– Do you think this could ever happen where you are from?
– What do you mean?
– A whole bunch of people getting dirty in the mud to raise money. Would that be something that people would do in Germany?
Good question… I still don’t really have an answer. A few weeks ago, Marco and I participated in Peace, Mud, Love – the self-proclaimed largest mud volleyball tournament in Texas – and had a blast. Friends of ours have put together a team every year and while we were a little sceptical at first, we decided to join in this year. Who knew getting that dirty could be this much fun? 🙂 The event was much bigger than I thought! There were maybe 15 mud volleyball courts or so, food and drink stands, every team had a place to put up a tent and some chairs to hang out in between tournaments, there was a water truck that would come once in a while to hose people off, people made an improvised slip-and-slide in the mud, a DJ played music for everybody, and muddy people were walking everywhere.
To be honest, when our friends first approached us, I had no idea what this could possibly be like. I had never heard of anybody playing volleyball in the mud. Come to find out it’s actually a somewhat popular fundraising method here in Texas. Fundraising in general is something that happens much more often here in the US than in Germany I would say. I think part of the reason is that taxes in Germany are much higher and there are many more social services for people in need than in the US. If something happens to you here (illness, loosing your job, etc.), there are not many mechanism to help you get back on your feet and people depend on their community to pitch in more. In general, I think people here are much more used to being asked to donate money or buy something (Girl Scout Cookies, bake sales for this, that and the other), or participate in something to raise money. So, overall, I think a fundraising event like this is much more likely to happen here. I’ve never heard of mud volleyball tournaments in Germany and when I sent some pictures to my family from the event they really didn’t understand what I was doing…. Do I think Germans could enjoy a mud volleyball tournament? Absolutely!
Take a look for yourself though and I think you’ll see how much fun it can be. Keep in mind… those pictures were taken at the beginning of the event when I could still touch my phone. People look somewhat dirty, but nothing like we looked at the end when we were basically mud-encrusted from head to toe. At the beginning of the tournament, the water in the mud pits was mostly water. After a few games it turned into thick mud and the more we got into the game, the more we jumped for the ball – and of course landed head first in the mud. I had mud in my ears and nose and shampooed my hair many times and the water still came out dirty. But oh well… that’s what other people pay a lot of money for at a spa, right? 😉 Also… see the “shower” being provided by the water truck? I went at the end of the event and there were about 30-40 people trying to get close to the water release. It was much less orderly than what you see below… and man, does that water come out strong! But it got rid of some of the mud at least and allowed us to drive back without turning our cars into mud pits. Enough talking… check out the pics and see for yourself 🙂 And head over to this website (http://spotted.lubbockonline.com) for many more pics and close-ups of muddy people.
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