December 30, 2009
When we first arrived in Buenos Aires everybody was very tired from the flight, but excited to begin our tour of the city. We drove directly from the airport to walk around Porto Madero. The water, boats, and beautiful buildings made for many interesting sites to see, and the weather was perfect for exploring the city. We walked around the area and took pictures in front of the Casa Rosada and all around Plaza de Mayo. Not until the next day when we had our guided tour did we understand the historical and cultural significance of all of the places we were seeing, but we enjoyed taking in the sites of the prominent buildings and crowded streets. After our busy morning we headed to the hotel to check in and relax for the afternoon. Dinner the first night was quite adventurous. I was most impressed with my teammates’ eagerness to try the authentic Argentinean cuisine! The menu included all types of local cheeses and meats€”including intestine! The less daring ones opted for the chicken or steak which Argentina is known for, and they were both delicious. A good time had by all, the team was ready for bed to begin another busy day of exploring Buenos Aires. In the morning our local guide brought us to some of the most famous sites of the city and shared the important history of each place we visited. We passed the steel flower monument in the park that our guide explained symbolizes the friendship among Latin American countries. We toured the old cemetery which was such an incredible site to see! The walkways were lined with the family mausoleums from the 1800s including some of the most prominent families in Buenos Aires history. We then stopped at a church in the center of the city with a beautiful handmade tile floor that took decades to construct and had beautiful paintings on the columns and walls. We learned about the history of the center square in the city with the Casa Rosada, the town hall, and the home of political demonstrations. Another unusual site we saw was actually floating papers that were being thrown from all of the windows throughout the city. Our guide explained that day was the last working day of the year, and it has been tradition to celebrate by throwing papers from the windows in the building. We finished our day with matches against a club team located on the outskirts of the city. The games were fun, but the best part was eating dinner with the players afterward. The girls were so friendly and a few of them spoke English very well and those of us who could speak Spanish had fun having conversations in Spanish, too. It was such a neat experience to play the sport we’ve all played for so many years in another country so far from home!
Blog By Andrea Vandersall
December 30, 2009
Blog by Rachel Russell.
Today we were scheduled to have a double header against the Queensland Woman’s Team. Unfortunately, about two minutes after arriving to the field, the game was called off due to a sudden downpour. But instead of just going our separate ways, our coaches organized a barbeque for both teams to get together and mingle. After a shared meal of hamburgers and hot dogs, we took the coach around downtown Brisbane for some sightseeing along the river. Exhausted, we returned home, and hit the hay early.
Today we had an early start with a hearty breakfast and a long bus ride to a 9:00 am ferry to Stradbroke Island where we had scheduled a day filled with snorkeling and sea kayaking. We were divided up, one group participating in the former first and then switched after lunch to the latter. Kayaking was a fun experience, especially if you were lucky enough to have your kayak tip. Upon returning to the shore, we walked to lunch at a restaurant called Seashells for a delicious meal. Next was snorkeling along the shore line, during which some very interesting fish and coral fixtures were observed. Once we were finished, we all decided to test our bravery and jump off the various levels of the dock into the ocean below. Finally we all made our way back to the bus for the returning ferry ride back to the main land, and the drive back to the Gold Coast.
December 29, 2009
The group is checked into the hotel and free utill dinner tonight. We will be eating at an all you can eat “Argentina Meat” buffet. Tomorrow the group will meet in the morning at 10 for a guided tour of the city and then free time until the the evening. Games one and two will be played and then dinner with the host team will follow.
December 28, 2009
We’ve finally arrived in Brisbane after a LONG traveling excursion across the world. We started out in Chicago, flew 4 hours to Los Angelas, flew 12 hours to Auckland, New Zealand, and finally flew 3 hours before arriving in Brisbane, Australia. We cannot believe it’s already the 3rd day of our trip! After sorting through luggage, customs (where they did not particularly like our dirty cleats…), and an hour bus ride, we arrived at our new home in Brisbane Australian Sports Complex. It’s completely dedicated to sports and the girls all took advantage of the Olympic-size swimming pool as soon as we settled in. We then went off to the beach area known as Surfer’s Paradise, where we hung out at the beach all day, dividing our time between laying out, swimming, shopping, and playing ultimate frisbee. It was such a great time! Then we came back to the Sports Complex for our team dinner, which was fantastic! Right now, we are all winding down from our long days of traveling as I finish this blog. I think we are all finally adjusting to the time differences and the jet lag is also catching up with us (as it is barely after 7 and we all feel like going to bed). I can guarantee that tonight, we are all looking forward to sleeping in a bed, rather than an airplane seat, as we’ve done for the past 2 days. So that’s all for Days 1-3 of our trip!
December 18, 2009
Former AIST basketball player has been enjoying some success with an international basketball career! One thing about traveling with AIST is you will get some unique exposure to international basketball. Our tours allow you to showcase your talents to other countries while on tour. In addition, you get a chance to see if international sports is something you want to pursue. One of our goals is to help you realize your dreams of playing professionally abroad. AIST is extending their contacts to help place individuals who travel with AIST on international tours for professional seasons.
Bobby Long is a graduate of Grinnel College and currently playing in Rattelsdorf Germany.
Bobby is currently playing for the Rattelsdorf Independents in Rattelsdorf Germany. They are in the Southwest Divsion of the 1st Region. They are averaging about 113 ppg which is tops in all of Germany. Bobby is second in the league averaging 30.2 ppg. Right now they are 4-7, which is already an improvement considering last season Rattelsdorf won just 3 of their 22 games. They are the second youngest out of the 14 teams in the league and on their way up. At the moment they are 9th out of the 14 teams in the conference.
Other AIST players who have played abroad:
Kinsey Durgin – Rhode Island College – Denmark
Mike Haiduc – Dominican Univerity – Denmark
Ashley Wettengel – John Brown Univesity – Denmark
Rachel Wojdowsk – New York University – Holland and Germany