Paddlin' Madeleine

Let's say you're just shy of 17  and your family moves you to a new country. You leave behind your spot in school government, favorite friends and activities (even your favorite subject, American history), your driver's license,  mentors, network...you get the picture.  Welcome to Maddy's world.

To her credit, she dove right in. Some pouting would have been completely justified, in my opinion, but nope. I've been really proud watching both M and Sam embrace life here, make the most of the move, and start new things. Dragon boats was a new-to-us sport that Maddy took up when we arrived. Turns out, if you choose a fairly obscure sport you might even end up at nationals at the end of the season!

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Unlike rowing, dragon boaters face forward and use short paddles rather than long oars. The fronts of the boats have the heads of dragons and the backs have tails. In addition to 18-20 paddlers, there's a drummer keeping time and a sweep on the back to steer.

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Sam and I went up yesterday to watch them compete. It was a windy, beautiful day at the Sydney Olympic Regatta Centre. Those teams really had to work hard against the wind and plus it was a brisk fall day. Today it's raining and miserable and the last few races have been canceled so she's on her way home a bit early with her team. Brr.