Some teammates and I were invited to play in another exhibition match in September, this time in Qatar! Never in a million years did I ever think I would have the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, especially to play some volley! Here’s what our schedule looked like on our arrival day :
Land in Doha 2 am, get to hotel 3:45 am, press conference (yes) at 4 am (yeah, I know), sleep until 9, breakfast, practice 10-11, lunch, free time, game time 5 pm.
My body has never been so angry at me. Oh wait… Then Mr. Food Poisoning made its appearance for the first time in my life at a very wrong time. The day before we left Manila I now recall eating a cheeseburger that smelled different than normal, but I was a silly hungry hippo and ate it anyway. Although I know you’d all love to hear about how I had to run to the restroom about every hour or every time I consumed anything, I’ll save the lovely details for myself. Bummer, I know.
THE HEAT WAS SO REAL, BUT SO WAS THE AMAZING ARCHITECTURE.
Mel and I decided to explore the area around us before we had to leave for the game. We were so excited to explore and look at beautiful buildings all around us. We even got so serious about it that we borrowed an umbrella from the hotel (shoutout to our awesome Melia Hotel), you know, looking like Asian tourists. We took some awesome pictures even though we were sweating profusely, but we kept saying it’s all for the experience and it was so worth it! We headed back to the hotel and obviously the very next thing we did was ate some delicious food at the buffet! I personally was trying to be careful about what I was eating, but let’s get real, you can’t turn down the imported cheese & cracker table- and you definitely can’t turn down a cup of sangria! Let’s not forget about dessert…
GAME TIME- MY SETTER DREAM CAME TRUE
Unfortunately one of our outside hitters was not able to make the trip, but that left an opportunity open for someone else to step up to the plate… the little Setter in me jumps with joy every time I think of doing serve receive and attacking… Michele, who’s our opposite, started playing OH for the first half of the match, while I played OPP. Personally I love playing OPP AND I’ve done it before in recreational games, but never in an actual match. The second half Michele and I switched and we freaking killed it hellerrrr! Shoutout to all the coaches who taught me how to be proficient in all positions of volley hahaha. I mean we lost for the first time against this team, but that will never take away a huge accomplishment from me!
PACK. NO CAMELS. SHOP. BYE.
We were supposed to go camel riding at 4 am the day after playing, but our organizer of the event wasn’t there to pick us up so… no camel ride… we ended up touring some of Doha and going to the Vellagio Mall, which reminded me of the Venetian Hotel in Vegas! It was cool, but I was only able to afford groceries and souvenir goodies at the supermarket. Although the Americana in me wishes I could’ve stopped by Starbucks to buy a Qatar or Doha mug like I usually do when visiting a new place. Anyway, we buy our stuff, head back to the hotel, scarf the Dominoes pizza down, and rush to the airport.