Sunday, November 2
We just got back last night at 11:30 from a long drive to Italy with the BFA boys volleyball team. We volunteered about a month ago when they needed two drivers to drive 9 boys to Aviano, Italy for their end of the year volleyball tournament. The drive without complications is about 8 hours. On the way there we saw our first snow of the season as we drove through the Alps. It was beautiful until it stopped us in a tunnel for about 45 minutes. We arrived in Aviano searching for the Air Force Base in the dark. We got there Wednesday evening and were shown our sleeping quarters for the next 4 days... a high school classroom floor. One of the perks of the trip other than spending time with guys we didn't know, was that we were able to meet our good friends Tim and Rachel (and Blaine) in Venice for the day on Thursday. Before you think to yourself..."rough life as missionaries"...just keep remembering the classroom floor in sleeping bags with 9 boys. That should make you feel a little better:-) We had a fantastic day in Venice since it was the only sunny day out of all the days we were there. We spent all day Friday and Saturday watching volleyball and walking in the rain to various gyms on the base. The BFA guys won their second game on Friday but it wasn't enough to advance them to Saturday's finals. We had to stay overnight to the next day because one of the seniors was taking his SAT's Saturday morning. I had the enjoyment of watching two Italian teams- Roma and Aviano compete in the finals. It was intense! First of all, they looked like 30 year old men, not like high school boys. Secondly, the atmosphere was heightened because they all speak Italian and are very animated on the court which makes it entertaining to watch. Thirdly, volleyball is just more fun when you have names on the jerseys like Da Viao, Roma, Divitario, Sage and Peppe. We ended up having to load up the vans before the championship game was over so I still have no idea which Italian triumphed. At the end of the weekend as we were leaving to drive the 8 hours back home Luke and I were asking ourselves if the purpose of the the trip was really served. I mean, we did fill a need for extra drivers, but we didn't really get to know the guys that well on the trip. As we pulled into the last 30 minutes of our drive we stopped at McDonald's because everyone needed a little pick me up. After the guys loaded in the van they all the sudden started having conversation with us and asking us questions...etc. All we could do was laugh when we got home at fact that we had been with these guys for 96 hours and in the last 30 minutes they decide to open up and engage in some real conversation. So far most of my encounters with the guys here at this school have been like that...spend a ton of time and they might throw you a little nugget to hold on to for a while until your next opportunity for interaction:-) At the end of the day we had the opportunity to at least start to get to know 9 guys we hadn't had contact with before and that made it all worth it.