Friday, April 27, 2012

Latest news

Well, I wrote an entire post about my adventures to Recife, going to the beach, and the difficulty in transportation that led to some interesting adventures, but I have no idea where it went. So now I will just sum it up! The game i wasn't registered for, copa de brazil, some girls who didn't make the roster and I went to Recife for the night/next day. It was gabi, gabi's sister, Pinda, and myself. A friend drove us to Gabi's house in Recife Friday night and we went to e beach saturday. Catie Was meeting up with us on Saturday at the beach. We had a nice time at the beach, it was packed, but enjoyed the weather and scenery. I think it was about four o'clock when gabi and her sister left because they were driving the five or a hours to watch our team play. so Pinda and I waited at the beach for catie. Finally we met up with her and she said it took her like 3 hours to get to recife due to bus complications. It is only like a thirty minute or forty minute drive. I didn't know how she wasn't pissed a doing insane. Haha so we met her at the bus stop but went back to beach so she can at least put her feet in and we can grab food. After eating, catie had an American friend in Recife she wanted to meet up with so we ask the security guard for directions, but he gave us the wrong directions. Again, short version of story but his wrong directions ended up making us walk ten minutes get on a bus for ten minutes to be in a wrong place. It ended up being that whe we had asked him is where we actually needed to be so we thought we would walk back to save us money. Hour to hour n half later we finally find her friend.. Thank god. Because it was getting later and darker and we shouldn't really be walking out then. Plus I was still hungry and tired from the entire day at the beach I just wanted to go we sit and chat with caties friends for a bit and me and Pinda were so tired we finally told catie we should get going. We grab a snack, then for some odd reason, ask the SAME security guard for directions to the bus to Vitoria. We take a taxi that cost 20 reias for a 5 min drive.. Drops us off.. We ask people where the stop is for Vitoria. They look at us like we're crazy and say there is no bus here for Vitoria. Ughhh! So they tell us to get in another bus that will take us to the metra and that will bring us to the other connecting bus. Umm... It's like 8pm or so and it's not the best for us to be going place to place butit was our only option. So we take the bus to e metrs, metra to the next bus stop.... Only to find out the bus station was closed! Well shoot. What the heck are we going to do now. It's about almost ten at night now. So we call a taxi we knew and he said it would cost a hundred reias... No thanks. Then Pinda calls her friend but he is working so no luck. Then we ask a taxi that was waiting there and he said 120reias.. More then the previous taxi we asked. Ahhh! We were bargaining and the guy finally brought it down to eighty reais but we still didn't want to pay that much Nor do I think we had enough for that. So then they were like we'll we can try and ask the cars how much they cost. The cars are like unnamed taxis and it's illegal but supposedly everyone does it... So that makes it ok right? Ha... So we talk with them that took actually some time and they said fifty reAis so we said ok fine let's check it out. So we go down where this car is that looked sketchy as heck and me and catie were going back and forth with Pinda deciding if we should take this car or not. There were five other people taking this ride and they were going to a nearby city. We made a deal that we had to be dropped off first. We ended up taking it. It was weird. I was sitting next to catie on one Side and a random man on the other with three random people behind us and the driver n passenger. We were crammed. The guy drove extremely fast and at first had to ask catie if these cars are made MPh cause he was going like 120 and even that was fast for here especially with these ridiculously made roads, practically no light, and crazy other drivers. I think I'm a fast driver (well with all my tickets I know I'm fast driver ha) but this guy or ride seemed even faster. Luckily, we made it home by 1130ish. Only for me to come back to a house that had no house water, which meant, no going to the bathroom, no shower, no dishes, no laundry, etc. no shower... I was at the beach all day, walked and been everywhere, all I wanted to do was shower. So as late as it was, we walked to caties showers there and finally came home to sleep. I think I will stay in Vitoria until I depart. To much complication for me especially in a country I don't know or even the language. Ok so now a week has gone by and we had a game last Sunday. I was not on the roster but since it was close inwpstill went. The worst field I have seen. It was practically half dirt and sand and sme grass. The team showed up with eight players. The game started.. Maybe ten minutes in one of the other teams players was injured so now they have 6field players and a goalie. Well it's 4-0 already and eventually ANOTHeR girl is injured. The game ended up cancelling and us taking the win, we play every team twice, one home and one away. So we played this team again on this past Wednesday. I was in the roster.. Woo! We ended up winning I think 12-0. Not sure. I was in for Maybe 30 minutes second half and did well, didn't score, but almost! It was raining to and the other team was getting or playing dirty. At the end of the game even one of the other team members were holding one of their team members jersey as if she was ready to take off and attack like a dog. Lol so funny. We won though. The finals for pernambuco cup is the first and now the 12th. It was originally the first and fifth, but there is a copa de brazil game on the 6th so they changed it. I am leaving the 11th. I was not signed up for copa de brazil cause I would have to stay til the end and my visa is upnjune 7th and finals are the 9th anyways. Plus, I'm kinda ready to come home and I really need to work!! I'm bummed that they changed the date though cause I planned my date so I would be here for the pernambuco championship, which we are most likely to win. But oh well. Everything happens for a reason. I am so excited to come though. I can't wait to see my family and friends. My aunt from Texas will actually be in town two days that I will get in just in time to visit. Plus, my sister meaghan has a competition in Rockford that her and her bps by will be flying in for so I'm looking forward to that. I e talked to meaghan almost everyday in some form of communication since I've been here so I cannot wait to see her! :) Plus I haven't been to her competition since she changed from bodybuilding to figure so it'll be fun to go and see! Hopefully I get rostered for Tuesday's game because I believe it will be the last game I will be in. Other then that, just straining, and catching some rays before I get home! Ha Will probably post at least one maybe two more times before I leave. Gosh it flew by! What a great experience! Xoxo Me

