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Today, I did something terrible…

So like I’ve said before, volleyball is almost nonexistent in the rainy country of England. It makes zero sense to me. Nonetheless, instead of not playing volleyball, I’ve reached out, made some new friends and now we’re going around schools teaching P.E. teachers and kids this wonderful sport! It’s pretty great actually. I love it. The kids love it. Something happened today unfortunately, that might just haunt me forever. Here it goes:

I get introduced to the kids today as the American, who has won national championships and is a professional (it’s still super cool to associate myself with those types of accolades by the way). We have about 30 students, ages 14-15, mostly boys with a handful of girls….and their eyes get super big when Carol (the lady that I house/dog sat for after 4 hours of knowing her) completed my CV. I give ’em a big ol’ “What’s up?!” as a normal, loud, enthusiastic American would do and then we warm them up. Everything is normal. They are quite athletic and just a bunch of sponges. They are soaking up every little piece of advice and technique that we throw at them. It. Is. Awesome. I love when kids “get it”. I love when they want to learn and don’t mind getting sweaty and hurting their forearms. I also love when they respond well to my normal self; I don’t have to overexert myself or make sure I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. They think I’m funny which is even more perfect because I myself think I’m hilarious. Great group of kids.

We get into serving and I want to split them up into three groups where one group is serving, one group is at the net feeding the volleyballs to servers and the third group is collecting the served volleyballs. As I am explaining this to them, I tell them “Okay, this group go to the other side, y’all are shagging. Next group, y’all get at the net. And you guys, just stay here.” In normal American English, this is not a problem. This is normal. I said no curse words, I wasn’t racist, I wasn’t politically incorrect….nothing in my head was wrong. However, I look around to the first group of kids and their eyes are actually popping out of their heads. There are girls in the back snickering. Of the two P. E. teachers, the girl has fallen off her chair from laughing and the guy just has his hand over his mouth. I start thinking that my leggings are actually see-through and people can see my underwear.

Shagging in the American dictionary is defined as: to fetch, to retrieve, to pursue (also, apparently, a really bad hair cut?) but in the English English dictionary it means to have sex. I start thinking about all of the movies that I have watched that have loads of English actors in them and yup….the light bulb went off. I told a group of high school kids to go have sex on the other side of the net. Not intentionally of course….but still. I did it. I also turned about 20 shades of red and apologized close to 50 times.

Luckily, I was forgiven and dubbed the “cool” coach and possibly gave those kids a fantastic story to tell their friends. Surprisingly I was invited back by the P. E. teachers and they want me to present some athletic award at the end of the semester. Life is weird like that sometimes.

As I was leaving, I told the kids to stay in school and don’t do drugs…and I heard one of the boys whisper, “yeah, and no shagging.” Well, hopefully they’ll remember some of the volleyball technique that they learned today. For the last day of me being 23 years old, I’m not sure I could’ve done it up any better….

Happy Thursday everyone!

Extra list of words you need to know if you want to visit England (the list grows everyday)
1. Rubbish: trash or something that isn’t good
2. You alright?: How are you?
3. Pants: underwear
4. Torch: flash light
5. Boot: trunk of the car
6. Dodgy: shady
7. Wee bit: a little bit
8. Pissed: drunk
9. Lift: elevator
10. Cheeky: rude but cunning; also used as an adjective for anything
11. Up the duff: pregnant
12. Lou: toilet
13. Surname: last name (self explainable)
14. Mate: buddy
15. Brilliant: cool, great, spot-on
16. Fancy dressed: costume attire
****if anyone has any to add, please let me know 🙂

Oops….I’ve forgotten about this Blog thing

I just realized today that I haven’t written a blog in well….almost 4 full months. A whole lot has happened. I’ll try and keep this short. 

Timeline & Order of Events

January: Longest break ever. We have a by the first week of play…so we don’t play until the third week of January. We continue to lose but start taking points off of the top teams. Progress? Yes! And of course, as luck has it, our outside tears her achilles tendon. Gross. There goes our reception. 

