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Basketball Abroad & Other Reflections

by Areyonna Keels

I still am not really sure what it was that I expected to see or do when I got to Viña del Mar, Chile. I tried my hardest not to have expectations of what life would be like: the people, clothes, food, etc. I honestly believe that in doing that I opened myself up to great possibilities and I am thankful for that.

I really did not expect that I would be playing basketball for my host university while in Chile, but I am and I am 100% enjoying every last minute of it. I am creating a bond with people here so quickly. I never knew that it was possible to make such genuine friends in just a few short months, but I have. I teach my teammates and Chilean friends things, but I honestly learn so much more from them every day: things about leading and living that I never really thought about before I came here. My eyes are truly open to, not only another part of the world, but another part of life and living.

 

More then half way done with the semester now.

More then half way done with the semester now.

Yeah I know that it may sound crazy, but I am technically an international athlete now!

I think that it is one of the best things that has happened to me. I have gotten to meet some really cool people and I am forced to speak Spanish with them and learn athletic terminology in Spanish, which was definitely difficult at first, but as time passed it is like the coach isn’t even speaking another language anymore. I just understand.

The Team!!

I am glad that I have been able to get to know these girls, because each one of them is truly amazing in their own way.

Alejandra (Ale) #10 is a comic relief, and Daniela (Dani) #11 is super sweet and tries her hardest to speak English. Valentina (Vale) #8 is one of the girls I am closest to on the team and her English is great so I cheat sometimes and speak English with her!  Gabriela (Lele) #5 is the captain of the team and we play really well together. Camilia (Cami) #14 (even though she has my basketball number!) is a great player and she definitely does the number justice so I do not mind. Melissa (Meli) #6 is a super kind girl and as time has passed her playing has gotten so much better. And Paola (Pao) #4 is hands down the best player on the team.

Another perk of being a part of the team is the out of the gym bonding and truly becoming friends. We hang out during practice and even go out on the weekends- you know when we are not diligently studying  or practicing.

Just the thought of having to say goodbye is terribly sad.

But I have to remember: Nunca chau. Siempre Hasta Luego. (Never goodbye. Always See You Later)

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