May 28, 2008
PORT KANTAOUI, Tunisia -
Please note that Cal will arrive at its hotel in Senegal on Thursday, May 29, in the late evening local time. The team isn't sure how easily available Internet access will be at its next hotel. Further trip updates will be posted as soon as possible.
Today was a beautiful day because we got to sleep in an extra hour, which was very much needed! Once everyone was up and ready to go, we had breakfast and then took a bus to Sousse, where we rode camels for an hour. On our way to Sousse, our tour guide Ida talked about how and why camels have been used in Africa. Historically, camels were used for transportation, plowing wheat fields and hauling materials.
When we arrived at our destination, I was shocked to see 22 camels lined up ready to go. Our camel-riding experience began on a hilarious note, largely because we had the privilege of watching Dev (Devanei Hampton) get on the camel. To get on the camel, two men boost you up and onto the camel's hump which seemed to be a frightening task for Dev. She began screaming and yelling because she was afraid that the camel behind her was going to attack her. But let's be serious here. Camels don't attack people, especially when their mouths have muzzles on them! Once we were all on the camels, we began our one hour journey through the olive grove to the Burber house where we took turns feeding the camels (see today's photo gallery).
Many of us began naming our camels (mine was Fred). Fred was acting up, making noises the whole trip, but I walked away saying Fred was my friend. On our ride back, we played telephone and each person was supposed to add something at the end of the phrase. All in all, the camel ride was an amazing experience full of laughs.
When we got back to our hotel, we had lunch and free time. During my free time, I wanted to go jet skiing, but all of my teammates wanted to take a nap instead. I didn't want to sleep, so I decided to lay out and work on my tan, but soon the clouds began to roll in, so I decided to leave and get a Henna tattoo of my name in Arabic and a butterfly on my back. Why you ask....because I love them!
Before we knew it, we were on the bus heading to Montasir, where we did a basketball clinic for 16 boys ages 10-13. This clinic consisted of four stations: shooting, ballhandling, passing and defense. The clinic was great. The boys really enjoyed it; however, the biggest challenge was the language barrier. After the station work was done, we did some skill challenges and gave away prizes to the winners.
Shortly after our clinic was over, we warmed up for our second game against the Tunisia National team. Today's game was much more competitive, particularly in the first half. By halftime, we closed their lead to three points and began the second half on fire (actually Lexi was on fire!). I won't go too much into detail about the game. It may spoil you guys reading the recap with details supplied by Coach Smith. And of course, I really enjoyed playing with the girls, particularly Mooch.
When the game was over, we joined the team and their coaches for smoothies and desserts in their hospitality room. I had the opportunity to exchange emails with a girl on the team named Ida. Unfortunately, we were in a rush to get back to the hotel for dinner and our evening entertainment, so I was unable to socialize with the other girls.
The evening entertainment was quite amusing, considering that none of us wanted to go because we were exhausted from the game and a full day of activities. The night started out with a stunt man performing dangerous tricks where people, including myself, stood on top of the stunt man. He laid on a bed of nails, knives, etc. When he finished, another man came on stage with a variety of reptiles and a monkey named Jack. He began by showing lizards and then graduated to his snake show, which really freaked out some of the girls (Dev, Lex and LG). After the reptile showing, he brought out Jack. Jack was a furry little guy who loved to climb on people. As he hopped from person to person, we were able to take pictures with him and pet him. The final hop was on Ann's (Caslin, our team trainer) shoulder, which led to a huge outbreak of laughter by all of us, as we soon realized that Jack wasn't quite potty trained!
Overall, the day and this entire experience in Tunisia was a blast, and I am sad to be leaving here tomorrow. We're off to Senegal.
Until next time...