Canada: Day 3, Honorary Canadian

Guest Writer: Coach Tal (Check out the pictures!)

Human Canada Sculpture!

Human Canada Sculpture!

Day: 3

Greetings from Vancouver Island, Nanaimo Canada!

We're On A Boat!

We're On A Boat!

Today started like any other day so far on the trip, where Coach Fulks says ‘Morning Canada’ as we both scurry around gathering up the Pioneers for our day’s adventure.  Today embarked a new journey for us, as we were taking our first ferry ride of the trip over to Nanaimo for our game against Vancouver Island University!  Good news …. we fit on the Ferry with about 2 inches to spare above the van to the roof of the ferry car park. Phew!

This was going to be our first ‘exhibition game’ as the first two were scrimmages against UBC and SFU…  so the girls were very excited to put on their black Uni’s today and play hard! Our ferry ride took us a good 2 hours to get to the island where we had a plethora of things going on while floating across the big blue pond.  Some girls slept, some played cards, some did homework, and some watched film with Coach Fulks and I, during a mini film session in one of the vans.  We went through a few things that we did well the previous night against SFU and some opportunities for us to improve on for our game tonight against VIU.

As we docked in Nanaimo, we all noticed the scenery was a bit different from Vancouver.  The island was more spread out, less metropolitan influence, and many more trees; looking very much like the NorthWest we

Happy and Well Fed

Happy and Well Fed

were used to.  We pulled through downtown Nanaimo and found a spot to feed the hungry girls and coaches.  A hungry coach is NOT a happy coach 🙂 Our waitress at the Modern Cafe gave us a few suggestions of things to do since we had about three hours to use before game time.  We walked along the Seawall on the edge of town peering in and out gift shops,

Skills on the SeaWall

Skills on the SeaWall

walked along the water,  and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  Our-in house dance team, Neva Houser and Jodi Snider, Salsa danced for us along the seawall while a local played the guitar;  some of us pretended not to know them, although they did a fairly good job!

After our trip to the Seawall, we scoobied up to the VIU campus.  From the very top of campus you could see for miles! It was BEAUTIFUL.  We also noticed the Nanaimo Ice Center in the distance, so we hopped in the vans and decided to see what kind of trouble we could get into there.  Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Canada without a HOCKEY GAME!  We filed into the rink, feeling

Hockey!!

Hockey!!

like little kids with all of our eyes sparking and big smiles on our faces because there was a women’s hockey game going on right then!  Because we usually cannot go anywhere without laughing and having a good time, we were all coaching both teams by the end of the first period.  Clearly, we thought we knew what should be going on more than the girls on the ice!  We started the wave, cheered for the losing team, and yelled to let the girls out of the penalty box.  Now that I think about it, it’s probably a good thing we don’t have a penalty box in basketball, as I don’t know if we could keep a full 5 people on the court.

Game time came and we were warmly welcomed from the VIU staff.  They were very helpful, kind, and genuine.  After a very intense back and forth game, we were able to pull away with a victory in our first game! The girls

Game Time!

Game Time!

played VERY well after 2 scrimmages the two previous days.  Senior Talerra Rich finished with 16 points and led the Pioneers in rebounding.  The other piece of good news,  we didn’t have to learn any new rules this game, as we had learned them all the hard way the previous two days.  The girls were exhausted but very excited to have our first ‘W’ under our belt for the weekend.  VIU even helped our Canadian, Paige Dinnie, feel at home as every time she went in, or took a shot they commentated and played the OH CANADA tune.  After the game, we re-grouped in the schools ‘squash’ room (which to most of us is a racquet ball court) where the school provided us with pizza before our next van journey.  Thanks to VIU and their amazing Canadian Hospitality.

Before we knew it, we were out of Nanaimo and on our way to Victoria for our game tomorrow.  Some girls slept, others chit-chatted about Halloween costumes, while the coaches just plugged along the dark road into Victoria.  Arriving at our hotel around 10pm, our night could not be complete without a quick team bonding game where we shared a room full of laughs

Sat in the wrong spot...

Sat in the wrong spot...

and hysterical activities.  Thanks to Neva and Jodi for being such good sports tonight!

After day 3 down and 1 more to go, I am wondering if I can be an honorary Canadian if I start throwing some ‘eh’s’ into conversation?

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