HAVERFORD, Pa. – Volleyball is getting ready for the 2014 season with a preseason trip to Puerto Rico. The team departed the United States on Wednesday, August 20 and is scheduled to return on Sunday, August 24. Junior Sara Rennert is writing about the team's experience. The Fords' daily activities will be updated throughout the trip on HaverfordAthletics.com.
Thursday, August 21
12 p.m.: The day started off with a delicious breakfast in the hotel lobby. Most of the team got made-to-order omelets and fresh fruit to start their day. We then went straight to the gym for a three hour practice … a sweltering three hour practice. We did a lot of team drills and everyone was looking really good! And yet again it was hot. "I've never been that sweaty in my life," recalls junior outside hitter Nina Mutty. To keep cool during water breaks junior middle blocker Meg O'Day poured cold water over her neck. We are trying our best to battle the heat but as an indoor sports team we are struggling with the intense climate change. We are definitely grateful for the mild climate and air conditioned gym back home
In Puerto Rico, when it rains it pours. The clouds come in quick and heavy drops of water fall fast towards the ground and then the clouds leave as fast as they came. It was pouring heavily during practice but the weather cleared up quite nicely by the time we were finished. We stopped at a shop that sold authentic Puerto Rican cuisine for lunch. Many of the girls got rice and bean platters while others got sandwiches or tostados.
Our hike through the rainforest was truly magnificent. Everything was green and thriving. We saw leaves bigger than our own heads and the clouds dropped among us as we walked. Some time ago a concrete path was built out of cement and rock to lead the way through the forest. Though grateful to have a clear path, previous rainfall had made the trail dangerously slippery. Thankfully none of us fell and the first half of our walk was thankfully dry. After a short time our path led us to a waterfall. The entire team plunged into the icy water and even a few of us dared to stick our heads under the beating turrets of the falling water. Just as we were regrouping for the walk back it began to rain. Well it's not truly a rainforest experience unless it rains, right? And we were already wet from swimming around the waterfall so the rain wasn't entirely unwelcome. The rain gave a whole new light to the rainforest. Droplets glistened on hanging leaves and the stream that led to the waterfall flowed with even more fervor. We also stopped to climb a tower that gave us an incredible landscape view all the way down to the ocean.
At night many of us walked from our hotel to the beach for dinner. Many of my teammates, including myself, ate at a restaurant called El Alambique that made delicious food. HCVB alumn Laura Ramos stopped by the restaurant to say hi to the team which was also a treat.
Tomorrow we get a later start on the day (by half an hour) and I'm sure we're all grateful for the rest as it's been a busy day and I can only hope that tomorrow will be just as busy, rewarding, and exciting.
- Another day another sweaty practice
- Will we go to the beach? The anticipation is killing me
Day 1: Travel Day