Friday, February 25, 2011

The Challenge

iTunes and Canasta, Welcome to Our World

This year we have become re-acquainted with Canasta* - or Hand and Foot - a wonderful card game that has quickly become an key part of our Costa Rican life.  We sit down at the end of a "hard" day (of not doing too much), listen to some wonderful music, make sets that grow into books, practice our math and shuffle endlessly.

The Canasta journey began on a trip to Chicago when our good friends Jeremy and Kim asked us if we would like to play.  After a short explanation it was decided that it would be best to just dive in.  We dove in deeply, but then, as with a lot of things in life, it became a fond memory of good times spent with friends.

This January we dug up the rules that Jeremy and Kim had sent with us to Costa Rica and settled in for a night of card playing with our friends Megon and Kevin.  After a long day at baseball camp it was a perfect way to spend the evening.  The following weekend we were in Cahuita with other volunteers and the cards came out once again.  After two nights in one week a long standing tournament was established, one that will continue as we spend time with Megon and Kevin over the next year or so that we have left in Costa Rica (right now it's tied: Girls -1, Boys - 1).

Needless to say, those two evenings of playing with friends resulted in the development of house rules and our own in-home tournament was established.  This tournament began on February 1 and it is scheduled to end on May 21, 2012.  After about three weeks of playing, being tied 7-7 and having roughly the same score it was decided that stakes needed to be made.

And so, here they are, the Chris and Tarah Canasta Challenge 2011-2012 stakes:
  • At the time of COS (Close of Service) in May 2012, the individual with the most wins will receive two 15-minute back massages per win over the other individual, to be given by the losing individual
  • At the time of COS in May 2012, the individual with the most points may choose one of the following:
    • To double the number of back massages received should he or she also have the most wins
    • To halve the number of back massages given should he or she have fewer wins
After a thoughtful dinner the following conditions were also made:
  • At the time of the Panama City International Marathon (December 4, 2011) the individual with the most wins will receive a 30-minute full body massage post-race
  • At the time of the Panama City International Marathon (December 4, 2011) the individual with the most points will receive a 15-minute full body massage post-race
And so, our quiet evenings of reading and listening to podcasts have since turned into nail biting escapades with tricky plays made and cries of excitement at the draw of 22 cards exactly at the start of a hand.  There are references made to our time in Chicago with statements such as, "Kim would be so proud" or "You just pulled a Kim" (no offense to Jeremy, Kim just may be the more gutsy player).  We find ourselves glad to have a hand full of black 3s because it allows you to play more defensively and when you have the chance you complete a clean book before melding.  We're each developing our own strategies and this is how they have rewarded us thus far:
  • Tarah: 10 Wins & 175,075 Points
  • Chris: 7 Wins & 168.565 Points
The tables turn quickly though, don't be fooled.  Just a week ago Chris was winning 6-5 and by more than 5,000 points.  We'll be biting our nails and improving our strategies over the next year +.  Look for an update of wins and scores this coming November as we head into a visit by our parents and then the fateful trip to Panama City, Panama where the first of the winner's booty will be received!

*Note: These rules are pretty similar to how we play, however there are some differences.  If you want to start playing, do a Google search and find the rules that you like best and make your own house rules!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Sounds fun! Can't wait to see the score in 2012! Love, hugs and miss you bunces! Mom