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Peru Wrap-Up — 03.04.10

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Peru Wrap-Up — 03.04.10

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I am back in Razorback Country! Although it was a great trip, it always feels good to be home. In this last update, I wanted to take an opportunity to thank the Puerto Rican Federation for giving me such a great opportunity and the Peruvian Federation and all the people in Peru involved with us during the trip for being such great hosts. I have also included some pictures and videos to help you visualize my trek. This trip for me was one of perspective. It helped reiterate that we are doing the right things with our training here in Fayetteville and it helped me appreciate even more all the great things we have here at the University of Arkansas. It also helped me realize how close we are from everything being swept from under our feet once the Chile earthquake hit and with tsunami concerns in Lima. This was an opportunity I will never forget and I hope to visit the beautiful country of Peru again.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Wow, what a great couple of days! On Saturday, we beat the Chile National Team in five and then watched an unbelievable match between Peru and the Dominican Republic. Yesterday, we scrimmaged in the morning and after that, a friend of our head coach took us to a great ceviche restaurant called La Mar which was delicious. He also was kind enough to take us to his house to meet his family and have some paella.

Later in the day, we went to Limas Plaza which was absolutely beautiful. I also go the opportunity to catch up with a former player of mine who is from Lima. Today, we went to a huge bargain shopping district. It was eye opening how big it was and how cheap things were. We are going to finish the day with a couple more scrimmages. We travel back tomorrow so I will drop you one last note.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This morning, we woke up to the sad news of the earthquake in Chile. Ironically, we play Chile tonight. This morning, all the Chilean players were on the phone and it seems none of their families were hurt. Our thoughts are definitely with them. There were some concerns of tsunamis here on the coast of Lima but it seems that is no longer a concern.

Last night, our security escorts came into play when we left the gym as hundreds of kids and people rushed our players on the way to the bus. It’s so awesome that the fans are so crazy about the sport here in Peru. The people keep being wonderful to us! Since we have been here, it has been all volleyball but tomorrow, we are going to see the city after a morning training session. I will try to get some pictures for you!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Last night, the Dominican Republic beat us but we played well. As usual with the rivalry, there was some trash talking. DR has the best libero in the world, and let me tell you, she is unbelievable! She can almost pass the whole court by herself. The gym where we are playing is great for volleyball. The only problem is the pigeons flying all around. Yesterday, they dropped a couple of bombs on our players, so hopefully I won’t be so "lucky."

Our players are like celebrities here. They have security for us and the press and fans are around in the hotel all the time. Tonight, we play a veteran Peru team and it should be a packed gym, so it’s going to be a fun match. I will keep you posted!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Last night, we had a good start to our trip, winning the first set against Peru in a friendly scrimmage but lost the match. We played at the Olivar Gymnasium, home of the National Team, and also where the 1988 Olympic silver-medal team trained. Today, we play the Dominican Republic in the first match of the Summer Cup. Peru is actually in its summer season, hence the name of the tournament.

We have been here three days and each day we have trained somewhere different. I still can’t believe how big this place is. I thought driving in Puerto Rico was crazy but this place takes it to another level. Tonight’s match is a big rivalry so it should be very exciting. More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hi guys! Today is our second day in Peru. So far everything has been great. We landed Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. and practiced at 7. We practiced this morning at 8 and then lifted weights at 11. Our players are working hard! The tournament will begin Thursdays. We are playing Peru, Chile and Dominican Republic. We are the youngest team in the tournament but the girls are really excited about the challenge.

Lima is huge…eight million people and the traffic is crazy! The people have been awesome and the food has been good, too. We are drinking bottled water but besides that, our diet has been very normal. We will scrimmage Peru first so I’ll be keeping you posted!



Sports Category : Volleyball (W)