FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship Opening Ceremonies

July 03, 2009, 9:37 a.m. (ET)

July 2, 2009

Today began as normal with the team meeting in the lobby to go to breakfast. Today’s breakfast was slightly different however, because all of the teams were here so the dining room was packed full of teams and people by the time we left. As always we unconsciously stared at all of them and I think freaked them out a little bit.

After breakfast we left the hotel to scrimmage Peru. At the scrimmage we played two games, and lost them both. It was very frustrating, but what is done is done and we have to take it as a chance to learn and grow as individual players as well as a team.

Once the scrimmaging was over we returned to the hotel to eat lunch and hang out in the rooms until practice in the afternoon. Practice was our chance to get better after the scrimmage and it was going seemingly well, and I think Mother Nature was on our side, because just as the heat was reaching what seemed to be at its peak in the gym, rain began to pour outside. It rained so hard that we could hardly hear Jim’s instructions when he was teaching us a new blocking method.

After practice was over we hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the opening ceremony. As we entered the ceremony the Thailand team greeted us and gave each of us beautiful purple lei. We were the first team there so we were the only ones in the ballroom which was perfect because we took a good 30 minutes taking pictures.

Once all of the teams were in and seated the ceremony began. It started by all of the teams lining up and walking across the stage with their flag and getting pictures taken. Following that were speeches from multiple people from Thailand. The only problem was that a majority of the speakers were not speaking English, so we had no idea what they were talking about.

After the speeches the captains of each team were called up to the stage for gifts to give out to their teams as a thank you from Thailand. Finally after all of the gifts were handed out we were released to go get food. Our entire team politely got in line to walk through and get food as we always do, but we were rudely cut in front of by almost all the teams. I was behind Hannah and stayed as close to her as I possibly could so that they couldn’t cut me off, but instead they literally pushed me aside and took the scooping spoon that I was going for and took some themselves. It was all Hannah and I could do not to say something to them.

After the stresses of the line the night was rather enjoyable. The food was interesting and tasty as usual, and we got to try interesting new desserts. One of these desserts I was not brave enough to try however, because it looked like something surrounded in fish eggs. Madeline was brave and attempted to eat it, but spit it back up because the texture was so chewy that she couldn’t bite through it. It was unpleasant for her, but comical for the rest of us at the table.

Once we had finished eating we made our way up to Jim’s room to go over a scouting report that Melissa was working on while we were at dinner. We only went through half of the report and will finish tomorrow morning, but as of right now I have one thing to say…BRING IT ON MEXICO!!!!!