Women's Soccer in Barbados: Days 5-6

Friday, August 12, 2011

women's soccer in Barbados Day 5
The morning of our last full day on the island was ours to do what we wanted. We began the day by heading over to a new beach just down the road from our hotel. We had scoped the beach out earlier in the week and made plans to go down there at least once during our stay. The group dispersed once we were soccer on the beach there, some of us hitting the shops, others lying on the beach, and some kicking the soccer ball around on the sand.

One of the locals selling beach equipment spotted us with the soccer ball and challenged us to a small sided game on the beach. CJ Graetzer teamed up with the Bajan local, while Meghan O’Grady and Jess Gonzalez made up the other team. Unfortunately, 1 p.m. rolled around quickly, ending our game, and we headed back to the hotel for lunch and to prepare for our afternoon match.

Our game was planned for 4:30, but as we have quickly learned we were still running on Caribbean time, equaling a 5:15 start. Due to the late start our game had to be shortened so we would be able to make our dinner show scheduled for that evening. Tested with time, we were still all able to make it showered and looking fresh to the Bajan Roots dinner show.

The dinner show consisted of an opening band playing while we stuffed our face with a local buffet dinner. Then the actual show started taking us handshakes after match through the history of the Bajan culture. We witnessed everything from African belly dancing, Jamaican reggae tones to walking giants (men on stilts) and ended with a tribute to their idol Rihanna.

After the show, a limbo competition was held between four female and four male audience members. Meghan O’Grady and Dominic both participated, representing our group and each bringing home a winning prize. Dominic wowed the audience with his impressive dancing skills. The night concluded with a massive conga line throughout the dining area to the music of a reggae cover artist. Our team swarmed the stage doing what we do best (besides soccer of course): tearing up the dance floor.

At the end of the last song we all shouted, “PLEASE DON’T STOP THE MUSIC!” but it was too late. Back at the hotel we continued the fun when half the team dyed a strip of their hair red as early motivation for the season. We are sad that tomorrow is our last day, but we will be sure to make the most of it.

Day 6
Unfortunately, our last day on the island has arrived. We started the day early to get as much beach time in as possible. But before we hit the beach, we divided into classes and went for runs either on the beach or along the strand for some last-minute fitness.

Between catching our last couple rays and organizing our luggage, the noon departure to the airport came way too fast. We said our goodbyes to Dominic, loaded the bus and were off to the Barbados Airport.

Overall, check-in and security at the airport went well despite a few of our team members being randomly selected for secondary searches. These security precautions delayed our flight by 45 minutes, dragging out the travels home. By the time we boarded we were all sad to leave, but anxious to just be home.

To Barbados: HOW BOUT A ROUND OF APPLAUSE, STANDING OVATION. YOU PUT ON QUITE A SHOW, BUT NOW IT’S TIME TO GO (and if you don’t get it by now, we’ve been quoting Rihanna as Barbados is her home country).

We would also like to thank our parents for giving us the opportunity to go on this amazing trip. We definitely would not have had this experience without your support. Thanks to Coach for making this trip a reality, and putting up with us for the past six days.

We are pumped for this season, and can’t wait to be back together in a week!

view from the airplane back home