Brazil Tour: Day One

May 22, 2008

SANTOS, Brazil –

Over the course next week, the Kansas soccer team will tour the nation of Brazil. will follow the Jayhawks each day and chronicle their adventures through journals and photos from some of the student-athletes. Today, sophomore Estelle Johnson checks in on the team’s first day in “the soccer state”.

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Day One – Estelle Johnson

It was a long trip but we finally made it into the Sao Paulo airport. All of the girls were tired from the ten-hour flight so we napped on the bus ride to Santos. When we got into Santos and checked into our cozy hotel, it was about noon and we had the rest of the day to kill.

The weather was breezy and warm, so the entire team walked around the town and made a quick stop at the beach before heading to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit. Some of us changed into our swim suits and headed back to the beach while others lounged by the pool. Around four o’clock we loaded on the bus and went to the closest soccer stadium for a short practice session just to get loosened up and used to the warm weather that we’d be playing in the next day.

After practice we rushed back to the hotel in time to catch the second half and overtime of the Manchester United vs. Chelsea Championship game. It was a close one, but Manchester pulled away with the win in a penalty kick shootout. Most of us were upset because we were rooting for Chelsea. Julie (Hanley) was especially upset and stormed up to her room after the deciding shot hit the net.

After the disappointing loss we all went to our rooms to shower before dinner at seven. We had dinner in the hotel then wanted to keep exploring the town of Santos. So, the entire team roamed around for about an hour before hitting the beach one more time. When we got to the beach we were fascinated to find several pick up soccer games going on by the local right there on the sand.

This was the highlight for most of the girls. We sat, watched, and cheered until the games were over. A few of the players came over to us and tried to interact but it was difficult due to the language barrier. Since we only knew one word in Portuguese, compared to the three that they knew in English, it was an interesting but exciting interaction.

After we said our goodbyes to our new friends, we walked back to the hotel and soaked our feet in the pool. For Shannon (McCabe), that wasn’t enough. She changed into her suit and swam a bit before giving the team a special performance of a song off of the Little Mermaid soundtrack. It was hilarious and she even got claps from some Georgian men who were lounging by the pool as well.

After the performance we were all so tired of laughing that we decided to hit the sac. Overall it was an exciting first night in Brazil.