Brazil finally coming to an end…

August 11, 2010 by

The past couple of days have been very busy…

After our wonderful beach day we were awoken by the usual clouds that we have come accustomed to here in Brazil.  That didn;t stop us from starting our day off with a little adventure through the jungle.  We walked through rivers getting our pants and shoes soaking weak, climbed through rocks and dirt, but it was all worth it in the end when we saw the spectacular view of the waterfall.  Some of us even jumped into the bottom of the waterfall and enjoyed taking pictures.  This truly was a scene made by artists.  In the end we hiked back through our path and were exhausted and cold, but not one of us regretted doing it.  The rest of the day was filled with free time, where some of us relaxed while others went shopping.  After dinner we played a society game against a local team (in the pouring rain might I add) and didn’t get back to the hotel until close to 11pm.  Following showers, some of us and the coaches went to a local pizza restaurant where were enjoyed various kinds of sauces and toppings and conversed with the hotel owner and employees.

Today we woke up extra early and traveled more than two hours to Santos.  There we ate lunch at a McDonalds and it was actually quite different than ones at home.  They still had bigmacs and fries, but their chicken was battered differently and they had different meal options.  We then toured the Santos FC stadium where Pele played and it was quite different than the Sao Paulo stadium.  Both teams are well known in Brazil as well as the country, but Santos still keeps its old stadium intact.  Of course it was renovated but the stadium is quite small which allows for tickets to be very hard to get.  We also splurged in the Santos merchendice for us and our loved ones.  We then traveled to a soccer complex where we played a Santos FC girls team that was our age.  Again, it was in the pouring rain and the fields were very muddy and hard to run and cut in.  These girls were amazing and from my point of view on the bench, very interesting to watch.  Every single one of them had amazing skill and quickness and many times they knew where each other was without even talking.  Within a few minutes, we could all tell how elite this club was to be apart of.  Regardless, we put up a fight, with no subs and many hurting.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at a small stand and were unaware as to what we were doing there.  Our translator informed us that this small place is very well known in Brazil and there were pictures lined up with celebrities at the stand.  They made either chicken or beef, with choices of cheese and tomatoes in a crust-like taco.  This was by far my favorite Brazilian food I have tried (close to the avocado ice pop).

Now we are back at the hotel, packing and relaxing.  Tomorrow we will either stay here for the day at the beach or if the weather is bad, travel back to Sao Paulo in the morning and go shopping at a mall in the city.  Our flight leaves at 12 something am and we should arrive in Newark after our layover in Miami around 1.  This trip has been unbelievable, both the soccer and tourism.  It is amazing to see how soccer has such an impact on a country and it is much different than the United States.  Many of us are antsy to be back with our families and eat some familiar food again, but when we look back on the pictures and memories, we will have wished this trip never ended.


the sun is out

August 9, 2010 by

I woke up and didn’t see a cloud in the sky, today was a good day! We started off early at the beach and only left when lunch came around. Lets just say the sunburn shows our amount of time spent on the beach and in the water. We not only layed out, but played soccer, learned dance moves, and visited some local venders on the beach. Last night we got to experience a night out on the town, this time not a club but a local restaurant/ bar. As you can see today was a calm and relaxing day which was a nice break in our trip, considering our schedule will be packed again tomorrow through our trip home.

Yesterday wasn’t as good of a day as today was, but we were still able to enjoy the beach and shopping and town. Some of us even got that “brazilian” bathing suit, which we sported today!

Journey to Sao Sebastiao!

August 7, 2010 by

After a long long day of so many events, we woke early and got onto the bus for a three hour drive to Sao Sebastiao. We all slept most of the day, until we were woken by the beautiful scenery all around. We drove up and over and around the mountains and got to take so many pictures. Once we reached the ocean, a few of us in the back of the bus yelled “beaccchhhh” and woke up the whole rest of the bus. Yet we still had an hour left of driving to get to our hotel. Once we reached the hotel, we had lunch and went out to the beach and took pictures. We also got to go the shops all around the beach. They were small shops, but cute, good for souvenirs. We got to play with some of the people around the local area because they had found out we were here for soccer.  The night was a chill and hang out night. Tomorrow is another day of playing and touring and perhaps the nightlife in the town.

Ash and Fizz

We love Brazil day 4

August 7, 2010 by

Wake up- 8:00am bedtime- 6:00 am ! Longest day ever enjoyed every second of it. back to the favellas for day 2 of soccer with the kids. Soccer drills and games turned into dancing samba lessons and singing justin bieber. Even though we were there for a short time we truly did form friendships and bonds, language barriers aside talking and dancing together and taking lots of pictures made us feel so close to each other. One of the little girls gave Krista her necklace and we shared all of our silly bands with them. Seeing their houses was amazing and hearing that it is their biggest dream to go to disney world made us realize how well we have it and I am amazed that with the tiny houses some without doors but they do have a soccer field to come and play on which is even hard to find in some US towns.

