Archive for November, 2012

Barcelona Here We Come!

The flights are booked! Ao and I are going to Barcelona for a weekend. We have a friendly match next Friday night followed by a weekend off from games. So, naturally, I searched for an adventure and came up with a pretty good one! 

Plan of attack: I searched for places that I could fly directly into from Lyon airport. From there I searched for the cheapest option and best times and took into consideration where I have friends living right now. End result- direct flight Lyon-Barcelona (1 hour 15 minutes) for 70 Euros to visit my friend Tim. (I wrote about this 2 posts ago). Ao, my teammate and friend, thought about her decision to go for the past couple days and came over to my place this morning and said “let’s go!” soooo here we go!!!! 

I’ve never spent time reading up on the sights of Barcelona and thought it might be a good thing to do before going next weekend and it looks pretty awesome so far!


Coffee in my Cup

Roll out of bed, roll open the shutters that cover my windows and make it pitch black 24/7 if they aren’t opened, flip the switch on the electric kettle and get ready for a great cup of coffee. And right now it is like a big cup of “tastes like home.”

I went to Lyon last week to exchange my faulty MiCoach connector. Lyon is a 45 minute train ride from my city and with my awesome travel reduction card it isn’t very expensive if I go every once in awhile. Aside from doing what I needed to get done I had another idea. I found Starbucks, enjoyed a latte, and bought a bag of Christmas blend beans! Mmm. I also got to have lunch with one of my besties Co! Her and I played together for a year in Denmark and she is the one who helped me with my connection to my current team. We had an awesome French lunch of savory crepes. Again, delicious. 

Unfortunately the sun isn’t shining today, but I am still excited about the day. Hmm…maybe I’ll hang out with my new bestie Ao from Taiwan. This friendship is a pretty cool story of God’s orchestration of our life and how we have divine appointments and meaningful run-ins with those who seem to be coincidental. From all the people God has put in my path I don’t see any as coincidences. There is a reason and purpose for each person in my life and for that I am thankful. 

Back in May when I was living in Seattle and playing for the Seattle Sounders the coach told us that there was a girl from Taiwan coming for the week to have a trial with the team. We were all curious: Does she speak english or how are we going to communicate? I was excited to welcome her to the team and help her feel comfortable and included because I am all too familiar with being the foreigner on the team. We connected right away when she arrived at practice and had a fun training session. I asked what her and her boyfriend would be doing with their time during the week etc etc. I invited them to come to the gym with me in the mornings and became their taxi (their hotel was very close by but I didn’t think it was a good idea for them to be walking in the area they were staying in) for the week and we became friends. Unfortunately the coach didn’t invite her to stay on the team. In hindsight, it was a good thing for her because I have no idea how or where she would’ve lived during the season etc. Anyways, she ended up on a team in Spokane and I went and saw her play in Issaquah just to give some support. I kept in touch with her and her boyfriend as I made my decision to join my new team in France and encouraged them to contact my now coach. 

Fast forward to August when I arrived in the countryside of France at an agricultural boarding school for preseason and found my dear friends Ao and Kai there as well 🙂 Her trial went well and she returned to Taiwan to await the approval of her work visa. Just like me, the paper work took forever and she didn’t arrive until the middle of October!  

Anyways, she is here now and we have apartments just 5-10 minutes apart and it’s great to have a friend around on the same schedule as me (free most of the day and train late in the evening). We travel majority of the time to and from training on the tram line together and it’s just fun having company.

She is only one of many amazing people and friends God has blessed me with over the past few years of living abroad. So, when you are feeling that little prompting from the Holy Spirit to strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the airplane or the one you always see standing in line at the same time as you at Starbucks, respond to that prompting. Who knows what could become of it.

I feel so behind and that I will never be able to catch up on everything that has happened.

After 3 months living in France I feel like I am finally living here and settled in. I am beginning to become integrated into my club at the coaching level and am beginning to learn about the French Football developmental theory/program. 

I am trying to get myself to be a bit more busy during the week and so far it has been successful. I did two days of teaching English and an evening of being a fitness coach for the U19 girls team. I’ve gotten in some extra training and a bit of physical therapy to keep my ankles and legs healthy. Friday I am meeting with a person about volunteering with teens or youth (I’m not totally sure what this meeting is about as it was slightly lost in translation, but I got the point that it will be volunteer work and not paid) teaching English and organizing sports activities. I have this feeling that I am about to get a good busy. 

To add to everything, the sun was out ALL day and it was fairly warm for the middle of November. The difference in temperatures from what I experienced in Denmark for the past few years is greatly appreciated and warmly welcomed. 

I’ve also spent the day doing lots of laundry and figuring out how to properly use the functions on the washing machine and have my apartment FULL of clothes and sheets hanging over everything. Stone age? NO! Just being forced to be more environmentally responsible. 

Another new development has been my recent studying of sports nutrition and the increase in carbohydrates in my daily diet. I have way more energy at practice and am loving it.

We are preparing this week for our game on Sunday against a team called Juvissy. They are currently 4th in the French division 1 (my league) and are a strong team. I think we are going to play a lot better than we did last week and I am eager for Sunday to get here. In the meantime I am just going to do my best to physically and mentally prepare for the match for whichever position I play and have fun doing it!

Oh YEA! Another big thing that happened was that I finally got my annual public transportation card and it is awesome!  So easy and it is like this new freedom. At the same time, I am still loving riding my bike around (ok, not totally loving it because there is too much traffic and not enough bike lanes) the city. Despite my incident with the police pulling me over I will carry on. I’m glad they didn’t give me that 90 euro ticket they said they were going to give to me. 

Ok, one more exciting piece of news: I’m going to BARCELONA!!!!!!! It will be a very quick trip for FUN (NO FOOTBALL!) and will get to hang out with my awesome friend Timbo who was on my Athletes in Action team in Paraguay. So cool to get to travel to awesome places and reconnect with great friends!

Bon nuit!