Reia, proud, nervous

Written by on July 31, 2009 in Notes By The Way with 3 Comments

I started blogging more than five years ago. It’s amazing how quickly time passes as you get older. Reia was just a baby back then, but now she’s standing so tall and strong. Last weekend we went to our 3rd “zenkokutakai” (national competition) for Japanese kayaking kids. It’s a flatwater racing event, which is really not what our kids train for, but Reia has done well each time. This year she made it to the final, even though she’s competing against older girls (she’s a 3rd grader and the race is for 2nd – 4th grade girls).  She made it to the semifinal, which was a run-off between all the girls who didn’t automatically advance. She had the fastest time going in, and when she won it was like a light came on. She’d never had that experience before — crossing the line first in a big event. It reminds me of the first time I won a race, which was a life altering moment, at least for that time.


Smiling after her win


Waiting for the final

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .


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  • Diane

    Congratulations Reia! What a pretty girl!! 🙂 Sounds like so much fun!!!

  • Eduardo

    Go Reia! Go! Great race! And Thank You Andy!… for those wonderfully expressive photos and in sharing the girls’ growth with us. Like you, I’m sure many of us who follow your blog are just as joyful and proud of them.

  • Thanks for your comments. I’m glad to have been able to share this experience with others. Kids really are amazing gifts from God.