Friday, April 13, 2012


Sunday we had a game for the Pernambuco, which is the state, cup. I unfortunately did not make the roster. I was pretty bummed because i thought i for sure would cause i had a great week of training. The girls who were not on the roster were still able to travel with the team since the game was only about an hour and a half away. We ended up winning 24-0. No that is not a typo-o.. We really won by that much. Pretty pathetic and as a fan in the stands... I was bored after twenty minutes of it in being 6-0. Sucks that the state does not have much competition. We do have one of the best teams in brazil and I guess Sau PAulo has some of the best teams in the country. Hopefully the teams will get better as we move down the bracket, but either way we are winning so that's greaaaat right?!?! Woo. After the game we stayed to watch the first half of the other game and then left. We went straight to a pizza/pasta restaurant and all ate there. Monday was nice. Training was at 3, but not at the field. It was at golden goal, which is the gym. The girls who played went into the pool And the girls who didn't originally were suppose to do a workout but they just let everyone go to the pool. Catie and I actually wanted to workout so we went and lifted. I didn't play the day before and practice Saturday was light so I wanted to make sure I did something that day! Unfortunately Monday night when I went to sleep I woke up at about 3am and rushed to the bathroom. I was so sick. One of the girls I live with heard me and came to check on me. She told me one of the other girls was just throwing up too. I barely slept that night but took some tums hoping that would help. When I woke up I was still pretty it feeling that well but I was better. I originally had plans to go to the bank and grocery store with the Iceland girls since. Had no money or food to eat so I had to go. I walked slowly over to their house only to find out 3 of the girls in their house were sick too! They were still throwing up in the morning! Crazyyyy right? I ended up still making it to the bank and store but did not eat anything.. Only had a w sips of water. I was scared to have anything because I didn't want to get sick again. Iccck! So I go back and make a little sandwich and I was fine. I slept from 2-530ish, which was much needed. Didn't get to train but I had no energy to and neither did the other girls that were sick. We think it might have been the water from the other town we were in for the game. Not sure though. This weeks training went well. I felt tired all week. The girls just left an hour ago for the next game, which is tomorrow. This game is for Copa de Brasil. I am not signed up for this tournament yet, which sucks, so I do not get to play in this game either. Ugh! The game is in Napal.. I think.. It's 3-5 hours away and they took the bus. They play tomorrow at 830. My entire house is away a the game so I was kinda freaking out what the hell I am going to do all weekend. There are about 7 or so girls not traveling and some were going home. Then I just talked to the few girls who live next door to me and we are going to go to Recife tonight Nd stay at Gabi's house. We will probably go out tonight and head to the beach tomorrow. This made my excitement level go up... I'm so excited to get out of Vitoria! Plus, catie had just came back from some meetings in Recife so knowing she will be here lifted some weight off my shoulders! English speakers are a plus but the other girls try zoo hard to speak English and explain and. Appreciate it. I try and talk back in Portuguese and some how we communicate! :) I will be sure to update next week on how tomorrow's game went and to let everyone know if I will be n the roster for the next game! Wish me luck and til then.. I'll be sure to keep working hard! Ate logo! Xoxo

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time is flying by!

