“I AM very happy and relieved to be home,” said TT`s volleyballer Darlene Ramdin after arriving home from Israel last month before the borders were closed amidst the covid19 outbreak and quite commendably decided to self-quarantine away from home because of her high-risk family members.
Ramdin, in a recent interview, recalled her time in self-quarantine. “I couldn’t wait to see my mom. All I could have done is talk with her over the phone and video chat. She sent food for me when I arrived and I couldn’t even give her a thank you kiss.”
She then expounded on her journey from Israel. “I didn’t have a fear of travel per se; I just wasn’t excited to brave the overcrowded airports especially New York after seeing a video from there but I was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly my journey was.”
She continued, “My fear wasn’t of travelling but of potentially picking up something in the airports and entering TT with it. I was worried about not having a place to stay so I was on my laptop during the layover looking up hotels and apartments to stay because I didn’t want to self-quarantine at home with my family.”
Ramdin`s Israeli team, Maccabi AOV Ashdo were currently ranked third in the league and were just about to start playoffs before the league was suspended with 200 cpvid19 cases at that point in time. For her performances this season, she was named on the Dream Team as first middle blocker while also being first in middle blocker hitting percentage and sixth in outside attacker.
Ramdin who has been on the senior national team since 2005 commented on her season. She said, “After a couple games into the second half of the season, I changed positions. Luckily for the team I could play more than just one attacking position but it was weird ending the season unfinished. My team had a fighting chance to reach our goal as things were working out in our favour. We gelled well but I guess things happen for a reason.”
She admitted, “I had become mentally, emotionally and physically tired but the thought of winning the Championship continued to fuel my fire. A fire that was quickly doused (due to the coronavirus pandemic). Well, isn’t that just very anticlimactic!”
The 30-year-old Ramdin played three seasons for Generika Lifesavers (Philippines), Yeşilyurt Spor (Turkey), Fatum Nireghaza (Hungary), Terville Florange Olympique Club (france) and Pieksämaki Volley (Finland).
Despite playing volleyball all over Europe, she believes that Israel was a new experience. “It was quite interesting and different from other leagues because of the religious background. We played all our games on Fridays before the shabbat started so by the time the game is over, shabbat starts and then everything is closed. The following day which is usually our day off but everything is closed on the shabbat and the only thing to do was go to the beach.”