Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We won Champions Cup!

Traveling to Russia for the Finals, playing, having fun, and the aftermath!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Playing professionally.

Vouliagmeni Nautical Club

I have come to Greece to play for a club team, just outside Athens. It is in the small town of Vouliagmeni. The picture above is standing at the club, looking out over the small bay, back at the town. "N.O.B" is the abbreviation for the club. Because I can not understand one bit of Greek, I can not tell you how that translates into Vouliagmeni Nautical Club. But I assure it does, because it is all over our gear, swimsuits, and caps. Either that, or they are REALLY making fun of the foreign kid. Because I trust most everything they tell me. Fending for myself is really hard when the letters are a completely different alphabet. I can't even TRY to sort it out.

I am sure this tells me where the gym is. Better bet is to just follow everyone else.

Luckily, most everyone here does speak English, so I can ask for a translation.
Our coach will give us a swim set in Greek and I wait until she is finished, turn to the girl who swims next to me, and quickly get the English cliff notes. I am one of the two fastest swimmers on the team. So usually I am out in front of the other girls on swim sets. I can not rely on my usual tactic of hanging back to just watch and figuring it out as I go. I learned really quick that the other fast girl is a little jokester. When I think we are doing 5 laps at a time...... I flip for my last lap, push off and look back to see everyone else stop. I pop my head up, and find my translator laughing her head off. That was the day I began auditorially memorizing the water polo terms I would need to get through practice.

Typically, foreigners are asked to come and play for teams for their National League seasons. Each team is allowed two foreign players. One from a fellow European country and one from the Americas or Oceanic/Asian region. The season lasts about 7 months, where each team will play against each other twice, at which point you are placed in post season games until there is a winner. I am not here for that. Our team already has a Spanish goalie, and they picked up my fellow American team mate, center, Moriah van Norman.

During the regular season, the top two teams from the previous years season, play in a European Cup, against the top two teams from the rest of the European professional teams. For the "Champions Cup", teams can bring in additional foreigners. Enter, ME!!!!!

I will only be in Greece for about two months. To help the team in the semi-final, and hopefully final games of the Cup!

Here is another look, from the end of the peninsula, back at the bay and the town of Vouliagmeni. Our pool (it is hard to see) sits on the left side of the bay, just beyond the docked sail boats. Very beautiful place to be playing and practicing!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The downfall of my blog.

So much for resolutions.

Reasons for not posting regularly:

  1. Lack of Internet.
I decided to come play water polo in Greece. I got a contract playing for a professional club in a town outside of Athens. I live in an apartment (with a fellow American National Team Member- who also plays for the club) and we are stealing Internet from someone in our building. I believe it is the office below us. And because EVERYTHING here is made of stone and marble, going through that kind of material, the connection is jankety at best. Most of the time the only place we can get good reception is sitting on her bed, in her bedroom. It must be positioned directly above the wireless router. And while we are friends and teammates, I do not think she really wants me hanging out in her bed all the time. Space bubbles need to stay intact. So instead of blogging and sharing my stories.....I read and listen to music. Or go out with my new Greek teammates for coffee. (Which I have come to learn is mandatory, daily.)

If I do want to get a strong and reliable porthole to the web, I have to pre-arrange a visit to a teammates house, because I am living overseas sans car. I am completely dependent on my new Greek friends for transport. Due to the fact that most of my creative moments are just before bed, while I am calming down from the days festivities, not having the Internet readily available at home really puts a damper on my posts.


The universal black hole of time has sucked me right in. I resisted joining Facebook for a long time. Mostly because it was something that started after I graduated from college. (Yeah, I'm old. ;) Hahaha.) Originally, being just a network for college students with educational email addresses, I couldn't gain access and scoffed at such a segregational institution. Then I caved and joined so I could see some pictures posted of a teammate, by a person I didn't know, who had tagged her, so if I were on Facebook, I could add her, and see her photos. Simple, right?!

Now it is so easy, when I just have a 15 minute window, to just hop on FB, post a status change (My parents love those so they know what I am doing half a world away and I haven't called. I know....BAD DAUGHTER!) check my wall and briefly stalk my friends to see that they are all doing well. If I add a photo or 12, my friends can take a visual tour of my adventures and comment as they wish. Quick and easy.

But let's be honest. Blogging is way more fun. My Facebook friends are not getting my random inner narrative, unless I can fit it into a one line sentence. (Which happens on occasion, I guess.)
Blogging is just far more time consuming. Which brings me back to my point.....