Ola! So last week... Thursday I didn't train due to a bug bite (not sure what kind) that made my ankle swell up!! It was crazy! It didn't hurt but it was huge, like I was having an allergic reaction to it! It was red, itchy, and extremely hot compared to e rest of my leg! The lady trainer said she had no idea what was wrong but i need to go to the doctor. Then the American and Iceland girls said they don't think I should go to the hospital because it's probably not clean and such. So I iced and iced and rested it. By Friday I was back out training of course. Friday we scrimmaged and it was extremely hot that day! We had a bunch of water breaks. We also had about 4-5 teenage boys scrimmage with us because we have girls injured, the Iceland girls are in Belgium playing with their national team and we have 3 girls on the brazil national team in the USA playing, Japan, Canada, and the USA. The USA beat brazil 3-0... I didn't get to watch but heard we won! Woo! We had Saturday and Sunday off, which was much needed after 5 straight days of two a days! I was exhausted. Friday just relaxed. Woke up Saturday and made breakfast, cleaned my room, and did laundry. Then saturday night two other girls and myself went to another town called Gloria,which was about 20 minutes away. There was this huge party/parade/outdoor concert. If I could remember the name of it or how to spell it I would but I don't haha. It was really cool though and I had a lot of fun! People had their cars and motorbikes parked in the main part of town blasting music from their cars. The stereo/speakers they have in their cars would definitely be illegal in the united states. I'm not kidding I thought I was going to lose hearing. I had to walk away. then there was this singer and dancers on this float that went around town,which lasted about an hour, and everyone followed, singing and dancing along. It was crazy to see, but I had a lot of fun. I am always surprised by something new. Sunday I just rested and slept. I didn't have much to do. I went into town by myself, and ate at some food place. I think it was cheffs burger or something. During the day I have been doing well walking by myself but at night you aren't suppose to walk alone after 8or 9, so I make sure I follow that rule. It's just frustrating thou at times when I just want to get something at the store or what not, I can't just go. If I knew the language fluently, I probably would but I don't. I'm doing well though. Catie said I'm learning really quick. I know a lot of words I just have difficult time putting them into sentences, but I try! I sound like a joke sometimes and they laugh at me but it's funny and I can't learn if I don't try and practice! They do the same when trying to say English words. It's hilarious. This weeks trainings have been good. Although, Wednesday I had a rough day. The Iceland girls are away, and catie, the other American,was gone working on this project for women's soccer n Recife, so I had no translator at practice. They try to say things in English but doesn't really make to much sense and we all can get frustrated. But today was better. We scrimmaged and catie was back. Catie and I even were talking and saying how nice it was to play with each other, the same language, and style of play. The girls here always yell at each other, which I don't notice cause I can't understand them. Lol. Also, they play more individually rather then pass pas and such. Also, they don't have much encouragement either. But they are all really good so it'll just have to do :) the scrimmage went really well. I thought I played well and one of the keepers said I did well and was faster then everyone so I'm hopppping I get to be on e roster for Sundays game. The game is a few hours away too so it'll be nice to travel and see how that works and other parts of brazil. Not sure how the competition will be for this game. I'm excited though and just keep working hard! Woooop! I think you can tell that I am actually really enjoying the experience a lot more now. All the weird things, or different, I just think its weird and strange, I'm use to now. There are things that disgust me though like all the bugs. I wear pants to bed and put on bug Creme every night or they attack me no joke. I even got the same b bite that made my ankle swell up on my freaking forehead!! My face was swollen and the girls were cracking up. The girls laugh at me a lot and call me "Patricia" or something like that. I guess it means I'm super girly. When we clean the house, I cleaned the bathroom, and sandrinha was laughing because of my facial expressions. Oh and when I do my laundry, since it's done by hand, I'm not the best at it either. Or if there is a bug or a frog or any kind of animal, I freak out. Haha oh well. Ohhh! Last night I went to go wash my hands and the water was out!, I was like uhh...?.? Arruda said that it was normal... I looked at her like she was crazy. And I said how long? Ad she said til tomorrow.. So today is wake up and it's still out. She again said it was normal and then sandwich a said...Normal??? Only for Vitoria!! We always make jokes about this town because it is so different and the strangest things!! Oh so I haven't talked much about the other American but it has been great since she has been here! Her name is catie Fischer. She is from Boston and went and played at Harvard. Pretty sweet. She also played for the red stars in 2009 and we actually know a few of the same people! Crazy, small world! She is awesome though and we get a long really well. She is working on this huge project on a documentary of women's futbol in brazil. It is so fascinating. She presented to people at the world cup last summer and has done so much and has been so many places because of it. She has meetings all the time and is working on so much. She is also writing articles for a website for the president of this town. She does a lot and I'm so interested in it all. She told me stories when she first came in 2004 and said they had to walk to training which was 45 minutes away and they didn't get food made for them and showers were outside. My mouth dropped. I was like, "how did u stay here?" haha we laughed but it's come a long way. It's crazy how amazing these girls are and at such young ages but there is no money in women's futbol. We have two trainings tomorrow, 830am and 3pm. Then morning training Saturday and a game Sunday at 3. I will keep you all posted on how the game goes. I'm still living out of suitcases. They said they would get me a dresser/closet but it's been 4 weeks and still nothing. Things take quite a bit of time here. Pretty laid back. I sometimes find it rather quite frustrating. My sister sent a package two weeks ago and it's still not here. Meeeeh. Catie's dad sent her one too the same day and hrs isn't here either so hopefully they arrive soon. I hope everyone has a great weekend and happy Easter! I can't believe it's already almost middle of April! Time is flying by! Well that's it for now.. Till then.. Take care Xoxo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