One boy shavall (Jean Paol) around 10 years old was amazing to watch as he balanced the ball on his back and took of his shirt we all cheered for him. Fizz did a juggling trick and then he would do the same and vice versa, he didn’t speak a lot of english but would clap to say good job after she did a trick. Coach and him also bonded a lot and before leaving coach gave him his cross necklace one boy walked with us all the way back to the bus and said he would keep us is his hearts as he held up his hands making a heart, we all did it back as we waved out the bus windows sad to leave.

We stopped at a famous tree house which words won’t even do justice so please wait for pictures to follow. Back to the hotel for quick lunch and change clothes for our 7 v 7 game vs a team in red jerseys. It was a smaller turf field and we tied 2-2 megan and krista scored off of two headers from corners (which are corner throws here not corner kicks) from brooke and thorpe. After the game we took more pictures and met a player from the full brazil national team. After the game back to the hotel for quick dinner and change again to go to Sao Paulo game!!

We heard how crazy these games were and were all excited but it was a complete culture shock walking into the stadium. Thousands on people were chanting and we can hear hear the yelling from inside the stadium blocs away. We hand in our tickets linked arms with buddies as everyone stares ( we stand out just a little bit haha) then insanity begins I think its safe to say I have never been so close to any of my teammates as I was standing in the entrance to our gate in the stadium. We were pressed up so close to each other and everyone trying to get through the crowd to get to our seats in a single file chain trying so hard not to get separated. we make it to the top climbing the seats we are looking around and there is no football game, Superbowl, world series, or any kind of game that even comes close to comparing to this. Trying to explain the atmosphere is difficult to do but we do have some videos of the cheers and crowd that will hopefully help.

If you like soccer at all this is honestly an experience of a lifetime that I suggest putting on your bucket lists. Sao paulo scores first and the crowd erupts and cheers (they are already standing because no one sits at these games) but people bring out huge flags and red flares. Halftime= most interesting trip to the bathroom any of us have experienced. About 5 of us head down and you would have thought we were the most famous A list celebrity in america everyone not only stared but clapped and cheered as we walked by it was a standing ovation the entire way, and we were called beautiful and told I love you too more times then I can even count no line at the bathroom but we were handed toilet paper pre ripped for us before entering to take in with us..and were told not to flush it (side note coach just told us there are panthers and monkeys in this forest we are driving through.. I hope we have a picture to show soon) back to the game, we hike back up cheering and find out not many people know what pennsylvania is so we start saying we are from USA instead.

The game ends sao paulo wins 2 1 but needed to win by 2 goals to advance so the crowd was not celebrating. (sorry for the spelling and lack of punctuation just remember I’m going on 2 hours of sleep) we track back to the bus and try to decide the ultimate question: do we go to out and samba or go and sleep since its already past 12? some of decide that even though we have to wear sneakers, coach said sandals are against the rules, we put on some nicer shirts and go out with two of our awesome guides Marco and G . We took taxis and entered through the VIP entrance! ( A 50 dollar cover charge for everyone else was 1$ for us thanks to Marco) we are getting use to the staring by now so we go to front near the stage with the band and bright flashing lights. We dance and take pictures and found people who said more words in English than I love you and You’re beautiful.

Their way of dancing is nothing like our American way. We were dancing out of place until they put on I’ve got a feeling by the Black Eyed Peas. They then circled around us to watch us dance and fist pump like champs. We made some new friends, one being the owners son who gave us VIP passes to the VIP room. Looks like being beautiful and American pays off. 🙂 When it was time to leave, the entire group was confused as to why, but then realized it was 4am. The Brazilians were also confused as to why we were leaving because to them the night was young and still had a few good hours in them. We decided that we were VERY hungry and needed food ASAP and found a 24 hour Burger King up the street. Wow, we need these in america. We take some taxis back to the hotel, where we finally convince G and Marcos to beat box and sing Bobby Knight to us. We say our goodbyes to them in the lobby and try to convince both of them to come to the beach with us in a few hours. Unfortunately they decline the offer but we hope to stay in touch. Finally around 5:30, everyone returned to their rooms to pack and get a few hours of sleep before the drive in the morning. BEST.DAY.EVER. !!

Written and Illustrated by:
Ashley Thorpe, Brittany Ely, Megan Clementson, and Brooke Edwards 🙂

Michele (Brazilian Women’s Nat’l Team) is in a green jacket, top row, 2nd from right. We will play against her and her club team Palmerias next Wed.

