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Week 38: Mike's First Visitor

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 26 January 2001 - This week Mike welcomed an old grade school friend into town, Ben. Mike and Ben hadn't seen each other probably since grade school but their fathers had worked together. He was travelling with a school group from the University of St. Thomas. On Monday, Mike met Ben for a drink then on Tuesday, they got together with all 30 people in the group to celebrate a birthday. What started out as dinner, ended up with Mike having stayed out all night. Mike felt at home for the first time in a long time as the Minnesotans outnumbered the Aussies in the bar. In addition, he got a chance to meet some really nice and fun people.

On the weekend, Stacey, Mike and Dave went to the Royal Australian Mint. While there, they saw some very collectible coins including medals from the Olympics. In addition, they were able to press their own one dollar coin. Lastly, they got a quick glimpse of the people working as they made the Australian coins. Actually, they were mostly cleaning their equipment. In any case, Mike learned a lot about how coins are made and the history of money in Australia.

On Sunday, the Ainslie Bears had a big game against the Vikings. The Vikings are leading both the B and A grade competitions. In the B game, they started with only eight players but Ainslie was unable to take advantage; they left the bases loaded with one out and couldn't score a run. The Viking pitcher was pretty strong which didn't help. Mike didn't look too good at the plate but he was able to take advantage of the lack of players and hit a double. In addition, he was hit by a pitch again to get on base. Behind the plate, Mike was getting worn out by the time the ninth inning came around and allowed in a run or two on passed balls. Mike had a great time catching as his pitcher struck out 16 batters. Unfortunately, Ainslie lost 7-3. In the A-grade game, the team handed the Vikings their first loss of the season.

Here ends Mike's thirty eighth week in Australia.

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