About two and a half weeks in...

Hey everyone! Sorry it has taken so long to write. The internet in Town isn't the best and is hard to get on here. Where to begin??. After the first weekend I was here I had my mind set that I was going home. I did not like it one bit. The team got back Sunday morning an I felt lost. I had no idea who anyone was and I was just at a house and had no idea what I was doing, where is was going to be living, etc. one of the girls, who speaks little English, but we used google to chat, asked how my weekend was. I was honest with her and told her everything. Then I started to break down cause I was havi a difficult time. I think the only person who knew I didn't like it was my sister meaghan. I told her not to say anything because I didn't want people to know. I didnt want to let anyone down. So many people helped me get where I'm at and I didn't want them to know. Then on e training started it was better But better wasn't enough. The rewrote called and talked to me. I talked to family and friends. Then I stayed up talking to one of the girls in the house I am staying at. Then that night I just thought about everything and the following day was just agreat day. I was ok. I thence iced that I was going to fight it out. I'm glad I did and am stil here. My flight home is tomorrow but it is can Ellen and I'm staying the three months! These past two weeks I have gotten to know the team and they are amazing. Hilarious, fun, and amazing players and am so happy I have the opportunity to play with them. I still don't. Are for the town, but neither do most of the girls. The girls I live with are from down south, like say Paulo and they said that it is more beautiful there. This town is slumish. People will eat a bag of chips and just throw the trash on the ground. There are rarely any trash cans and people just throw it on the ground. It drives ,e crazy. At times if I need to do it, I place it nicely on the ground as if it is better but it doesn't help. Then there are random pigs, cows, dogs, cats, etc that roam the street randomly and eat the trash. It's definitely something I have not seen before. But I figured if these girls are here even though the town us is then I. An do it to and will have to learn how to adapt. The girls I live with have helped so much. They have been so kindand helpful in so many ways. I am so thankful for them. I am glad I chose to stay at their house be ause it helps with my portuguese. I have learned quite a bit and am impressed with myself. I can understand more then I can speak but I do my best. The Iceland girls have been so kinda too and help translate a lot. Thank god! That is one of the hardest parts is the language barrier. It's tough. Luckily some of the girls took English in school so theydo their best but it's stil difficult ult for them since they don't use it all the time. I had my first game with the team last Wednesday. I made the roster, which I was so surprised. I wasn't expecting to play either and was just excited to be on the bench sine only 18 are one roster and we have about 30 girls on the team. The four national players were in the USA playing so I think that helped me get on the roster but I didn't care either way I was happy! We ended up winning 11-0. I got to play about ten minutes at the end and I even scored! I was excited. All the girls were really happy for me and asked why I didn't do a celebration dance haha. It's a big thing here to celebrate and I just put my arms up and that was it. Lol Hmm what else. It hasn't rained one day. Then Sunday we were going to go to the beach in recife but of course it rains that day out of the 18 days I had been here. Just my luck. It cleared up so me and some of the girls went to the pool then ice cream shop to watch futbol game so it was nice to do something. We are going to try to go to the beach this weekend since we have sat and sun off. Oh Saturday night some of the girls asked if i wanted to go out so I of. Ourselves said sure. I dread the weekends because they are boring for me. We never have anything to do. So going out and the beach or pool I wasn't so excited! We went to a bar in the plaza or town square and then they Took me to the town festival. That was. Er interesting. Smal and dirty and packed. There was a small ferris wheel I would not even think about ever going on. Music was popular and everyone was dancing. I attempted to dance and did alright. Hha. This week we have a lot of training. Two a days all week. Mon, wed, and fri we lift in the morning and train in the afternoon. Then tues and we'd we have training in the am and pm. I love it though. The girls are so good and enjoy playing with