Volleyball team in China: Day 1

May 21, 2013

The Emporia State University volleyball team on the flight from San Francisco to Beijing, China.

Here is the first installment of the Emporia State volleyball team's blog of their 10-day trip to China. This entry is written by Hornet senior to be Paige Vanderpool.


To start the trip off we had our wonderful bus driver, Ed, taking us to the Kansas City airport at 2 a.m. so we could catch our first flight to Denver.  The bus was hardly ever quiet the entire ride because of everyone’s excitement to finally be heading to China after waiting and anticipating for six months!  Our first plane to Denver was a turbo prop, which had most of the team a little worried because it was VERY small and compact… not what you would want to be flying in if you’re not used to it.  The ride was a little bumpy but we made it safely. 

We got to Denver a little late which meant we had to race to our next gate in order to catch our flight to San Francisco which left at 8:00 a.m. (MT).  Just as we arrived to the gate they were calling boarding group number 5, just in time!  The second plane was A LOT better, no turbo prop which meant the ride was much smoother than before.  By the time we had landed in San Fran everyone was dying of starvation!  Let me just say that a group of 12 volleyball players who haven’t eaten anything but snacks since being up at 2 a.m. is a dangerous group to be around! 

We finally got some food once we found our gate.   The layover was about 2 hours which gave us just enough time to eat our food and have precious last minutes using our cell phones and social media since it’s the last time we could do this for 10 days!! Oh noooo!!

Although we were all extremely excited to finally be boarding our last plane to China, we were not so excited about being on a plane for 12 looooooong hours.  Most girls were prepared with either a laptop, book, iPod, iPad, or something of that sort, but I think everyone had one thing in common that they wanted to do… sleep!  It’s hard to get quality sleep when your long legs are jammed in a tiny little space that was obviously not made for tall volleyball players (for those of us who are), but we managed to get a few hours. 

The plane provided us with three surprisingly delicious meals and a TV that constantly had a movie or show playing which also helped pass the time.  The last meal came with an hour and a half left of the flight, so from that point on everyone was wide awake and anxiously awaiting touchdown, which came at about 3:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. CT).  We flew through immigration and customs with no problems and thankfully no one had any lost baggage, woohoo! 

The Emporia State University volleyball team pauses for a group photo in the Beijing Airport.Once we finally got through all of security Ping and the girls and Bing’s brother and a few other friends were waiting for us.  It was so heartwarming to see the girls (Jade and Grace) run up to Bing and hug his legs because they missed him so much.  And then to see the look on Bing’s and his brothers’ faces when they had not seen each other since 1997, WOW! 

After that we took a bus to Beijing University where we are staying.  We got checked into our hotel and headed to eat our first authentic dinner.  They served way more food than we could ever imagine eating, but most of the girls tried a little bit of everything.  Some of the strange things served were sea cucumber and some sort of jelly fish, but the fan favorites were the beef, rice, shrimp, and duck. 

After a long day of travelling we are all exhausted and ready for bed so we can get a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s adventures!



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