The 100 Year Plan (Players Blog)
JULY 24TH 2017
Yesterday was a hike to say the least. A majority of the kids did not sleep the night we were supposed to leave for the airport. Myself, and a few others got out of the pool at 10:45pm and a little over an hour later we are leaving for a 3:15am flight. Once we were at the airport we split into two groups. My group flew out of Miami at 3:20am, in total, there were seven of us. Walking through the airport was interesting. It was more of a ghost town than an international airport. Shops had their lights on and let us walk around for a few minutes before telling us “we are closed” as we went to buy something. The flight was not bad to Colombia, except for this cat that did not stop meowing the entire flight. Having not slept since the night before, it was highly agitating. The airport in Colombia was much nicer than I expected it to be, it just looked like a standard American airport. Beginning the nine hour layover was quite easy, we found a good spot and a all of us went to sleep. I awoke to Juan telling me that we had to move. We moved to a new spot, but we weren’t there long. Michael found out that they had a lounge upstairs. For $30 and 6 hours—best $30 of my life. Food and drinks were all free once inside, and they had a ton of couches and tables. The main part was that they had showers. After an early morning flight, a shower couldn’t have sounded better. We all just kinda hung out in the lounge for six or seven hours. The flight from Colombia to Ecuador was nothing special. It was quick at an hour and a half. Once we were in Ecuador, we had to go through customs which was a breeze, but since we came from Colombia, we had to get “extra screening” so we had to put our bags through another security checkpoint. We met the bus driver and quickly realized how different the style of life is here. Driving is a war zone at best. We got to our rooms, then went out for dinner. Seeing Ecuador for the first time is enlightening. In the U.S. we aren’t exposed to this style of life, and the style of life is very unique. After dinner, we were all running off pure adrenaline. I hadn’t had more than thirty minutes of continuous sleep in around 40 hours, so a bed sounded good to me as opposed to airport chairs.
JULY 25TH 2017
Drew P. Morgan
Today did not really have a start, since we never actually had a rest. Right at 12:00 AM we left for the airport, and waited for the ticket counter to open in order to check our baggage. After many hours of short naps, we were able to take care of our luggage, pass through security, eat some breakfast and board our flight. We then had a swift lay over in Panama City, and headed on our way to Guayaquil. After we got through customs, we waited in the baggage claim for hours until our bus arrived to take us to our hotel.
After we settled into the hotel, it was time to explore the city. The main street was lined with festive Ecuadorians, as it was Guayaquil independence day. The police had shut down this main road, because there would be a large parade within that hour. We then had the great idea to walk down the middle of the vacant road, while playing catch with our lacrosse sticks. I had never had that many eyes on me before that moment. Everyone looked at us with curiosity, and there was an endless wave of pictures. We were eventually halted by a beautiful monument at the end of the road. Past the monument was a massive river and everyone could feel the power it held. Adjacent to the river was a boardwalk that we walked along. As we walked, many kids and adults were interested in the lacrosse sticks, so we would stop and teach them how to pass and catch. We were all impressed by the natural ability so many of them had with the lacrosse stick, and I think many of them loved learning how to play lacrosse.
After our walk down the river we went back to the hotel, rested for a while and went back out to have dinner. The facade of the restaurant we went to made me nervous, but my nerves were soon settled by the quality and flavor of the great food that we were served. We then went back to the hotel, and got ready for bed. If I hadn’t actually gotten any legitimate sleep in the past 48 hours I would not have been able to rest, since I was so excited to explore the city the following day. Even though we had only been there for a couple of hours, I already felt the great energy this city and it’s people gave off.
JULY 26TH 2017
Today was our group’s first full day in Guayaquil and it definitely was a full day. After a well needed good night’s sleep, we had breakfast at 7:00 AM. The breakfast consisted of little talking and most of us sipping our coffee and fruit flavored Ecuadorian drinks. After a quiet and brisk breakfast at our quant little hostel in the middle of Guayaquil, we headed off to a chocolate factory. However, this was no ordinary chocolate factory, the owner was Juan De La Plaza’s uncle. It made me cheerful see Juan meeting up with his cousins and uncles after not seeing them for several years. After a brief introduction, we started our tour. We got to see the whole process of how chocolate is made. I also learned that cocoa pods are a fruit. We started the tour by seeing the different machinery used to make chocolate and then we saw the flow of milk chocolate into a cooling tunnel. We finished it the tour with receiving endless amounts of freshly made chocolate from Juan’s uncle.
