What’s in a name?

I’ve spent a lot of my weekend revamping the website, as registration for the DBI Festival officially closed on April 1. Until now, much of the information was geared towards encouraging people to register. It’s still sinking in that we actually sold out. Okay then, time to put on a festival.

The executive has been working their tails off organizing a thousand details. Boats, shirts, volunteers, medals, food, life jackets, sponsors, t-shirts, judges, number of races, teaching many Israelis how to paddle, entertainment … all in Hebrew and English.

I really do have the easy job here.

So now that we convinced enough people to come to DBI, I have to turn the website towards providing those people with enough information about the Festival and about Israel to help make it a success. That stuff will start going up in a day or two. Something I’ve put up already is a list of our teams. Even that is made a little complicated by the two languages, since there are no firm rules on transliteration from Hebrew into English. As I was writing down the name of one Israeli team, Can Velo, I said it out loud to myself and realized that it was a phrase in Hebrew: “Ken v’Lo” which means “Yes and No.”

Can Velo seemed like a pretty bad transliteration to me, once I realized that, so I emailed a question about it up the line to my ‘bosses’, the executive, asking if I should change it to Ken v’Lo. Nope, came the answer. The name is very deliberate. That’s when I found out a couple of amazing things about the team. One, they are actually a group of bikers who’ve never paddled dragon boats before. Two, half of them are blind. In a sport where much of the success is based on a team paddling in synchronicity, half of the members are blind. You can read more about them and their name choice here.

With people like these guys getting in the boats, this festival can’t be anything but awesome.

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