them. It takes forever though. Everyone is laid back. If the coach says go do this or do that people walk. If we walked in the us... The coach would make us run and yell at us. The pitch isn't the best either but it's not horrible. It takes 3 days for them to cut the grAss and they have manual old fashioned sprinklers for the fields. Sorry these are all jumbled up. It's been a while since I have written on here so. Am trying t think of everything that has happened since I ave arrived so I just write what comes to mind. The food here is pretty good. I'm so sick of beans and rice though. I made a bet with myself this week that's wont have any. It's Tuesday night and I'm doing good. They have it with every meal. Aliya. I miss salads. It is too hot here so they don't sell lettuce and if they do it's more expensive. They vegetables and fruits aren't the same either. I've tried a few different things to. I think I had a little of the water or it was food called a pastel that I ad that made me sick for 24 hours. I hated it. I had a roommate for a week. She was different and didn't talk to anyone. Even the girls who spoke the same language so I felt really awkward. But she left today so I'm happy to have my own room again. Well I will write more later and will try to get better in writing more often. I have to go to the inversion wi the girls when they have class to get on this weisite cause the Internet at the house is no god. Til then.. Take care. Chat with y'all later!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hey Everyone. So I arrived to Recife safely on Thursday. I was pretty nervous the entire time because i didnt know how to do baggage and do customs. I tried asking someone but they didn´t understand me, but she asked her boyfriend and he helped. I had to speak slow for them to understand but customs was a piece of cake. Once I got my bags there was a lady, Rosie, and her daughter, Juliana, who had a sign and picked me up. Craziest thing I have ever done.. in brazil airport not knowing who is picking me up. They did not know Portuguese so they called a friend who translated on the phone. They got me food, let me shower, nap at their place. They were soooo nice! Then at 9pm we went back to airport to meet manager of team, some players since they were coming back from a game. Then we head to Vitoria. I had and am still having a hard time here. Have been wanting to cry every day. It is sooooooo hard not understanding people and I just feel lost. There are two girls from Iceland who speak English so that helps and a girl named Bruna who I have been with this weeked who knows english fairly well. The american girl is away in Sau Paulo working with fifa and wont be back for a few weeks. The team is away at a game now, and it was to late for me to be signed up to play so I am staying with other players who did not travel. It is hard because during the day we have nothing to do. The tv they do have is in portuguese and no internet at the house except the one im at this weekend but its on her computer so she is kind and letting me use it. Other then that i just sleep. The weather is The food isn´t bad either..just different. Beans and rice always and some kind of meat. We go to this little place for food..breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ladies make us eggs in the morning with lots of fruit. I have actually tried quite a bit of things.. couldnt tell u the names cause its hard to say/remember. The living and everything is just really different. We walked to the gym and there was domestic pig and cow just walking the streets. The motorists and cars are crazy. You have to pay attention or they will run your ass over not even kidding. Looking far away at other towns it looks pretty cool cause its all on hills and houses and such. The town i live in is uhm very traditional. very very. I wish i could post pictures. It definitely makes me realize how much I have and how much I appreciate everything at home. But minus the difficult times its cool experience to see it all too. I cantwait for the team to get back so i can start playing and to figure out which house im for sure staying at and to get settled in. Maybe ill be more at ease and comfortable. Well wanted to make sure I wrote something since I am not sure how much I will be on. missing everyone more then i can explain! chat with ya soon xo

Monday, March 5, 2012

The last few days before I depart.

Well, it is Monday, March 5th, which means I leave in TWO DAYS! Its crazy to think I will be in a different country, on another continent, but it hasn't really hit me yet. At times it does, but I do not think it will until I am there and settled in.