After the tour of the chocolate factory we stopped for a brief lunch and had some down time back at the hostel. At about 3:00 in the afternoon, we headed off for our first full training session. We went to the Guayaquil Tennis club to play lacrosse in front of whoever was watching. We did several progression drills and ended with 4 v 3 competition drills. I was surprised by how much talent the players on this trip possess and we had some good competitive games. However, the defense out-matched the offense in the 4 v 3 drills.
After we “earned our adventure” we went back to the hostel, showered, and headed out for dinner. We went to dinner at a classic Ecuadorian style dinner place we found walking on the street. It was very flavorful and filling. After dinner we went back to the hostel and started our nightly rituals which consist of talking about our thoughts of the day, sharing what we liked and what made us uncomfortable, and what we are looking forward to on our trip. Then we do the 5 minutes of fame in Guayaquil where 1 to 2 people a night are asked rapid fire questions about themselves for 5 minutes. This game allows us to get to know each other better and makes us feel more comfortable with each other. After our long and full day, we said our goodnights and went to bed.
JULY 27TH 2017
Starting the day off right waking up late and eating some great eggs and bread. Dousing my toast in butter and covering my eggs in cheese. Waking up Hunter was the only problem though, staying up till 3am attempting to find wifi. The gang started off the daily adventure by taking a long walk down the boardwalk. We brought our lacrosse sticks and some balls to throw around and show people the game. We brought information cards about Ecuador lacrosse incase anyone was interested in the sport. We were pretty successful and got some people to throw around with us and they turned out to be very good at throwing and catching. An unexpected twist cam to the trip when we saw a giant ferris wheel and decided to go on it. For a whopping 3$ per kid, we went on the ferris wheel and had a great time, but after some sitting down you gotta do some walking. We walked up 440+ stairs to get to the top of a beautiful view where we the rested for a long time because the walk tired almost everyone out. After walking down from the top, we got a chance to visit a small park that had iguanas just chilling on the ground and climbing trees. Not going to lie it was a happy surprise to see such weird lizards.
We walk back to the hotel from the park and without a break, we are off to the tennis club to play some lacrosse. We split into teams of 3-4 and played a game called 3by. A street game made to practice your soft hands and improve transition and finishing. For two hours we ran hard and had a great time throwing a tennis ball at 70-80mph at each other. The winning team was to get the first class tickets to the Galapagos but that somehow fell through. Team John’s won 8-6 against my team and we were all glad we could go back and shower.
We knew that we would be tired to go back,shower, put some nice clothes on, and go out to eat so we stopped at Burger King. We were all happy to get any quality of food in us. So once we all had our food, we rode the bus back to the hostel where we talked about the fay and had our 5 minutes of fame. Once we were all done with the review of how the next day was going to go, we all went to our rooms. Some of us fell asleep right away due to the intense running of 3by. Others like some De La Salle boys, Hunter and I stayed up till 12 having classic guy conversations. It was my favorite day by far, got to play the most lacrosse and have some quality time with some new friends.
JULY 28TH 2017
Today, Day 6 of our travels in Ecuador, was jump started by a very much anticipated wake up call. Despite the 6:00am door banging wake up, everyone was super pumped to be heading to The Galapagos Islands. First off, huge shoutout to Jake for waking me up! We, I mean just me, scrambled out of our hostel in the heart of Guayaquil city and grabbed some el pan and los huevos. Once we arrived at the airpot we headed straight to KFC which was absolutely delightful. The plane ride was a quick and easy one till the landing. I honestly believe, everyone on our flight thought we were going down just like in the TV shows. We touched down in Galapagos and let out a huge side of relief. Next, we went through security and took in our first glimpse of the many beautiful sights The Galapagos is famously know for. We hopped on a bus which was just one type of transport we had to take to get our island. If the fake landing wasn’t enough to test our fear, our bus driver amazing weaved through some of the tightest curves with a bus that didn’t look all to capable. The bus lead us to a ferry which turned into a stage for Jrod’s hilarious finder fairy performance. After many laughs we arrived at the port which was the final step in our journey to our hostel. Once on land again we had to wait for the bus that never came. Fortunately, this allowed us to sit and just take in the nature.
