Ahh, Rome. Despite being ill prepared for our first qualification match my first experience in Italy was one I won’t soon forget. I’ll get the deets from our match out of the way first – it was extremely hot in Rome, mid-high 30’s to be exact and without having experienced weather like that yet this season it definitely hit me. The positive from it was that I found my legs in the second and third sets, working my way into a rhythm, and managed to overcome the relentless heat. Unfortunately, a stretch of four plays in the third is what sealed our fate as qualification victims this time around…
Continuing on the topic of volleyball, Red and I are back in Toronto to start training Saturday for Canada’s NORCECA trials June 25-27. The top two teams from this tournament will win the opportunity to rep Canada on the NORCECA tour, once they actually begin in August… you can’t say Canada isn’t prepared, hosting trials two months ahead of the actual tournaments. There’s a policy stating that teams with more than 1200 FIVB points are not allowed to play on the NORCECA tour – Redmann and I currently have around 850 so by the time August rolls around we may have more than 1200 points but it would be silly not to get the reps as we’re still trying to figure each other out. So come down to Ashbridges Bay June 25-27, watch some ball and cheer us on!
Back to Rome – even though I ate more pasta and pizza this week than I have in the past 6 months I’m not sick of it (I actually made pasta my second night being back home.) Everywhere you turn there’s a place that has delicious food and treats. Redmann has family in Rome who lives right near the Colosseum. He’s been there many many times so he confidently lead me around to some top notch dinner joints and a few tourist spots.
I found all the people I met and spoke with to be very polite and friendly, unlike some other places you can travel to where just being an English speaking North American puts you in their bad books. I was blown away by the amount of beauty Rome had to offer, it actually reminded me of home to be honest. It wasn’t the type of beauty I enjoy at home but it was more the fact that everywhere I looked I saw something that I thought was worth a second look. The mountains from home were replaced by the amazing designs and architecture of building, the huge evergreen trees were replaced by these awesome Amazonian looking trees (or at least the type of trees I would expect to see in the Amazon), the Pacific Ocean was replaced by the the Tyrrenian Sea (which is part of the Mediterranean), and the green fields were replaced by awesome cobblestone roads and walkways, not to mention marble everywhere!
Redmann’s great aunt lives on the top floor of an apartment building that was built in the 1920’s (if I remember correctly) so every time we came and went we took the, what I would consider “old school,” elevator. It was things like this that I think I enjoyed the most – after doing laundry I had to stick my upper body out this small window and hang my laundry on a clothes line attached to the building. I guess staying with Redmann’s aunt just made me feel like I belonged rather than staying in a hotel feeling like a visitor. It was really nice and I’m very grateful for her kindness as she is a very sweet lady.
But.. like every trip, once I get home I’m always extremely happy. Even though communication is never really an issue on the road a lot can be said about being in an area where you can’t speak the native language fluently, or at all in most cases.
Rome was a slice! Gstaad, Switzerland FIVB Grand Slam is up next, but maybe a quick stop in Vancouver prior to departing? I think so!
July 4th is the Deaf Beach Volleyball tournament in support of our Canadian Deaf Beach Volleyball teams heading to the Deaflympics this year! I’m really pumped to take part and support these great athletes.