Aug. 20, 2000
Friday, August 18
Well, today was a pretty relaxing day for us. In the morning we went and toured the Santos Futebol Club's facilities where Pelé played. At this point I would have to say what a great job Rafael Gibim, our tour director, has done. He had every meal and game planned and organized. We are very thankful for how much he has helped us.
All afternoon we had time to go off and shop in the city of Santos. It was fun trying to blend in as a Brazilian and the people were very nice to us. We went to a Brazilian gift shop, and the lady that owned the place drove us back to the hotel. We then ate a late dinner, and Rafael bought a birthday cake for Sani Post, who turned 19 today. I thought that was really nice of him. It was an early night because we have a game in the morning.
Saturday, August 19
Today we had our last soccer games against a professional club. Our younger players beat their opponents 1-0, and we beat the other team 4-0. We played really well and we ate at their clubhouse.
OK, I thought traffic was bad in New York City, but we completely stopped moving for 45 minutes because cars had to merge by a toll plaza. We came back and ate in the hotel where we gave thank you gifts to Rafael, Nato (his right-hand man), Richard (camera man), two security guards (they were really nice) and the bus driver. Some of us then walked along the beach which is right across from our hotel. The sand is extremely fine and very soft. We shopped at a little market on the beach, and then I packed up my clothes for the journey home.
Sunday, August 20
Well, today is our last day in Brazil. This morning we had our last Brazilian breakfast and we were given time to shop and pack. Some of us went to the beach and built sand castles. We had to check out of the hotel by 2:00 p.m. and our flight was at 8:00 p.m. We should be arriving back in South Bend about noon on Monday.
This trip has been amazing. It was a learning experience about soccer, culture and the a different land. It made me appreciate where I live and the privileges I have. There are things I have witnessed and experienced in these past 10 days that I will remember for the rest of my life. Hopefully I have learned things here that I can transfer to my life in the States and make me a better person. On behalf of the whole team, I would like to thank our coaches for this opportunity, our parents for allowing us to go, Rafael Gibim for planning a great trip and everyone else involved with this trip. Thanks again and God bless.