 

February: We have like 8 players on the team. All but two (including myself) are under the age of 20. If the struggle bus was real, we would be on it…..speeding without seatbelts because that’s how Greeks do it. Highlight of this month was the massive fight that broke out during one of the island matches because our coach was giving the crowd the finger…but he was really just telling us to serve zone one haha.  
 

March: Well first, I got deported. I went home for literally a weekend which was in all honesty, amazing; seeing the nuggets, surprising my best friend and sister, eating my mother’s food, drinking beer with my dad = absolutely priceless.  I had to go back to finish the season (even though if I had been caught, I would’ve been sent back to the USA – obviously the Greek passport control does not care whatsoever).  Finally we get to the end of the season! We finished up 6th place which is actually a miracle. I’m still not sure how it happened, but I’m not complaining. I said yasas to Greece and HELLOOOO ENGLAND! I now get to date my boyfriend and crush the long distance thing. The first week I was in the UK, I did absolutely nothing. No exercise (horrible idea), no waking up early (also not a great idea), no volleyball (I was okay with that), nothing. 
   

     

April: I officially decided to “not do nothing” because life is too short and well, it’s incredibly unproductive. I am unable to join a gym because I don’t have a UK bank account which sucks but thanks to Ms. Sarah Schall, I’ve got plenty of workouts that I can do in the living room or in the park. Speaking of the park, everyone walks their dogs (haven’t seen a mutt yet) in the park. From small yip yip dogs to huge fluffy ones, the park is the place to go. The people are super friendly here and so are their dogs. I will go to the park just to play with stranger’s dogs. No one minds though which is nice. 
  

Clay and I spent the week after Easter in France. I’m not sure there is a word to describe the sights that we saw. We met the nicest French people (never thought I’d say that), we had some GREAT wine, saw some crystal clear water, jumped off of a super tall snowcapped mountain, had fondue for dinner, and just soaked in the pure natural beauty that God blessed that country with. From Nice to Chamonix….it was definitely a trip for the books. 

   

              

 I got pretty tired of not playing volleyball (I knew it was going to happen). Unfortunately the sport is not very popular over here but I did find a couple clubs that offered to take me in and let me practice with the teams. There is something about this game that is just extraordinarily enjoyable. But it’s not just the game; the people who you get to play with immediately become people that you’ve known for years (even though it was only three hours) and you learn some lingo that other people use to explain areas of the game that you never really thought of. I seriously play the greatest sport ever and I’m constantly learning about it. I really don’t understand how a country that gets SO MUCH RAIN, doesn’t want to play a super fun indoor sport…I’m trying to help them out because honestly, what’s not to love about this game?

One of the ladies I met at a practice asked me to house/dog sit for her family! Everyone thinks that is so nutty but we knew each other for three full hours…that’s enough time right? And with my golden personality, I guess I look trustworthy! So I spent all of last week with her dog, Jake, and their house which was in another town. Cooked broccoli for the first time, WEIGHED ingredients for the first time, picked up dog poop for the first time…it was quite a lovely experience!!

This past weekend we did a full day hike through the Cotswolds which was amazing. We probably hiked around 15 miles total (got a little lost the first hike). Gorgeous day and the views were breathtaking. Spring is definitely here. 

   

       

My birthday is coming up which I’m super pumped about and a quick Germany trip! I’ll be a little better at keeping up with this blog thing, I promise. I want to plan one more trip that I’ll probably be going by myself…right now it’s a tie between Reykjavik, Iceland, Normandy, France, and Dublin, Ireland. Let me know if anyone has any suggestions 🙂

Whelp, that’s a wrap. New favorite English words are: Literally (pronounced lit-trally), rubbish (which means trash or something that’s not very good), and cheeky (an adjective that can be used before just about any noun, ex: Oh, that’s a cheeky hedge over there/ or to be used instead of sassy). Smell ya later, don’t forget to Carpe that Diem!!!

-Kristin