Sunday, August 15, 2010

People People Everywhere

There were lots of people everywhere we went in Istanbul yesterday! We got in and were transported to the hotel from the airport. I dont think I have ever ridden in a car with a crazier driver in my life I'm suprised we did't hit 20 pedestrians or cars. But we did make it safely and then got to go and see the city a little bit last night. We went to a big marketplace that had many vendors selling all different things. It was strange walking by as they would just say things in as many languages as they knew until you hopefully responded to one of them. Walking around we saw several mosques and then we went to eat at this Turkish restaurant. It was so delicious, we ate sitting on pillows with musicians playing in the background. I had hummus with bread and lamb skewers with rice both of which I enjoyed to the fullest. This morning we had breakfast in the hotel, but this wasn't your typical breakfast in a hotel. It was outdoors on the roof (7th floor) and we could see all of Istanbul. I have a video of this but it is not wanting to upload at the moment. The food was nothing I had ever eaten, but was good nontheless. The sweets here are all very very sweet either with the amount of sugar or the honey that they add. The jelly this morning was so so sticky. I did enjoy the cheery flavor though as well as the sour cherry juice. YUM! So I have a turkish word for you today teşekkür ederim= thank you; to pronounce this you can saw tea-sugar-ed-durr-im quickly Heading out to see the city again for a bit then heading to Edirne for the week where we will be playing

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I know its been a long time. I've been lazy. A lot has happened since my last post. First off Italy won the Juniors. The last 2 weeks we have been training every day for the Eurocup which we are leaving for in the morning (Saturday). We also played the Sharx last Friday, dropping both games. In betweeen all of that I still found time to do other things. I went on a city walk, guided by a book, with Mandy (another American); it should have taken an hour but it took us nearly that long to find the starting point not to mention the 3 or 4 times we got lost after that. It still turned out to be a good day and we made it back for practice. I also went to the pool with Mandy and Hiro and went bowling with Mandy, Caro, and Denise. Swimming was relaxing as we hopped in the wave pool as well as taking pictures of us jumping off the high dive. Bowling is always a fun social event and Denise whopped our butts over 2 games.

So more about the Eurocup...we are in the B pool this year with 6 teams. It is being held in Edirne, Turkey. We will play each team in a round robin format then the top 4 teams will be seeded into a bracket that will be played out Friday and Saturday. It should be an experience playing on an all grass field. Before we start playing we are spending a day in Istanbul which I am pumped for.

I may not have access to internet while in Turkey, but if I do I will post about the games.

Word of the Day: Kirsche, Erdbeer, Vanille, und Schokolade eis: Cherry, Strawberry, Vanilla, and Chocolate Icecream. Some of my favorite flavors of the deluctable icecream they have here.

Looking to bring back gold to Vienna!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Final Day of Juniors

It has been a crazy week working at the fields! Thursday the weather decided to bring rain through Friday morning. The field crew, which I was a part of, was in charge of getting the fields ready. So we begin as it is still sprinkling on one field Friday morning only to have it downpour. So we decided to wait out the rain then start on the main field. When we finally get the main field ready around 12:30 it decides to downpour once again and again we played the waiting game. Fortunately by the third time we fixed the field the rain had decided to leave and 3 games were played starting at 4. It was nice to get so many thanks from the teams and fans for our efforts in getting the fields playable quickly. Something I had not seen used before to dry fields which worked surprisingly well was extra large sponges about 1 foot by 2 foot and 6 innches thick. They seemed to just attract the water and were a big p The bottom part of the tournament, the lower 7 teams ended up getting cancelled so the top 8 could get all their games in.

Semifinals are this morning as well as the 5th and 7th place games. France v. Spain for 7th is going on currently and Netherlands v. Slovakia is next. The semifinals are being played on the main field and Russia v. Italy are starting it off with Germany v. Czech Republic to follow. The winners/losers of those games will play for 1st/3rd place. Last night the night cap was Netherlands v. Russia and it was exciting to finally see a good softball game. If Russia won it put Russia, Netherlands, and Czech Republic in a 3 way tie, they did so the run difference decided the 2 teams to move on to play for the finals.

The atmosphere at these games is so electric, there is so much excitement in the air with the girls playing to represent their country. And not only are the girls very into the game the fans get very involved as well dancing to the songs between innings, leading cheers, and using many types of noise makers. I am excited to watch the games today and see who comes out on top. There is a very good chance there will be a first time winner this year (Netherlands and Italy have each won 5 times).


Monday, July 26, 2010

Junior Championships

So my internet stopped working for a few days and is still on the fritz but I am able to use it at the field. I have been at the field the all day, every day since Thursday setting up for the European Junior Girls Softball Championships. I never realized while I was playing how much work went into getting ready for a major tournament. Opening ceremonies were last night follolwed by the first game of the tournament between Austria and Slovakia and brought to a close with a terrific fireworks show. It was nice to see some fireworks since I was not in the States for the Fourth of July. Even though we are on a 2 week break for the Championships we still had a game Friday against the Great Britain junior team. It was nice to get on the field and finally feel good about how I played.

So more about the Junior Championships... there are 15 teams playing for a chance at the title. The skill levels vary greatly and are led by the Netherlands and Czech Republic. Unlike what I am used to here they play pool games which seeds them, but then they play for places. It is not as important at the junior level, but at the senior level you must finish in the top 7 to stay in the top division. It is different being in a place where there are more than 10 different languages being spoken.

I am getting ready to be the foul ball girl for the France v. Romania Game so that is all I have for now.

