Tuesday, May 9, 2017

VB Finals Part 3 by Anna

Eventually, the rest of the group rejoined us, and we returned to the gym to wait for the awards ceremony, and watch the remaining games. I had removed my watch for the game, and left it in the room, which was locked. However, it was between 10 and 11 P.M. Since last year we didn't eat until 11, this wasn't too bad. At last, all the teams were lined up, and we stood there waiting as the Junior guys finished their match. 
The 3rd, 2nd, then 1st place Minims were called up first, gals then guys. We were up next. After our pictures, we all sat in the back and waited as the rest of the teams filed through. I was sitting when we heard the MVPs being called. This was a new addition since last year, and each was awarded in the same order as the team awards, and they were only selected from the 1st place teams. As they did the Minims, one of my friends said they would call me, so at least I had a bit of warning before being sent alone. The two Minims (M & F) were each given a little trophy and ball. The two Caddettes were each given a slightly larger trophy and knee pads. The Juniors were given even larger trophies and backpacks. The six of us stood awkwardly before the group of iPone wielding people taking pictures, before being released. 

What is interesting is that of the six first place positions, Eben Ezer and Ouanaminthe took four. Ouanaminth is the school we had to beat to come to Port-au-Prince, and they had brought four teams, vs our two (amusing since last year we brought four, while they brought two) Although they were a different school we were cheering for them, since we were all from the Northern district. Out of six positions Fauche, a little podunk place not even on the map, took a third of the spots. :)

We eventually went to our room, and the adults talked to us so long we didn't have time to take showers, despite our sweaty conditions. (much to my annoyance).

 During or after the talking, most of us packed our bags in preparation for the morning. We were all given matching shirts to wear the next day. The Caddette's blue shirts did say National Volleyball Championships. (they also said USA volleyball, and Junior, and 2016, and Indianapolis...) The Minim's shirts were white, and had volleyballs. (they also said regionals, and 2005) But considering most teams didn't have matching volleyball shirts, they were still something, and I will always associate them with Port-au-Prince finals. 
Then Parrola gave three nice blue shirts saying Haiti Volleyball to three of the Caddettes, including me. I have been waiting a long time for a shirt saying Haiti volleyball, so I am happy to have received one before leaving the team. 

Both team's trophies.
Some of the girls continued to talk and joke around, while others attempted to sleep. Eventually, I joined the rest of the girls watching from the top bunks, unable to sleep due to the ruckus. I can get a titch annoyed...and stubborn, when it is 1:20 in the morning, and I am trying to sleep. At my request, the adult lying by the door and the light-switches, flipped them off. They were promptly turned back on by one of the girls. (Note: most of those who had been playing during the majority of the games, were sleeping or trying to, the noisy ones hadn't been playing)

Let's just say I had to get down from my bed, but the lights went off at 1:24 A.M. (some were surprised when I mentioned the time, having retrieved my watch from the locker) We were a very groggy group four/five hours later when we all went and showered. We were ushered out of our room to sit outside, so that the sheets could be counted by those in charge of the facilities. I haven't a clue how long we sat there. I eventually got some water from the cafeteria, and then our busses arrived. 

I doubt I was ever awake for more than a 10min. stretch during the whole ride home. (though occasional neck readjustment was necessary in the bus seats.) We eventually stopped at one of the Sans-souci rest stops, and there we ate the sandwiches provided back in Port. I also had some pateys [fried dough], bought from a street vender, and then we loaded up again, and slept our way to Limbe, arriving around 1 P.M. 

The truck that was supposed to pick us up was still far away, and so we sat and waited for almost two hours. (Note: It only takes 1/2 hour for a truck to get from Limbe to Fauche.) Everyone was given a piece of bread with peanut butter, and half a Tampico [artificial juice-very sweet drink!]. Others bought stuff form the street vendors. (like the really good looking, hot dog on a stick with mayo on it, or the ice cream vendor selling little cups of it for only 10 goudes=less than 20 cents) Sadly, I am not supposed to eat these due to questionable ice and milk sources (for the ice cream) and possibility of spoiled hot dog (which would taste fine, and can happen in America too, so certainly possible on Haitian streets...) I was very close to giving in when the truck arrived, and we traveled the last stretch home. 

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