Published: January 3rd 2008January 7th 2008
Link to a photo and video montage on YouTube.com: http://youtube.com/watch?v=82rx3DCObqY
For starters, let's just get one thing straight: time is very different in Brazil. Once you get used to this and the fact that when you're travelling in a third world country, you have no cell phones and no internet, then you just might start to get in the mindset I was in for the trip. It started off a bit rough. You just have to plan better when you're with people and you have to do what you said you would do. You can't say one thing and call ahead to change your plans or dissappear and try to meet up with people later. It just doesn't happen! haha.
Aright, so from there, you could see how waiting in line in customs at Sao Paulo airport upon entry into Brazil for an insanely long time would be a problem for me catching my connecting flight to Maceio... Oh yeah, and no one speaks English in Brazil, so my 7 years of Spanish was my only hope, :-P. Longn story short, I bought another ticket on another company, found my way to a waitlist, met Jaymen a dude from
the US mixed team :)
Left to Right: Top/Middle Row: Kenbrah, Jouquin, Lars, Matt, Tucker, Arnie, Grant, Erol, David Bottom Row: KrisAnn, Sunya, Everett, Carla, Me, Erin
Belgium on the Peace Team to keep me company for 7 hours till we finally got on a plane to Maceio via Salvador. Phew.
Meeting up with Grant and KrisAnn, two people on the US mixed team with me, we caught a cab to our hotel where I met everyone who had already arrived and became instant friends with each and every one of them. It's amazing what travelling, competing and living together will do to a group of people. I found my way to my triple with Jannine and Sunya and passsed out.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early to go out to the reefs off-shore at low tide on Jangada boats: low-to-the-water sail boats once used to carry produce up and down the coast. Now used to bring people out to the reefs for an afternoon of sea food, snorkling, fish-feeding and waist-high warm equator reef pools. Got to know everyone, tossed some frisbees, just "posted up and blitzed out" as would become the quote of the trip.
The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to figure out my mula situation and getting myself registered, which didn't go too smoothly, but
it went, which was the main thing. An informal team dinner, getting our jerseys and shorts on and openning ceremonies soon followed. All filing toward the fields (a 10-minute walk from our hotel), 15 countries in their uniforms, live music, costumes filled the night sky and the sea air. All the countries lined up along the stadium field with their countries and one by one, in alphabetical order, we filed out onto the field with our national anthems blazing, flags flying into a circle facing inward in the middle of the field. After some samba dancing and general announcements from our beloved TD, Patrick from Portugal, the crowd broke into more dancing, dizzy chasing disc races and jumping over disc passing games. Lars, one of the guys on the mixed team, broke out some rediculous juggling skills with the coconuts that were marking the countries' spots in the circles, then proceeded to mark some of them with his pocket knife. When I approached him and asked him about his plan, he informed me I was on his team for bacci ball! Sunya and Grant face me and Lars in a bacci game that led us around the stadium field over,
through and around other people celebrating the beginning of worlds. Later on, Sean and Melissa joined us and the game left the standard throwing rules and left he stadium field. Throwing shot puts, through the legs and standing backwards, we went down the sidewalks, through fences and to other fields. After tossing for a bit under the lights and watching some dancing by the now remixed remixes of remixes, we headed home to rest up for our three games the next day.
There are more photos below