April 6th, 2011 | By Mav
And we’re here! Couldn’t have been better timing either. The night before we left, it was snowing! The morning I woke up (at 3:45am) to catch my flight it was thunder, lightning, and pouring down dollar sized rain drops. As you can imagine, I am extremely happy to be in the hot sun here in Guatemala.
Sam and I arrived to the smiling face of my friend, Majo. She plays for Guatemala and we have been staying with her and her family since last night. Tomorrow we get into the host hotel, which is quite nice and has a great breakfast buffet (so we’re told). Earlier today we trained – our first outdoor session of 2011. It wasn’t as awkward as we thought it would be, the most difficult thing to do was find my serve again. I felt if I hit it like I did indoors back in Toronto it would sail out the back of the court, then there’s this thing called the sun. Staring up at that while trying to hit the ball doesn’t make things any easier, not that I’m complaining though! Overall, it was a pretty good. Tomorrow Sam and I are heading out to get lots of reps in, we might end up training with the Cuban team that arrived today.
The sand here is black too! There are somewhere around 34 active volcano’s here in Guatemala, which is the reason for the black sand. Other then that, the food is great. We went to this steak house tonight for dinner and had an awesome feast. I had the “Typical Guatemalan Plate” – black beans, guacamole, rice, tenderloin, and plantains. It was delicious and filling.
The traffic is wild here as well. I’m sure there are “rules of the road” however, I’m not sure how many people follow them. I was told you can buy your drivers license here, that’s a bit scary! We’ve also been filled in on a few sketchy things around here (Doris, don’t read this!), such as muggings, and motor bikers that drive up to cars and tap on the window (with guns) and demand your cell phone. Just like Toronto, it is against the law to speak on your cell phone while driving, text too, which is great because that’s when you’re most likely to get it stolen, when it’s out in the open against your ear!
Aside from the bad things, which can just as easily happen in Toronto, things are great here. We’re going to check out the venue tomorrow and we’re told the crowd should be pretty big. There are 19 men’s teams here and we’ll be going through pool play before entering a single-elimination playoff bracket. Our players meeting is Thursday and after that I’ll throw a quick post up with our pool and game schedule.
Below you’ll see a quick video I took from Ben and Christians hotel room today – We’re playing in Guatemala City. Disregard Ben… difficult seeing as how I chose to zoom in on him though.
GUA Teaser – not sure if it will work, this internet is a little wonky.