Hello everyone! This is Niemer. Today was a great day in Saquarema, Brazil. This morning we woke up for breakfast at 9AM and surprisingly...MORE BREAD! However, the breakfast at the training center is the best we have had so far. Other than just bread, the team enjoyed requeijao on the bread, which is a spread that tastes like butter, but looks like melted cream cheese. Fruit was also offered at breakfast, along with these cookie-like crackers, granola, and cereal that resembled Frosted Flakes. The thing I enjoyed the most at breakfast was the Brazilian form of yogurt. It was served in a pitcher so I poured it in a glass as my drink. I saw some of the girls on the Youth National Team pour it in a bowl and sprinkle granola over it. It tasted like a strawberry banana smoothie--it was delicious!
The most interesting part of breakfast was that we mingled with the girls on the Youth National Team. I was very impressed with the amount of English some of them knew. Some of the girls did not know any English, which obviously we can relate to. However, the girls that knew English have been learning the language for 2 years. We asked them a lot of questions about their schooling, training, and culture. In return, they also asked us many questions about the United States. It was fun interacting and talking with them outside the gym.
After breakfast, the team walked to the sand volleyball courts to play in a sand tournament, amongst ourselves. We split into pairs of two and played for about 2 hours. By the end of the tournament, Reed and TK were undefeated, but chose not to play in the championship against Myanna and Camila (I think they were too tired to play, or maybe just too nervous to play the agile pair of Myanna and Camila). Once we were finished playing, we were given 2 hours to go to the beach or the pool. The beach was beautiful and everyone spent some time there today. Everyone ended up at the pool around 1PM and sunbathed until 2.
At 2 o'clock, the team ate lunch at the cafe. They offered chicken, beef, salad, mangos, rice, and many other choices. After we ate lunch, we were given time to do whatever we wanted, as long as we were not in the sun. My room, which consisted of Annie, Upton, and I, napped from 2:40 to 4:15PM. The sun is pretty powerful here and it drained a couple of us, so it was good to get some rest before the match. At 4:30, we walked back over to the cafe for a pre-game snack. There was fruit and juice available, but I headed straight for the strawberry banana yogurt/juice.
Our match began at 6PM and the match went to 5 sets. The Youth National Team took the fourth set to make it 2-2. We went down early in the 5th set but came back and ended up winning 15-11!
We then went to dinner and had another great meal of chicken, beef, vegetables, rice, beans and more! It was delicious! Now it's shower time and off to bed as we play at 10a tomorrow! It's our last match for the trip so send us some good luck!