Monday, May 16, 2011
Departure: the Trip Begins
As we prepare for lift off it all of the sudden becomes real: Practices to get our heads right, meetings to fill out some paperwork, the list goes on and on with the necessary t crossing and i doting. But in no less than 8 hours we will be on the road to history.
Some sad news; in the practices this week 2 of our players got concussions. They will still travel with the team and most likely participate in the game but the task of climbing the mountain leers overhead as something that is too dangerous for the recently concussed.
Some not so sad news, in fact some amazing news, we were just this last week visited by two very monumental speakers. The first speaker is an advocate for the traveling impact of students. She articulated beautifully the power that every student carries into the international interactions. “Every Citizen a Diplomat” is tabbed onto the pins that she presented us. The representative gave us a presentation on the power of what we were taking, as students and Americans, to Tanzania.
Which leads me to the next speaker, who, as an athlete has a name loaded with bravado in the sports world. Dr. Lapchick, son of the 3 time NBA hall of famer, advocate of sports power in the world community, contender of racial prejudices including ringleadering the boycott of South Africa that lead to the apartheid against the people of Africa to be abolished. A man whose hand had shaken nearly every sports hero in recent memory including but not limited to Muhammad Ali, and Kareem Abdul Jabir was standing before us; taking a long flight to spend an hour in Des Moines, to tell our team how big of a deal our trip was. He used words like: unprecedented, something that will change every person in this rooms life forever, powerful, and many other extreme ideas to tell us about the way our trip would impact us and those a part of it.
It is amazing the gains, already that this trip has put into our team. We have learned a lot about the impact of sport, community, and family and leading into the trip I imagine we are going to learn an amazing amount about ourselves through the introduction of these two diverse cultures. We have heard an extraordinary number of jaw dropping speeches about the world we are going to be living in a short time.
The diary of the trip will begin tomorrow with the departure from Des Moines. I am not finitely sure how much access we will have to internet and computers on the trip but rest assured the trip will be well documented and updated to the best of our ability. And I will be writing no less than daily on each day of our trip and the fruits of that labor will be posted here as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, and until next time tupanda killalani.
Eugene “97” Walter