After I turned in my paperwork I felt a lot better and made the rest of the week and weekend go by smoother. Thursday I met up with a couple old high school teachers. It was nice to see them and catch up. This weekend I had a few farewell parties. Friday I got together with friends and Saturday was a goodbye gathering with my family. It was great to see everyone and love how much support I have behind me. Thank you all<3

Today I picked up my VISA. I went back to to Consulate, of course, ONLY between the hours 12-1 PM. It went really quick. Literally walked in, picked it up, and walked out. I recommend if anyone goes to pick up a VISA in the near future to have someone just drive around while you get it instead of paying for parking when you are there for 5 minutes.

I also called to confirm my flights as well. I guess international flights you have to call 72 hours before to confirm them. Luckily I read the rules & regulations... phew! :) Also, found out that my first and second bag I check will be free but if I check a 3rd, 4th, etc, that it will be $85 per bag. I have not packed yet, but I am definitely going to make sure it all fits in two. Not sure what I am even bringing yet. I am the type of person who needs to do it the day before and lay everything out. If I do a little at a time I will freak out and think I forgot something, which leads to unpacking everything. I  would have to find what I think I didn't pack and would be a big mess so I find it easier to do it all at once.

Tomorrow will consist of packing and running any last second errands, which includes the bank to pick up my Brazilian Money! I am sure I will have a few people in and out saying good bye and then I will head to training tomorrow night. Wednesday my flight is at 6:30, where I will fly to Charlotte, NC. Then from there to Rio then to Recife. I arrive in Recife, Brazil Thursday around 3:00 PM. dun da dun dun!

My next post will be when I am in Brazil.. cant wait to share with everyone.

Love, Me!<3

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Less then 2 weeks to get a VISA...

After my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and I met with Ewerton and his wife, we knew then it was a done deal. Now I just needed to get everything done in less then two weeks...wait what? less then 2 weeks? OMG!!!!!!... ok so I do not get stressed that easily.. I am actually pretty laid back and a very optimistic person.. but holy freaking cow has this week been full of stress and a rollercoaster of emotions...
My BIGGEST concern was my flights and getting my VISA, which go hand in hand. Well, my eager sister and I, were so excited, we booked a one-way ticket that Sunday night! I was ready to go! Then, I went to the consulate website and read all the steps I needed to take in order to request a VISA. To get your VISA, you have to have a round trip ticket. Well crap...... this was the first time I almost lost it but fought back the tears... im so tough. haha :)

First of all, to request a VISA, you may do so Monday through Friday between 9:00- 11:00 AM ONLY. Once it is processed, you may pick up your VISA Monday through Friday ONLY 12:00-1:00 PM!
So, I quit my job right away. I felt horrible and wanted to work this past week but there was no way. I had to get this done in order for me to go, I would be too stressed, and I need my phone on me 24/7 to make sure I do not miss any important calls.

Next, I needed to fill out the application protocol online, print, sign it, and bring it in with the other documents (passport, picture, ID, money order, etc.). Well, this online application asked where I worked, what address I was staying at, and all that fun stuff. I had no idea what to put and was freaking out. I had to have this information because you can only fill it out online, needed to print it, and sign it to bring in. Thank goodness Ewerton has been patient with me because I think I text him or call him 15 times a day!

Tuesday night I still did not have the address, but my sister Donna and I decided we were going go no matter what Wednesday morning because the request takes at least 3 BUSINESS DAYS. That means we were going on Wednesday, Thurs., Fri., and Mon., then I could pick it up Monday or Tuesday... yeah well I leave Wednesday... can you tell why I am going crazy over here??????

Wednesday morning rolls around and I still do not have the address so once again I bother Ewerton to see if by chance he was able to receive it. GOOD NEWS: HE CALLED 5 MINUTES LATER AND HAD IT! PHEWWWWWW! I quickly typed in all the information needed for that application and clicked send. They said to write down the code number and to print so that is what I did. UHHHH... WHY ISN'T IT PRINTING????? Then I get click happy or crazy for this matter and I refresh and retype EVERYTHING! At least 30 minutes go by to try and print. My three-year-old niece and one-year-old nephew were with us and getting into everything (even broke my stepdads eye glasses--oops!) while my sister Donna and I are trying to figure this paperwork out. Finally we decided we would just go there and hopefully they would help us.

