Brazil Trip Wrap-Up -- Days 7 & 8

June 1, 2005


By Jill Dorsey, 2004 Jayhawk Senior

Photo gallery

<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

May 30, 2005 – Day 7

First things first, anything that is fried and in the shape of a ball is really, really good in Brazil, no matter what the surprise in the middle holds. Cheese, chicken, fruit, etc., I love it all and these ingredients seemed to find their way to my stomach every morning on this trip.

Hopped on the Astur (bus), which I just realized was a Mercedes Benz. Yeah, we were rollin’ in a Benz the entire trip. However, no leather, the sound system was weak, but with 30 plus really cool people on board, it was a party bus no less. Alvis, our bus driver was a superstar but I did have one other driver in mind in the whole trip. Brazil has a mass production of Geo Metro-type cars so I really just wanted to get Ashley Michaels, 6-2 teammate, in one of those little cars with all of my other 6-0 plus teammates as passengers. That would be a funny sight.

Off to another mall, and the shopping-obsessed person that I am, loved the opportunity to spend tons of real (Brazilian money). P.S. — sorry Mom and Dad. Four hundred real later, thanks to Dani Wittman telling me how I could not live without a certain shirt and necklace, I found myself back at the hotel exhausted from shopping and rather plump from the buffet-style lunch from the food court.

We headed for our final match of the trip with the Pinheiros Club team. Josi Lima, Jana Correa, and Paula Caten are all alumni of the Pinheiros Club and the competitive vibes were on full blast because losing to your old team just is not acceptable. The Jayhawks prevailed, winning two out of three very close games. In my “expert opinion,” the blocking and defense picked it up a notch and the ability to be aggressive in crucial moments led the Jayhawks to victory.

The truth of the matter is, it was great to end the trip with a big W in the win column. Coach Bechard was happy, so happy that he let us ravage some margherita pizza and ice cream for supper. By the way, one benefit of finishing your eligibility, I can look at Coach Posey while I devour two scoops of ice cream and not feel one bit of guilt. However, the ten pounds that I have gained from the wonderful Brazilian food on the trip needs to be shed before I head to life in L.A. in a week. Not cute.

Later that night relaxing in the hotel with my Lawrence roomies, Ashley Bechard and Ashley Michaels, we spent the night watching the Miss Universe pageant. As I finished the remainder of a bag of Brazilian chewy candy things, AB (Ashley Bechard), turns to me and says, “Jill don’t worry just think how hungry they are.” They definitely did not have any of my chewy candy things.

Ended the night with Kristin Buehler and Emily Brown’s reenactment of Napoleon Dynamite. Hilarious! After about 152 takes, the freshman seemed to pull the skit together. Great day in Brazil, good shopping, big victory, many laughs, and some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted. F.Y.I. I am pseudo obsessed with ice cream so when I say it was some of the best just know that it is coming from an ice cream connoisseur.

May 31, 2005 – Day 8

It is our final day in Brazil and emotions are riding high. We check out of the hotel at around 10 a.m. with a tad more baggage then we arrived. Reality check, this is a female-dominated group and we did shop almost everyday. Even Jim Marchiony chipped in with the fabulous purchase he made for his wife.

Bus packed to the brink, believe it or not we found a way to yet another mall and by this point, I am getting tired of shopping. But of course I seemed to walk out with a couple bags in hand, mostly Brazilian souvenirs for family and friends and much-needed candy for the 10-hour plane trip.

We stopped at beautiful park nested in the heart of the city for an hour to relax and enjoy the skyline. I seemed to find a duck-like creature to play with while my teammates seemed to enjoy the sight of me frolicking around the animal. With blossoming red flowers picked and tucked behind our ears, we all posed for many pictures and a casual waltz around the park.

Our final stop of the trip found us in the friendly confines of Josi Lima’s house. Warm hospitality, friendly conversation, and tasty Brazilian treats made this afternoon a fitting end to our Brazilian tour.

For the past three years I have had the opportunity to play with a teammate or teammates from the country of Brazil. Showing them our American culture and watching them experience life, as I know it was normal. For the first time, my Brazilian teammates had the opportunity for the past week to teach us something about their life and culture.

Personally, it was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever been a part of. Indeed the entire trip was memorable, but the afternoon we spend at Josi’s house I will never forget. For 10 or 15 minutes the entire group gathered together in the quaint living room, tears and “thank yous” sounded, camaraderie grew, and the sense of the Jayhawk family had never been so powerful.

Goodbye is never easy and so the painful trend continues. I have finished my athletic eligibility and recently graduated as a proud member of the Jayhawk volleyball team. I could not have picked a better ending to a four-year opportunity. The Brazilian tour was something that I will never forget for many reasons and I know that I will always smile and remember the times that we shared together thousands of miles away from Lawrence, Kansas, together as a team, as friends, and as a Jayhawk family. Thanks for the memories…ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!