Friday, June 25, 2010
Howdy! Today is Friday(?) Yes, Friday. This is Becca(?) Yes, Becca. The Bearcats woke up bright and early this morning and headed down for breakfast at the hotel. There's not much bacon, pancakes, or cereal, but there was plenty of bread! They definitely enjoy it here! After breakfast, we all changed into our "Brasil" t-shirts and walked to the mall to watch the soccer game at the bar, "Badenbec". As we treked through the mall, it was eerily empty. It dawned on us that absolutley no stores were open because they had all closed just for the game! We waited in line for the bar to open and then rushed in. People were everywhere. They were all dressed in their jerseys and even brought their "Vuvuzelas" (aka loud, obnoxious horns). Haha! The game, to fill you in, was between Brazil and Portugal. It was the last game of their group before the elimination round, and Brazil was heading into it with a first place rank. We sat at a long table facing the T.V. as everyone surrounding us went nuts as the game started. Throughout the game, whenever Brazil was about to score you would hear ear-piercing screams and yells in anticipation of a potential goal. If Portugal was about to score, you would hear agony and stress in their voices. It was interesting to see everyone so into the game. I guess you could compare it to the superbowl, but even then you dont see followers as avid as these people. I mean, an entire city not working for 3 hours in the middle of the work week for a game that isn't even the finals?! Insane. It was an experience that we all very much enjoyed! The game ended with nothing but a couple of goose eggs(0-0), but Brazil won because they were ranked above Portugal. Having a tie in a sport is contradictory if you ask me, but I guess thats just how they do it here!
The team split up into groups and we were free to shop and eat where we pleased. Some of us went back to the hotel before we had to meet again at 5:00 P.M. Annie, Bruce, Jeff, and Upton came back to find that their keycards didnt work. So being the problem solving bunch they were they decided to use Annie's Dictionary to find words like "Doesnt work" and "Key". They were prepared and ready to break the language barrier. As they acted out very animatedly and used their newly learned portuguese to try to explain to the desk clerk their problem, the lady just looked at them and spoke in very plain english, "So it's not working?". The whole lobby laughed and the group was embarrased. It made for a good story though!
At 5:00, we loaded up again and drove to play Taboao Da Serra. It was a circle-shaped, colorful gym with a dome roof. The first set was shaky and our serve receive wasn't our best. We ended up losing 27-29 after putting up a pretty good fight. With the first set under our belts, and us having a better idea what we were up against, we won the second set 25-19. The third set passing went down again and we had a few more errors then we would've liked. We lost 19-25. The fourth set we started strong, but let them go on a 7-0 run after a tough server. The Bearcats rallied back though, and worked hard to come out with the win 25-21. The sets were tied, so things were getting exciting. We were down at first, but caught up at 8-8. They scored the ninth point, but we scored right back and got a few point lead. They made a short run back and the score was rally back and forth until Niemer scored game point with a deep hit to the corner. Bearcats win it 17-15! Post-game we were able to trade with some of the players! Niemer gave away two headbands, and I traded my shorts. They must of really liked them because as we were walking out the rest of the team started grabbing our shorts and asking for them!
It wasn't till around 10:30 that we finally got on the bus. We were exhausted, happy with a win, and looking forward to bed, but we weren't ready for a very delicious surprise. The team went to an authentic Brazilian Steakhouse! Meat, meat, meat...the only words that could describe what we ate. We stuffed ourselves with sirloin, steak, beef, sausage, pork, chicken, and even chicken hearts! It just kept coming and we kept eating! An interesting sidenote, the funny part of restaurants in Brazil is that they always serve you these tiny bottled water. No ice, and in small cups. We were chugging them faster then they could bring them out after a long game! It made us appreciate the annoying waiters in America that won't stop bringing out water. We wanted those guys again! After the ridiculous meatfest that was had, Reed let us have dessert! There was blackberry cheesecake, chocolate cake, and tons of others all on this awesome dessert cart. It was a sweet ending to a sweet day!