We made a quick stop at the post office to get a money order since of course that is all the consulate accepts for payment. I get that and downtown we go. Traffic wasn't HORRIBLE but it still took sometime for us to get to the city. We get there around 10:15 and we did not know EXACTLY where we were going so we parked at the first self park we saw and started walking. We did not know how far we were from Michigan Ave so we asked a lady on the street. We jumped in a cab and they got us there at about 10:30ish.. so 30 minutes before it closes. We made it! YES! We get up to the suite and there is another man waiting to get his application. First thing he tells us....The system is down. SAY WHHHHHAT? I go up to the lady and she of course tells me what the other guy said and I was totally bummed. She did check to see if I had everything I needed, which I did, minus the application. So we wait, and wait, and wait some more. During this time, the other guy, Tim, was keeping us company. He was a super friendly guy and gave me his card for when I get there since we will be in the same area. Cool man.. I made a new friend. Anyway, while we wait, we would get hopes that the system would get running. It almost did at one point but then would freeze. GRR! The consulate people said that there might be a chance if we wait around in the afternoon that they might just allow us to request the VISA since it was not our fault the system was down. So we wait some more. In the meantime, Ewerton's wife and a friend of theirs shows up at the Consulate because they need to get their VISAs as well. Then Ewerton pops in. Well don't we just have a little party going on. Well luckily for them, they had their applications printed out and were all set for the most part. They came in and left and Donna, the kids, and I continuued to wait. Around noon, the consulate man opens the window and finally says "who doesn't have their application papers but has everything else?" Tim and I immediately jump up! They were going to let us apply.request a VISA and they would take care of the rest! OMG! THANK GOD WE DIDNT LEAVE! PHEW! So the guy looks through all my stuff and says to coem back Monday. Deep breath. I was soooo excited! Now let's all just hope the process goes well and the system is running so it is really done by Monday, which it should be soooo off to Brazil I go! whooop whooop!!!


We then grabbed subway and headed home. The kids fell asleep on the drive back, I took a 2 hour nap once I got home, and Donna, well she stayed up..I do not know how!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Start Of It All..

Hey Everyone!

I am starting this blog so all my family, friends, coaches, players, community, fans, or pretty much WHOEVER can follow me as I begin my journey as a professional soccer player in Brazil.

For those of you who do not know me or know what I have been up to I will begin by sharing some personal information so you can get the gist of how this all began.

I have been playing soccer since the 5th grade. I played on Varsity all four years at Schaumburg High School. I went to Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for my first year and a half of college. I obviously went there for soccer. I transferred back and went to Harper Community College for the completion of my second year of college. At that time, I was really unsure if I wanted to continue to play soccer at such a competitive level. I decided I would go to Western Illinois University, play for the club team, and go back to playing for fun. After my first tryout at the club team I thought that it could be frustrating because I knew my level of play and competition level was different since I have already had the experience to play at a D2 school where we made it into NCAA tournament my freshman year. That is when I decided to contact the WIU Women's Head Coach, Tony Guinn, a man who has changed my life in so many ways, for the better. I met with him, the assistant coach, Jason Cherry, another man who has changed my life for the better, and the WIU tennis coach. Eventually they offered me to come tryout. I was pretty much out of shape and the first practice/tryout I attended must have been FITNESS day because they were running sprints, monster runs, and small scrimages. If you lost a small-sided game you were running. But after another tryout or two, I was asked to join the team so I must have done something right! I was ecstatic. I had to sit out the first year because of NCAA rules on transferring, but I busted my ass to be fit.  After practices I would go to the gym. It was hard, though, to just practice and never be able to play a game. My two seasons that I was able to play in were two great seasons. Our team went to the Final Four both seasons and my senior season we made it to the championship game, but unfortunately lost to NDSU 1-3. It was devastating and still to this day hate talking about that game. My years at WIU were some of the best years of my life. I could not be more grateful to have had the coaching staff we did and to have played with such amazing individuals who were not only my teammates, but my bestfriends, my family. We went through a lot together. One in particular, our coach's son, Shaymus Guinn, found out he has cancer so it has been an on going battle, but that boy is one of the strongest people I have ever met. He makes you want to play harder everytime you step on the field. I truly believe he is what motivated us to do so well. There is no doubt that I will bring Shay's inspriation and stength with me to Brazil.

