Game time

Sorry for the delay in the update! As my new hobby I started to knit and I’ve been distracted in my free time knitting together a blanket. 🙂
This last Sunday we played our first match against the defending Champions in Croatia, Rijeka. We ended up losing 3-1 in a tight, hard battled match. Rijeka has yet to lose in the league, with much experience and chemistry as a team, they are a very talented team. Having been our first match together as a team after two weeks of practice, I am very excited to see how the rest of the season plays out with a few more practices and games under our belt. Seeing the way we competed with Rijeka I believe our team will be very successful this year! This last week we gained another player, she is an outside, in her mid 30s and a well “respected” player in Croatia having played on the Croatian national team.
Tomorrow will be our next match against Porec at home again. This will be another competitive team, they placed in the top four in the league last year. These first games will all be tough matches because we are playing in a mini playoff tournament with the four top seeds from last year, and then will be seeded for the final tournament based on this mini tournament. We will play one match at home and one match at the opponents place. 
Exciting news tomorrows game will be live streamed again! The producer was satisfied with how many people watched our last match, so will be streaming this match also. Thanks to everyone who watched!! I will post the link on my Facebook for tomorrow’s game.
This last week the President of the club took all of the Americans out to dinner. It was very fancy and delicious, we had octopus, shrimp salad, fish, grilled veggies, bread and crepes for dessert. We also had high end wine and rakija (a favorite drink of the Croatians).
A couple other things we did to entertain ourselves this week…. the sun has been out and has been very nice weather so we walked along the beach to a cafe and had a bijela kava (my new daily drink white coffee). We also went to the Cinema to see Identity Thief. 
After our game Sunday we get to go experience a European football game, which is supposed to be a very big rival game, Split verse Zagreb. I think it may be pretty wild! I am excited I will let you know how it goes in my next blog.
That’s all for now. Bok!! 🙂 

“New Life”

I have soon came to realize what kind of lifestyle my life will entail for the next three months, much different than the last five years of my life. I am an individual that if I am not being productive I have a feeling of guilt like I need to be doing something..well… this will all be changing. Not saying that I am going to lay around doing nothing and waste away the day, but with volleyball my only commitment I have plenty of time on my hands. It still feels like I should be doing  homework or studying during my free time, but then I remind myself I am all done with college! And it feels good.

So what has happened in the last week besides the realization of my “new” life?..
First, last week I came down with a bad cold, which I never get sick so this was no fun. Friday I did not practice and saw the doctor when we all had our physicals (doctor spoke no English but luckily our manager was there to translate) and I was prescribed four medicines and thankfully started to feel better immediately.
We went to the men’s Split volleyball game and also a handball game. This was the first handball game I have ever been too, it is a popular sport in Europe. It is quite an interesting sport to say, since after watching half of a game I still have no idea any of the rules, except a lot of physical contact, guys getting hurt and random whistles from the  referees.
One goal of mine before I leave Croatia is to learn basic Croatian words, a few I have learned so far are Hvala (thank you), Dobro (good), Dobra Dan (good afternoon) , Bok (bye).
It has been rainy here this last week, but it is supposed to get sunny the next fews. Lets hope so we can get outside and start doing stuff. To keep myself busy in our spare time I have been trying to find a hobby to pick up. It will be much easier to occupy myself when it warms up outside, but for now while it is still chilly if anyone has any hobbies that you would think I enjoy let me know! I have downloaded the max amount of apps for my iPad you can use without wifi, including ab workouts and yoga (which my roommate and I have made into nightly sessions and I think we get more of a work out from our laughs).
Yesterday we got to finally taste some of the best crepes–we all ate way too much, but it was definitely worth it. Here is a picture of my crepe..nutella, banana, and vanilla ice cream..
This week we have a full week of practices and then we we will have our first match! We are playing at home Sunday against the team that took first in league last year.
Love from Croatia!

First week in Croatia!

View of Split
Officially have been living in Croatia for one week! It already has been such an amazing experience and I have been blessed to meet so many new wonderful people and see so much.
I am living with Lucy, a Canadian who played for the same club last year in Split. I have been very thankful to be living with her because she is familiar with Split and knows where everything is already. The name of the club I will be playing for is called Split ZOK 1700 and there are five Americans playing for our club.
This last week I have been able to experience a little bit of everything in Spilt. So far we have already walked through a famous palace in Split, which has a large market surrounding it (very cool they sell everything from fresh food to underwear and clothing at this market), walked along the sea to hike up Marjan Park, went shopping at the two malls, went out in downtown Split Saturday night, and started practicing.
Hiking up Marajan has definitely been my favorite so far. The hiking was a combination of walking up stairs (probably about 500) and walking along paths. The hike was very quiet, peaceful and had unbelievable views of the city. At the highest point of the hike you could see the whole city of Spilt. It was gorgeous to see the sea a long one side of the city and the mountains a long the other side.
I have been trying lots of new foods and have found the most amazing chocolate which I have been eating way too much of, called kinder bueno. Split has lots of delicious foods, another one of my favorites is called burek (croissant roll made with cheese in it). I have been trying a new food/meal everyday at the restaurant we go to get our meals at.

Palace in downtown
Palace in downtown Split
Our first team practice was last Friday night–we just did some serving, passing, and hitting to get in the groove of things. Monday we started two a days, so we will practice for an hour half in the morning and then an hour and half at night (9pm have to get used to practicing so late!) This upcoming weekend we will have off again because the locals on the team will finish their league they are currently playing in, and then our first match will be February 15.
We experienced an earthquake early Monday morning!! First and hopefully the last. It was quite an experience I was still asleep when I first heard a loud rumble and then soon after felt the whole apartment shake, it only lasted about 4 seconds.

I’m hoping to do a weekly post to keep you all updated 🙂