Watch Fox Sports Espana tonight 8:45 EST

August 5, 2010 by

We are going to Sao Paolo F.C. Tonight for a huge semi final game against Inter. The game is on Fox Sports Espana at 8:45pm your time. They tell us since we have so many women, and blondes that the tv camera will go on us. Please watch!

Day 2 adventures!

August 5, 2010 by

This morning we woke up bright and early. more cheerful might I add from the lack of sleep we had the day before. After breakfast we ventured off to the local favella where we got to see how some people here in Brazil live.  Although the area wasn’t the best well kept, the kids were more happy and grateful than ever.  We participated in a futsol tournament where some of us Wilkes players were able to experience playing the girls in the town, and might I add they were very skilled!  Before we even got the chance to play we were greeted with bubbly little boy who were playing a pick up game.  Once they saw us they quickly welcomed us with intriguing eyes and questions.  I will never forget their faces when we gave them Wilkes “be colonel” pins and W magnets.  After the game, the girls were all excited to speak and exchange gear and also teach us some dance moves (might we add samba is very popular is Sao Paulo).

Following the futsol tournament, we were able to take a tour of the Sao Paulo futbol club stadium.  This stadium is apart of the biggest private club in South America.  We got to see the locker room that is only used by the Sao Paulo players and were able to walk through the actual tunnel with music playing.  We were able to see the view from the presidents private VIP box and the museum where they held all their trophies including track, boxing, swimming, tennis, and many other sports.  This stadium is by far the biggest stadium any of us have ever imagined ( for all you NFL fans out there, this makes the Giants look like pee-wee football).  We ended our tour at the SPFC official gift store where we all got 10% off and used that to our advantage!  Not only did we get to see what most Brazilian’s are never able to, but we also got tickets to the big game tomorrow night.  It’s the semifinal for the Copa Libradatores – the club championship for South America. The winner gets a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Finally, to end our day, we were able to play the woman’s top team in Sao Paulo where we were able to hold the score to a reasonable standard.  One of the goals were scored by a girl who is currently on the Brazilian U20 national team.  The score was 1-0 at half and ended with a hard fought 3-0.  At the end we exchanged a team banner that most pro national teams exchange at the beginning of a game.  We were also given the opportunity to exchange jerseys with some of the players, and even a few spoke some english!  The night ended with some pizza from the local pizzeria which might I add gives New York a run for their money.  We then did some shopping and are relaxing for our crazy day tomorrow, which includes: Favellas again, local shopping mall, 7v7 game, dinner, SPSF game at 10pm, then finally a Samba club where our translator sings.

We are in the favella

August 4, 2010 by

Day 1

August 3, 2010 by

It’s only 6:33 in America but here in Brazil the time is 7:33.  Yes, I know most of you think the time difference is minimal but with most of us going on no sleep for 2 days, it seems like its 11pM!  Today was very eventful but well worth it.  The culture shock was felt right as we left the plane.  It took us about 30mins to figure out the atm and exchange our money, then we entered our bus and got to see the traffic and city life of Sao Paulo.  It was ironically very similar to New York City with the traffic and every man for themselves.  We were almost frightened by the lack of respect for pedestrians!  Once we entered the hotel, and much thanks to our translator, we were able to see our hotel rooms.  They are much different than ones in America.  The rooms are much smaller and all the beds are twin size but the overall feel was very high-tech; we even needed to use our card to turn on the lights!

Walking around the city was eye opening; people automatically knew we were from America and couldn’t keep their eyes off of us.  The food here is actually not terrible; the hotel has provided great food, some we have never heard of, but nonetheless no one is starving.  The soda here is much different than home, besides the typical coca-cola.  They are much sweeter but very tasty.

We were also about to get a practice session in at a local field.  None of us expected to walk into what we did.  It was a city within itself: gated and with security.  The facility included numerous soccer fields, both turf and grass, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, tennis courts, and even a zoo and play ground.  This was all within the busy city that seems to have little to no room, with most houses bordering one another.

We are now exhausted and will probably check out the pool/sauna spa in the hotel before we have a great night of sleep.  Tomorrow begins a whole new adventure in the country of Brazil.

We’re in Sao Paolo

August 3, 2010 by

After an extremely long plane ride and little to no sleep we are finally in brazil. After arriving to the hotel we went for a walk around the area and were shocked with how many stares we received. They seemed to spot us as Americans instantly and the culture and atmosphere is mindblowing. For all you worried parents out there, we are safe and thrilled, but our phones don’t seem to be working at the moment!

We are here!

August 3, 2010 by

We have arrived in Brazil, it is 7.45 am. Wooo. Here is the team waiting in the airport. Talk to you all tonight!