Word/Phrase of the Blog: Bitte=please


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Once again I apologize for the delay, this time I was sick so I wasn't really doing much. We had our last practice for 2 weeks on Friday because we are hosting the European Girls Junior Championships next week and the field will be being used. I'm sure I will have much to post from that as we are helping out. Before practice I got out of the house and went to the lake with Nicky, Lauren, and Frankie; and by lake I mean a branch of the Danube River. We had a good time swimming and laying out. But I think the most interesting part of it was that it is acceptable for children under 6 to not wear anything at the beach.

More updates as they come.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Joys of camp

I apologize for the delay in posting another blog.

Last Friday we beat the Ragdolls both games and on Sunday we split with the PeeWees. I am really enjoying being able to bat and play the field again. In the Austrian league a foreign pitcher can not pitch the first game so I play first base instead.

Part of the reason I was delayed in posting is because I was working a kids camp everyday from 9-3 this week, which was incredibly tiring. Camps are always tiring but when you don't speak the same language as the children it makes it even more difficult. I had a team of 8-10 year olds and we were the Cardinals. I really enjoy being able to teach the game and see how they improve. I think the best part of the week was showing 2 girls how to pitch, albeit with a baseball, after camp one day and then the next day they went off and were practicing on their own so we found some small softballs for them. Its amazing one of the girls was just 8 years old and had already been playing for 4 years on the baseball team. Today we got the 6 girls at the camp together and are going to form a softball team in Vienna so they can practice together once a week and we told them to bring some friends. It should be really fun helping coach them.

Word/Phrase of the Day: Entschuldigung= Sorry

Ps. I accepted a job offer working for a small engineering firm in Chicago and will be beginning that in September when I return.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Today is Game Day! I'm very excited to finally be playing games again. The Wanderers are playing the Ragdolls tonight at 7 and 9. So I will post again with an update on how the games went.

Last night Hiro made us a Japanese dinner and I would like to say I used the chopsticks succesfully, but to say I just managed would be a better assesment. Even with my chopstick struggles it was a delicious dinner and he even gave us rice balls to go...I can't wait to eat mine because word on the street is they're really good.

After our delicious meal Nicky and I taught Hiro, Caro, and Clemens how to play Phase 10. It ended up being an extremely long game...2 hours to be exact. Caro won the game stealthily avoiding Hiro's comeback after he started off the game playing Phase 1 3 times before finishing 2nd.

I almost forgot to mention Nicky and I had a fun day of shopping around our neighborhood yesterday. We both ended up buying some super cool sunglasses!

Word/Phrase of the Day: Wo ist de Senf? = Where is the mustard? Nicky and I had a difficult time finding the mustard in the store so we learned how to ask where the mustard was.

Posting again after the games,


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sand in the City

Heute ist donnerstag der ersten Juli, zweitausend zehn
(Today is thursday the first of July, 2010)

So this picture is from last night, we went to Sand in the City, an open air eating place where you can choose from many different vendors with all different cuisine types from mexican and american to greek and asian. You can also play sand volleyball there, but we didn't last night. The picture is of Nicky (my roomate), Hiro (one of the baseball players/coach), and I; we are wearing hats that they had just gotten at the store where they were buying supplies for the field.

On Monday we went to summerstage and watched the Brasil vs. Chile World Cup soccer game. Summerstage, similar to Sand in the City, was open air eating with many different restaurant choices except there were actual waiters at summerstage. Also, throughout the summer, or warmer months of April through September, various performers, speakers, and events are held at summerstage. During the intermission of the soccer game we went to jump on trampolines, which were super bouncy, but provided lots of entertainment in the 8 min that we had them.

Word/Phrase of the Day: Süsse = sweet. Either referring to the taste of something or saying someone is sweet as we would say cute.



p.s. I also have figured out how I can use my phone while I am here, so feel free to call me if you would like.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

American Smiles

You're probably wondering about the title of this post...well I'll get to that later. This weekend was lots of fun in many different ways! First we had practice Friday night and I dont think I have ever had more mosquito bites. It looks like I have chicken pox on my legs! But that didn't put a damper on the fun that we had later in the night as some of the baseball and softball players took us out. Which is where the title comes from. Apparently American smiles are easily picked out; they make fun of us saying that we must take a class to learn to smile like we show so much teeth. That night was also my first ride using Viennas transit system...Wow is it good.

Anyways on saturday one of my teammates had a BBQ. Her family is originally from South Africa and she goes to one of the international schools and is very good at helping us learn new words. Her dad's lamb and chicken was delicious and the homeade chocolate moose was just icing on the cake. And today we went and watched the Wanderers Baseball team play a doubleheader. (The Wanderers is the team I am playing for) Nicky and i look like tomatoes on 1/2 of our body.

I have been picking up German quickly. I can now count to 999 and know some colors and various other words.

Word/Phrase of the day: Ich vermisse dich = I miss you

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Days in Wien

Hi everyone!

So I have now been in Vienna nearly 2 days. This time my flight arrived early and all of my bags made it. This morning Nicky (my roommate) and I helped work a camp for Austrian boys and girls between ages 10 & 14. I've never had to work a camp with 360 campers before! So not only was I tired from having so many campers but it was exhausting trying to teach to them when neither of us knew the others language. I am picking up bits of German though, we have our teammates teach us words or one of my favorite things to do is to use Google Translator. Yesterday I learned the numbers 1-10 while playing beach volleyball as well as mine. And the translator helped us with mustard since we were having a hard time finding it in the store. I think one of my biggest accomplishments was getting to the checkout of the Austrian, even though most of the credit can be given to google translator, I did pick out the camera cord I needed by the picture. And if you didn't know I am 7 hours ahead of central time.

Will keep you updated,