Sunday, March 30, 2014

team travel

Early last Wednesday morning our whole family arrived at the airport,
ready to join the school ISAC teams (International Schools Athletic Competition)
on a trip to Subic for the spring tournament.
We were was Amy and Elise's last tournament,
and our first time to go cheer them on!

 Sleepy teammates converge at the airport
The boys load all of our luggage on the bus
 In Manila we met up with our boy's basketball team;
they had taken an earlier flight that morning.
(What gentlemen.)

 And we started our 3-hour bus ride to Subic.
Much of it was through Manila traffic, 
but we also got to see some beautiful countryside (above).

Subic itself is unlike any other place we've been in the Philippines.
The strong American military presence here up until 1992
  left much reminiscent of America - 
military housing is now considered an upscale neighborhood,
and hotels and restaurants left from 20 years ago still dominate the landscape.
 Even our host school was once a DOD campus.

 Though our girls didn't place in the finals,
they played strong, and gave those teams a run for their money!

 We loved cheering our teams on,
and seeing their strong character and sportsmanship on the field and off.

Elise (center) warms up before a game
Amy warming up with a teammate.
Though Subic had a very American feel,
there were reminders that we were not in California.
The banana trees (above) right outside the soccer field fence attract monkeys.
We didn't see any during the games, but the athletic director told us that
occasionally monkeys will steal balls off the field during a game!

Michael and a friend saw some monkeys at the side of the road watching our bus go by,
and one host family told our girls to close their bedroom window,
because otherwise monkeys would come in to join the party.

Amy cools off after a game
 It was an intense three days, with three games the first day,
and the blazing sun required our girls to get lots of hydration, 
sunscreen and rest.

But it was also a fun three days filled with time sweating and laughing together,
supporting and encouraging each other, and experiencing life with host families from other cultures.

 It was a time to be built up and encouraged by our coaches,

all of whom helped our team remember to care for themselves
 physically, emotionally and spiritually,

and to find joy in the experience,
finding their identity not in winning, but in God.

Thank you, coaches!!

 "A life of frustration is inevitable
for any coach whose main enjoyment
is winning."
-Chuck Noll


Rosalie said...


Anonymous said...

What a great trip! My US Navy ship, a heavy cruiser, pulled into Subic Bay Naval base in August, 1961. We spent about 3 days there and I got to see a little of Manila. Yes, it was a large US military complex, at least back then. It was also very hot. We left there and went to Guam for a couple of days and then on to Pearl Harbor.

us5 said...

fun story, Hank! we stayed just a short walk from the bay, and we actually saw a US ship in port - maybe right where you docked 53 years ago!

and yes, it is STILL hot...can you imagine playing 3 soccer games in a row in that kind of heat?!? :P