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a well-traveled disc

As most semi-serious ultimate players, D started amassing frisbees when he joined a team in college. At one point, he even had his collection displayed on the walls of his room, but S has put a temporary kibosh on that kind of interior decorating and before leaving Nairobi D gave a bunch of his discs away to the Kenyans with whom we played. For one reason or another, however, he wound up keeping a good portion of his collection. Some of the frisbees had sentimental value and others had such nice designs that they had hardly been used.

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And even as he donated some discs, we acquired others during the two years we spent in Africa. When we traveled to Rwanda for a hat tournament earlier this year, D very badly wanted to purchase a Kigali Ultimate disc, but the team had run out of new discs and nobody was willing to trade one of their old ones. It took many months for a new batch of frisbees to arrive — so long, in fact, that we were long gone from the continent by then. Fortunately, a colleague of D’s, who arrived in Kigali a few months after we had arrived to Nairobi, was in his last week at post when the new order came.

Unlike Nairobi, where we had a diplomatic post office, Chisinau has more limited mail coverage. There are stricter guidelines for what we can receive, and we cannot mail packages out like we could in Nairobi. There is, however, a way to send packages from one post to another. The friends we made playing ultimate brought one of the brand-new discs to the embassy in Kigali, and our FSO friend sent it to us in Chisinau.

It arrived last week and we debuted it at the Gustar festival, with somewhat comical and very nearly catastrophic results. We found a nice, open stretch of grass on which to play catch, but there were tons of people and most of them had clearly never seen a frisbee before. Various people took pictures of us; someone filmed a brief video on their smartphone. A lot of people walked right into the path of the disc, completely oblivious to what we were up to. Then a couple of young guys asked to play. They had ok backhand throws, but when one of them tried to imitate D’s forehand he came close to striking a small child in the head, leading us to call it quits.

D had been hoping to show off his new disc at practice, but last weekend’s gorgeous weather has given way to several days of gray skies and thunderstorms, so he has not had the chance. Hopefully the weather will improve soon. D is planning on driving to Ukraine for an ultimate frisbee tournament this weekend and is keeping his fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate.

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