By Reid Kenyon

I have now completed day 3 of my time in Kazan.     Another excellent day.    Very tight ball game that came down to the wire.    Again communicating with the table officials is very complicated as most don't  speak any English and those who do speak english its very limited.   On top of that we had 2 coaches who didn't speak much English and problems with the score clock.    I can now speak 17 languages with my hands and drawing on paper!   You can really get your message across in tense situations when you need too!

The right team won however a very tough ball game from start to finish.  As the crew chief I have the added task of taking care of the table crew. The crew who don't speak English and are scared of my stern stare down!      I finally pulled a young dude who I spoke to before the game to come and sit at the table and be my go between.   He was awesome and I think made his day.  Everyone at the table all 7 of them thought I was crazy asking to move over for my guy!!

Russia has been beautiful.    Kazan is an older city however very clean.   It is very apparent the separation of classes of people is not as we know it in North America.    The separation between rich and poor is not as drastic here in Kazan.   I travelled almost. 1 hour to my game today and saw lots of the city.  From what I see the rich are not as rich and the poor are not as poor as we know at home.

Being apart of the games is like being treated like royalty.  Anything we ask for they provide.    We always have escorts wherever we go.  Even today I walked to the supermarket and they sent 2 people with me.    Security is very tight.   Military and police everywhere    Security checks all over.  We can't enter anywhere without being searched and our bags scanned.  Even the vehicles we are taken in are all checked.  There is always a dude with a mirror checking every vehicle underneath.  This is the largest sport competition in the world after the Olympics.    60,000 people attended opening ceremonies and it was broadcasted around the world.    Huge deal

Tomorrow brings 2 games for me.    12:30 and 8:30.   There are 40 teams competing.  Lots of games.   I am pleased with my assignments tomorrow as again I am the crew chief.    This is a real honour and trust is shown in me.   My 12:30 matchup is Philippines and China.  Not world basketball powers however lots of hate between the 2.     Games at this level are not just about basketball but how the countries feel about each other politically.    That plays a huge part in assignments.    This will be a great matchup and a great challenge.

Food is fairly routine other than chicken wings are always out at breakfast.    I eat them for the fun if it.    People are very respectful and always wanting to help.   Russians are very serious so I always try and make them laugh.  Usually works except the dudes with the machine guns.

Weather is still very hot however it did rain today and cooled things off.  Seems like I have been away for a long time    Totally soaking everything up    Its truly a lifetime experience both on and off the court.   I have really met some amazing people.   Every referee invites me to his country.    I think I am going to take up a few invitations.    Maybe a trip to Dubai or Chile or even Serbia.    Very cool to meet and learn about people from around the world.

That's it for now.  Need some sleep.   Long day tomorrow.   Hope all is well back home with everyone.    Keep in touch.
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