Problems in Poland

Things went from bad to worse this last week in Stare Jablonki, Poland. Our poor play against Kazakhstan hit the hardest for me, personally. Liz Maloney and Heather Bansley, excelled en route to a solid 9th place finish, but the rest of the Canadians had a weekend that matched the atmosphere in last week's rainy weather. Glum.

For one thing no one else qualified, on the women's side it was unfortunate that one Canadian team had to knock out the other, and the Lucky Loser draw didn't go in Marie and Annie's favor either. The two men's team also got beat. I won't speak for Rich and Josh, but our match was disappointing to say the least, no matter how good a tournament Kazakhstan ended up having. And that's just what we had to deal with as players.

Our stay at the hotel Anders was anything but pleasant. Unfortunately, as the only hotel within a ten mile radius of the venue, there aren't many other options, and even though it is the main draw hotel of the tournament, they don't really care to accommodate the athletes. Over the course of the week we had to move through two cabins and one hotel room, never certain which room they would kick us out of next. Christian had been trying to contact the hotel about a reservation since February with little response, and when we got here, they almost wouldn't let us stay even with a reservation, and even then only for a couple nights. Let's just say customer service is not a priority at the Anders. Add a weak internet connection that can only be found in the lobby, and you have the recipe for not the greatest week on tour.

To top it all off, on our last night while having to share a single hotel room with Rich and Josh, we got robbed. Rich and myself were fortunate enough to have all of our belongings intact, but Christian and Josh were not so lucky. During a brief 45 minute span or so when none of the four of us was occupying the room, someone, somehow, came in and stole Josh's MacBook Pro and Video Camera, and Christian's Dre Beats headphones and phone charger. This was determined after an extensive search of the room, and with the hotel staff being as helpful as ever, no culprit was found and no items were returned. If you're reading this, robber, please return my friends things. Can someone please translate that to whatever language it is that the thief speaks?

When I look at some of the other Canadians bad luck over the week, I can only count my blessings at how mine wasn't quite as bad as theirs. Josh and Rich took the brunt of poor fortune, to top it off they still haven't made it here due to a cancelled flight. At least I'm already in Austria.

To end this blog off in a positive way, I'm really looking forward to this event. Klagenfurt is the most highly rated event on tour, with crowds upwards of 10,000 people. From what I've heard, this event caters more to the athletes than any other on tour, which would be quite the opposite from last week, so that's something to cheer up about. Also I've come up with a fundraising opportunity which will be advertised here, the Redmann/Saxton facebook fan page, likely at the Volleydome in some capacity, hopefully through word of mouth, and anywhere else that likes the idea. It's an interactive fundraiser that I'm actually kind of excited about, so stay tuned, I will hopefully have it set up by the end of the week

Ben Jammin

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