Hey! I (Anna) am writing today's blog about the Ouanaminthe tournament that I participated in on Friday-Sunday. Two Fauche teams attended, my girl's team and the older guy's team. The older guys won, and although my team lost, I learned lots and enjoyed the experience... most of the time.
We left Fauche at some time around 4 in the morning, our small group piling onto a flat bed truck. We left with Jean Pierre's family, three of the older guys, a leader, and 8 of us girls. I shall not bore you with the details of the truck ride, suffice to say even some of my Haitian friends (who were sitting on the truck bed with me) were saying that they were sore by the end of the ride. At Cap H. several other volleyball players heading for the tournament joined us, and I was soon to find out that they were playing on our team. Since the tournament was an inter-club activity and not inter-school, players from different teams who were near each other were mixed. (at least that is how I understood it)
Once we arrived at an foreign-run University, we sat under a mango tree waiting for a while before being shown where we were to stay. The rooms were classrooms with all the chairs piled up at one end. Where I slept there were four thin mattresses. (about half the usual thickness) Mrs. Jean Pierre, her young son, and all the girls from both Fauche and Cap H. slept in that room, which also stored all the suitcases of uniforms, snacks (bread, peanut butter, and cassava), and bagged water.
After some time of rest, including snacks and card games, we put on our uniforms and walked to the courts. We had to walk for several minutes, crossing multiple streets before arriving at our destination.
There were two courts, with bleachers on the bottom and left sides. Fortunately, the bleachers were shaded by multiple trees, since the sun was very hot. I even brought home proof, since on the second day, I missed a spot with sunblock.
This is after several days of aloe treatment.
When we started to play we found that the volleyballs were far lighter than those we usually play with, so our serves/spikes were all going out of bounds. We also experienced some difficulty when one of the Cap H. girls was played, since she didn't know how we played and vice versa. The combined effect was anger, and we lost the match. We remained cantankerous and discombobulated during the second match and lost again. I must confess that I was very upset, and grumpy. With only four ladies teams, no matter what, we were going to play in semifinals. Knowing they put the weakest against the strongest team, we didn't want to lose all of our matches.
Even though guy's teams had also playing while we played, it was soon dark, therefore we didn't play against the third team on Friday. In fact, it became dark in the middle of one of the guys' matches, so the second set was played back at the school, in the inside gym. We all returned to the school, where we watched the next set before eating supper on fold up tables in the same gym.
After supper, we showered and then goofed off in the hall in front of our room, which connected to the balcony above the indoor volleyball court. Our room's lights did not work, but some of the lights in the hall did, plus the ones in the gym. At about 11 p.m. or so all the girls were confined to our dimly lit room, although some light did enter through the windows high on the walls facing the hall.
We talked for a while before lying down, even though there was lots of noise from the hall. The guys still hanging out in the hall, circulating around the single working outlet in the hall, as some of them with phones plugged into it. Although only three came with us, more joined us at Ouanaminthe, most of whom I knew or recognized.
The gals pushed three of the mattresses together but left the fourth for Mrs. Jean Pierre and her son. Three average width mattresses. We fit 10 girls on them but even so, one of the girls had to sleep on a sheet on the floor. I am a light sleeper, and am also spoiled with a fan. No fan. I 'slept' toward the middle of the three mattresses. People kept on entering the room. Eventually, everybody settled down, and I drifted off for a few minutes, but then woke back up. One of the guys in the hall was playing loud music on his phone, plus they continued to talk.
I am pretty sure everybody else around me fell asleep. At one point, I had an elbow in my neck from the left, and then suddenly the person on my right moved so that their left arm lay across my throat, plus a leg was across me. The person one over to the left, flipped her leg across the girl between us and all the way over until her foot rested on me.
I soon found out that I could move the limbs, and their owners didn't seem to wake up! I slept in short spurts. The guys remained up at 1:30 a.m. as was I. I was hot, and very tempted to go out and see if the leaders wouldn't let me sit in the hall for a while, since the stuffy room, where I was afraid of waking people, was getting to me. But those of you who know me, know that I am competitive, and like to be able to say " Yeah? Well, I survived.... " So that got me though it and I finally managed to sleep between 1:30 and 5ish.