teacher who told me that our first practice would be the next day on Tuesday and to bring my sweatsuit and gym shoes.
I had no idea of what was going on, so I went to my partner teacher who was also going to be in the sports competition, and I asked her what was up. Apparently there would be a big competition in which teachers would go against 11th graders and 9th graders. Huh... ok....
Tuesday after school comes along and I'm there ready with my gym shoes and sweatpants. Natalia, my partner teacher, was also there. Nobody else came for 15 minutes, so the gym teacher decided it would be a good idea to run laps around the gym while we waited. After a few teachers showed up, we started to practice for the competition. It turns out that it was going to be a bunch of relay races, which I figured I could do. After practice, I was told that we would be practicing again the next day after school. I got home later that day and wanted to die. It was more physical activity than I have done in a while.
Wednesday I skipped practice and slept.... Oops!
But don't worry, because we had practice AGAIN on Thursday after school! We ran through the relays again and figured out who would be in pairs together for the 3 legged race and such. Then the Russian adjunct comes in and tells us to line up. So we line up, and then we start marching through the gym shouting things in Russian. (My school is Russian/Romanian, but all the teachers speak Russian over Romanian, so everything is done in Russian.)
The day of the sports competition:
Oof. I didn't realize how intense this thing was going to be. The whole school showed up wearing face paint and holding posters and pom-poms for their teams. And the local news showed up... I started to get a bit nervous at this point.
The three teams all gathered outside the main gym door waiting to go in. The Russian marching music signaled the beginning. We marched in around the gym and ended up in the middle with the three teams making a partial square facing each other. The director spoke and the judges were announced. Then the team captains called out for the team names.
11th Grade: Favorit
9th Grade: V.I.P.
We all also had to shout out our team slogan, in Russian... I had to get lots of practice on how to say ours, and now I can't get it out of our head. It translated roughly to "We are stars, we never fade, we will forever shine!" After this, we all lined up to get ready for the first relay.
We did a couple relays, and then the dance team came out so the judges could discuss.
Some of the Relays:
-Dribbling a ball
-Picking up 3 volleyballs at one time and handing them to teammates
-3 legged race
-Running with a partner linked arm in arm and back to back
-Moving a basketball with a hoop
-Popping balloons with some sort of plastic stick thing
-Throwing bean bags in a sack
-Walking with a ball between your legs
And since this was a Moldovan get together/party, the Hora (the national Moldovan dance) was involved. The dance team came out in traditional costume and we all danced the Hora around them. It was pretty awesome.
The last competition was a tug of war. First it was teachers vs. 9th form. It was close, but teachers won. Next was teachers vs. 11th form. Also close, but teachers won again. I guess the teachers just rock!
At the end, there were several mini competitions between audience members. One of them was how many times a person could dribble a ball on their knee. Another competition was a free throw basketball competition. The last one was how many times a person could lift a 25 kilogram weight above their head. The gym teacher's son was the winner with 100 times. It was ridiculous.
The winner was announced: Friendship. Yes, friendship. Huh... I guess that works since we all became closer friends and we didn't want anyone to get their feelings hurt. We all got chocolate medallions. After the competition, the teachers all went and had a mini-masa (a celebration). We had pickled watermelon, bread with meat and cheese, chicken, and apples. And please don't forget the wine, champagne, and cognac!