Are you still jet lagged if you don’t fully understand the concept of time?
It’s 12:54 a.m. here in Spain right now as I write this, and I can still hear people out in the square across from the hotel, as well as the beep from the crosswalk letting pedestrians know it’s safe to cross the street.
It doesn’t feel like it’s almost 1 a.m. and I need to but up and at ’em in seven hours (which may be enough for some people, but I need my eight hours. Also, like Cinderella, I turn into a pumpkin back in the States after midnight).
It helps that there’s no coffee in Spain. Instead there’s espresso. And I now love espresso.
And it’s not just the hours of the day that aren’t setting in. Most of the time, I can’t tell if I’ve been in Spain for a couple days or more than a week? It feels like a long time, but that feeling is also more of an assumption that a fact that could be stated with confidence, if that makes sense.
It’s now Thursday morning, and we have reached the downhill slope of our trip here in Spain. The words, “Finish strong,” keep ringing in my head. And finishing strong looks like a better effort from myself for the next two days than what I put out today.
Because I didn’t give much grace today. It’s hard to get kids to both understand you and quiet down when you don’t speak their language. Explaining the game of knockout (shooting, not dribbling) to two teams of girls – one much older and one much younger) – which means describing the rules of the game, calming down the older girl that’s upset that the younger girls cut in front of her and explaining that the younger girls will shoot from closer to the basket while the older girls have to stay behind the free-throw line.
And if you know me even a little bit, you know my patience wore thin during that moment. So prayers that myself and the rest of my team finish strong will be greatly appreciated.
For the morning group, we only have two camps left. The afternoon camp only has one group left. That’s because we’re helping with the Gigante camp. It’s put on by the coach of the Spain U20 coach. Basically, it’s like the Baylor basketball camps in the summer, but instead of being put on by the college it’s put on by the country’s national team. Whoa.
Some of us got to meet the coach the of Spain’s U20 team this afternoon. We’ve all seen him, though, and the rest of his staff and the entire team because they’re staying in our hotel. They eat meals at the same time we do. Which made it even more awesome when Amanda wore her USA Basketball t-shirt to supper tonight. Because when she walked in, many of those basketball players saw it.
They invited us to come watch their game against Ukraine’s U20 team Friday night. Of course we’ll be going. And once again, if you know me at all, I’m already super pumped about it.
Besides our ice cream excursion last night and trying to find a place to watch Spain in the World Cup, we haven’t done a lot of touristy things yet. When I went to tripadvisor.com to see the top spots people visit in Torrejón, the first two were the Parque Europa. Yup, the park we stayed in for a while and got stuck in the rain.
While we plan to go to Toledo (I pronounce it the Ohio way. The Spanish, most likely, do not) on Saturday, some of us walked around the city for a bit between camps. There are murals everywhere, all by the same artist. This town is pretty much full of apartments, and it’s fun to see the different balcony gardens that each window contains. I have noticed, however, the number of Spanish flags that hung out on the balconies has lessened since that penalty kick loss to Russia on Sunday.
Oh, and Happy 4th of July!