Volleyball team in China: Day 3

May 23, 2013

ESU volleyball players and the team from Beihang University pose for a photo.Today was a lot less chaotic than our first day here.  We got to sleep in a little bit and then had the rest of the morning to walk around the University and explore.  A few of the girls decided to check out the market located on campus and found that a lot of brands from America are here in China as well.  Some popular choices were the Oreos and the pop because it was something we are familiar with but had a little Chinese twist. 

In the afternoon we scrimmaged against the team that we practiced with yesterday.  The first two games the teams were split by schools and unfortunately we didn’t win either of them, but it was a very competitive game and I think everyone on the team was pleased with our performance because of the high level of play. 

Teams from ESU and Beihang University scrimmage.The second two games the teams were combined to have 3 Beihang players and 3 ESU players on the court at the same time.  Since communication is one of the biggest components of a volleyball game, it was hard at first because we speak a different language, but it made us better because we had to find a way to make it work.  For example, they would teach us some Chinese phrases and we would teach them English or use hand gestures to explain what we were doing or what play to run.  Since they beat Stanford we were a little intimidated to be on the court, but it was a great learning experience and definitely made us better.

After playing we went to dinner with the team where we were able to talk more about their culture and learn more about their everyday life.   A lot of the girls were shy because they were afraid of messing up our language but after seeing us use chopsticks and how terrible we were they opened up.  They even started conversations with us because they realized we’re both in the same position and they wanted to learn more about our culture as well.  Another cool thing we got to do was exchange jerseys.  Our style is different than theirs and they have a much more unique jersey so it makes for a sweet souvenir to be able to take back with us. 

Chopsticks take getting used to during a team meal.We capped the night off with a little shopping trip with the team to an off-campus mall where we were able to see more of their fashion as well as get a few bargains.  One thing we learned real quickly is the girls love to take pictures of us and we took at least 200 throughout the whole night while sportin’ the peace sign. 

Although there is a big language barrier, getting to ask the girls questions and and spend time with them has been a great experience because we have realized that even though we are halfway across the world, we still have similar interests and are a lot alike.  So far it’s been an awesome and eye opening experience, and we’re only on the third day!

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