May 14, 2008

Butler Volleyball In Nicaragua

May 14, 2008

Butler middle blocker Stephanie Steele documents the Bulldog volleyball team's third day in Nicaragua.

Today was a very relaxing day. So far we had spent most of our time near Managua, but today we would be heading to the country. We got up bright and early to finish packing our suitcases and to finish taking pictures of the hotel.

Breakfast was at 8, and we ate fresh fruit, rice and beans, and an interesting enchilada type casserole. It tasted good, but it wasn't something I would have every expected as a breakfast food!

After eating and packing up, we said goodbye to all the hotel staff that had been helping us the last couple of days. Chloe' Blasingame and I took a picture with the doorman because he was always around to help us find our way around the hotel and we joked with him about getting lost all the time if he hadn't been around.

After packing up, we headed directly to the gym to play Nicaragua's number 1 team. It had rained all night before, so playing today was much more humid than it had been during the first two games. Our match started at 10:30 and we lost in five games, although it was very competitive. We will get two more chances to play them, and we can't wait!

We got back on the bus to start our drive to Ometepe and before leaving the compound, we saw a man rummaging through the garbage trying to find objects that he needed. It was really an eye opener.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat at a Siman mall. Many of us were ready for American food again and ate at places like Burger King and Subway, but the rest of us ate at an authentic place.

The two hour drive to Ometepe was very interesting. Most of us didn't realize how dry much of the country was. The drive gave us an opportunity to see the rural life in Nicaragua, where it is ok to let the animals roam free and everyone has their laundry hanging outside. Many of the people had farms with crops we didn't recognize but Brittany Awai was able to save the day and told us that it was sugar cane, mango trees, and banana trees.

Soon we reached Campo Alegria and met Adam, the man in charge. It was a gorgeous area sitting right on the coast of Lake Nicaragua with the island of Ometepe and its volcano in the distance.

For dinner, Rosa and Beatrice cooked a special Nicaraguan dinner called Naca Tamales. They were delicious. The coaches made the underclassmen wash the dishes and we took pictures of them lined up behind the counter.

When everything was cleaned up, we made flashcards to teach the kids who would be coming to camp the next day some English words and broke into groups to work with the kids.

When we were prepared for the camp, everyone on the team played a game of Jenga, and we were pretty impressive! The game lasted forever, but evenually Jalesa Lee knocked it over. This was followed by a walk on the beach, but by this time, we were exhausted and soon after we went to bed in our cute, rustic dorm room.