RaDAR – Playing hand tennis

I have a young grandson, Eduan. He has just turned 12 and finished standard four. Another year of primary school in 2018 then he goes to high school. What really stands out is his positive attitude to life and he hasn’t had it easy. Fortunately he stays with us, his grandparents. Most mornings this year before school closed for the holidays, he would leave for school early to be in time to choose his court for hand tennis before the other kids arrived. Well that is if he was not on scholar patrol duty which he did with pride.

Hand tennis, in Afrikaans, “Handjie tennis” is a game played on the ground using your hand as a racket and a tennis ball which has some good bounce. It’s a high speed game and you need to be fit too.

Each afternoon, he would practice against the wall when he had no one to play with. He just got better and better at it.

This makes me think of ham radio where it is essentially a team sport but even though there are millions of hams in the world, it’s kind of difficult finding people to play with on the bands especially when using low power and using the morse code (CW). That kind of narrows down your chances of finding someone to play with!

I had the bare minimum (QCX but at least VFO controlled) and had my end fed permanently hanging in a tree for the whole Christmas weekend. I managed four QSO’s ………. When conditions for local QSO’s were not good I still called CQ now and then and got some surprising responses from the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) which kind of feels much like young Eduan when he practised hand tennis against the wall!

At least we come out stronger in the end. Somehow he packed his ball away and I felt the need the roll up the antenna and pack everything away for a while too.

Now an inactive ham …….. but for how long?

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