May 10, 2008
Butler libero Nina Inic documents the Bulldog volleyball team's first day in Nicaragua.
We started our day off with breakfast in the hotel. The interesting thing about it was that Nicaraguans eat rice and beans for breakfast. Along with it, we had wide variety of tropical fruits: pineapple, water melon, cantaloupe, and papaya. After enjoying the breakfast, we took a bus tour through the capital of Managua, heading towards Volcano Masaya.
First, we stopped by visitors center where we saw artifacts, paintings, and sculptures related to volcano and its habitants. According to the museum items, Nicaraguans have practiced different religious rituals around the volcano. For example, people would carry crosses up to the volcano and throw it in the crater as a form of sacrifice to their gods. Then, we drove up to the volcano and looked into the deep crater. It was a little bit scary, considering that the crater was steep and we could not see the bottom of it due to a rising smoke. Luckily, it was dormant today :)
Moving on, we stopped by the market place in Managua. It was an open type market with several merchandisers offering Nicaraguans artifacts, clothing, jewelry, etc. In the market place, we realized that Nicaraguans are fun people, and they constantly smile and laugh. Finally, it was cool to try to talk in Spanish. In fact, Stephanie Steel is the only one that speaks Spanish and the rest of us "tried" to catch up or simply spoke English with Spanish accent.
Finally, we did what we are here to do; what we enjoy doing!!! Playing volleyball!!!! We played the national team of Honduras and won 3-1. We lost the first game 24-26, but we came out more aggressively in the following three games. In short, our team did not allow Honduras to score by playing scrappy defense,as well as tough serving and blocking.
It was a challengeto play in the gym. It was very hot without air circulation. However, we found it good for us to play in the environment because when we start pre-season in August it is not much colder in Hinkle. It was one of four matches that we are going to play in Nicaragua and we feel good about coming out together in the win!
This was the first day of our journey. More coming tomorrow.
Adios from Nicaragua :)