China Dispatch #9
Contributed by: Molly McAlvany
December 1, 2013 - Today we woke up a little too early than we would like, but our sleepiness was quickly forgotten when we came downstairs to the most glorious breakfast we could imagine. After living off of a diet of rice and bread for 8 days straight it was so good to see French toast and omelets waiting for us. After breakfast we headed on our 2 hour bus ride to the Shanghai training center. Here we played the Shanghai junior team in a fun five set match. It was sad to play our last match together as a team but I think we were all excited about going home.
Next we had an interesting lunch at the cafeteria that required us to drink our water out of tin bowls but we got to celebrate with some cake for Mrs. Templeton's birthday! After lunch we got to explore the campus a little bit. It was really pretty and had lots of artwork and playgrounds! Then we boarded the bus for a short trip to the Zhu Jia Jiao village (Old Town). This was a really cool market area where we got to buy lots of souvenirs. It was a lot of fun if you could get past the horrible smell and the disturbing roasted animals. We did not enjoy seeing the duck heads and chicken feet around every corner.
After walking around the market drove over to watch the Shanghai professional team play the Jiang professional team. Shanghai took the match in a close 5 sets. We got to go on the court and talked to an American that played on the Shanghai team. We learned that she graduated from UCLA and was part of the Sports Performance team that went to China! She was really nice and I think it felt nice for both of us to interact with a fellow American. After a long day we headed back to the hotel for dinner and to prepare for an early morning trip to the airport. We have all had such an amazing time in China but are so excited to be heading back to the States tomorrow!