Once I finished my last season at WIU, I still had a spring semester of classes to finish up and the following fall semester to student teach. That summer my coach Diego Cevallos (Judson Womens Head Coach/CL FORCE club coach), again, mentioned to me about soccer. I told him now that I am finished up at school I needed to focus on my priorties, which were work & student teaching. His response, "Soccer is a priority." Very true. He had me there. I ended up playing again that summer for Crystal Lake Force and he again mentioned something about playing professionally. At one of our summer games, Dan Quinn, another coach of the CL Force, coached for our team, since Diego has two teams he coaches. Dan asked me as well about continuing my play. Now this was two people who mentioned something about playing at the next level. That is when I really started thinking about it. It motivated me more that others thought I could play so that is when Dan asked me to send me a BIO about where I played and such. He said he has a contact who is from Brazil, Ewerton, who is also another coach for CL Force. They said I probably wouldn't hear anything til after winter break, but to continue to stay in shape, for they can call any day. Diego was kind enough to let me come train in the fall with his high school club teams. This was sometimes not an easy task. I was student teaching in the the Fall, which for those of you who have student taught, it takes over your life. I was teaching M-F, and going to training 3 days a week, which was in Crystal Lake. So to get there on time I had to leave an hour earlier because of traffic. Before/After training or on days I didn't have training, including weekends, I literally felt like I lived at the Schaumburg Library. I was drained day in and out, but was so motivated because I wanted this. I think I fell in love with the game all over again because by winter time, I was playing more soccer and working out more then I ever have during college. I could not get enough. I am pretty sure some people were wondering why I was working out so much. I told some people I was trying to play over seas but I did not want to say too much because I did not know for sure.

In December, my good friend and teammate, Katie Condon, told me about this winter training for college athletes to stay in shape over break that was at Soccer City in Palatine. Greg Mehr and Bonnie Young ran the sessions, two really great coaches. After the girls sessions were over, since they went back to school, there were still guy trainings that I attended, ran by Brett Hall. They were very intense and I was so intimidated the first few times going, but were so worth it.

It was January by this time and I had e-mailed Dan and asked Diego if they have heard any further information about Brazil.Then I received my first e-mail from Ewerton letting me know that he is working on details and he will contact me. I believe it was the end of January when I received a phone call from Diego to come to his training session out at RSC in CL to train and meet with Ewerton about Brazil. He wanted to see me play and then can discuss more details with Kleiton Lima, the Brazil National Coach, who is Ewerton's connection, about getting me over to play. I had done this twice and received a little bit of information each time. I was patient, but really impatient, cause I just wanted to know already!

At this time, I was working for the Schaumburg Park District, as a Counselor for the Kasper Before/Afterschool Program. Time had passed and I hadn't heard anything for about a month so I went through days where I was like "well maybe it wont happen" or "he said he would call" and I even was about to e-mail Ewerton just to get a follow up. I was playing indoor leagues about 3-4 times a week during this time too. I figured since I haven't heard for anything, I was going to apply for a paraprofessional position my friend Christy told me about and put my education to use. I ended up not getting the position Christy mentioned, but I recevied a paraprofessional position in the same district but at the middle school. Friday, March 17th, I received a phone called from the principal asking if I was interested. I gave her a call back, went in for an interview, and was hired all on that Friday. I was ECSTATIC! I could not believe I received this call, especially since I was bummed about the previous position. I started that Tuesday, since Monday was President's Day. That Thursday, during lunch, I checked my phone and had missed calls and texts from both Diego and Ewerton. I was like "oh my god!" They told me to come out to training again to discuss some more information about the opportunity to play in Brazil and to talk with Kleiton and Caitie, the other American there. So I went there, played a bit, and then talked to Caitie about the opportunity itself, her experience, etc. I was in shock and barely asked any questions and was kind of just taking it all in. He then told me about the opportunity and that I would go for 3 months and they want me there by March 10th (there was more to that conversation but I am already writing a novel so moving on.. lol). So I told some of my family and a few friends. Sunday my mom, sister, and brother-in-law, came with me to meet Ewerton and his wife to discuss the opportunity fully, answer any questions and CONCERNS, and all other details. After we left there, it was a for sure thing. I was going but it was a matter of getting everything I needed to get taken care of done, which was a lot since we are on a time constraint here! I think from Sunday til now I have had at least a hundred heart attacks and have ate everything under the sun due to the stress I have been under.

So this is how it all happened. I think I just wrote a novel, which is so unlike me. I rarely share this much information with people.. ask my family!!

But I am extremely excited and nervous and every emotion in between that! I appreciate all the motivation, inspirtation, kind words and support from everyone. I plan on updating this as often as I can, starting obviously now and then throughout my experience. I hope this motivates and inspires others to follow their dreams and to never give up.

"Dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."