As we waited, everyone pointed out animals that they spotted in the water and land. My favorite was seeing a Blue Footed Boobie dive from the sky into the water after its prey. 2 short hours later we concluded that the bus was just never coming and taxi drivers were super stoked to gladly give us a lift. Little did we know that our taxi driver was the second coming Ricky Bobby and gunned to our hostel in Santa Cruz. We threw our bags in the hostel and went exploring in our new surroundings. Out of no where we stumbled upon this incredible turf field filled of kids playing soccer. Everyone sprinted onto the field and join games. We had a US vs Ecuador game going which without question went in the Ecuadorians favor. Coach had to pull us off the field to eat dinner and once we cleaned out plates we rushed back onto the field. Something that was really great was we turned a field that was dedicated to soccer into a lacrosse fields. It was so amazing to see the wiliness and eagerness of the kids to tryout lacrosse. Everyone immediately created relationships with the kids. The kids were super coachable and had smiles from ear to ear. Over 3 overs pasted and everyone was still going hard but sadly the night had to come to a end. Neither us or the kids wanted to leave because we having such a great. After countless pictures and high fives we finally started our walk back to the hostel to end a incredible day.
JULY 29TH 2017
Today we started off with breakfast in the morning where we had Pancakes, Bread, and some Guava Juice. We then headed over to the local soccer field where we watched a local mens league soccer game for about 10 minutes. After that we had a wallball challenge where we had to complete 8 different types of catches and throws in both our right and left hand, most of the guys couldn’t do it except for Jake and Hunter. After the competition we went on about a 2-3 mile trek through the boardwalk where we stopped at the fish market to see various types of fish as well as seals and pelicans. Next we headed to a Darwin outdoor exhibit. My group which consisted of Juan, Hunter, Jake, and Napper. First we stopped at the finches for about a minute and then to the tortoise exhibit where we saw tortoises that ranged from a couple months old to about 150 years old. After that we headed to an indoor place where they had the oldest ever tortoise displayed in a case, I thought this was pretty disgusting as it was a dead stuffed tortoise stuffed in a box. After we stopped at a cafe to get soda and ice cream. We then left the Darwin outdoor museum. We decided to eat at a local lunch place. It had a variety of different options of food. I went with a Cheeseburger and a peanut butter milkshake. It took a while but the food was good. At the end of lunch we sang happy birthday to Craig as they brought out a cake for him. After the coaches let us walk around the town and shop. I went with Craig and McLain and we went to many different stores where we bought bracelets shirts and sunglasses. We then headed to the dock where we went to German beach. After a boat ride and a 2 mile walk we made it to German Beach where we hopped in the water. We played around for a while saw many fish and even a stingray. After the walk back we went back to the hostel, we showered and got ready for dinner. We walked to dinner by the soccer field where we got street food. Me and McLain got fried chicken and french fries, which was one of my favorite meals of the trip. After dinner we watched half of a soccer game and proceeded home to go to bed.
JULY 30TH 2017
We started off the day with a 7 am wake up, my alarm screaming in my ear made me feel as if there was a fire alarm going off and I needed to get out of bed. There was no fire of course. The other boys and I headed downstairs to get breakfast. Breakfast was pancakes and a type of bread. The juice I could tell was freshly squeezed. After breakfast I headed upstairs to take a shower to get ready for the day. After showering and getting ready I headed downstairs to hear what was going to be happening throughout the day. As the guys and I gather downstairs we start playing catch and enjoying the nice weather as well as the quiet streets. After playing pass for a good 15 to 20 minutes Coach Christmas starts the count of (every person on the trip is given a number to call out so we can make sure everyone is accounted for). After doing the count of we realize we are all there and get on with the day.
First stop, we stopped at a indoor soccer court. But we did not go inside and use the facilities, we stayed outside and use a small corner of the wall. We did our first competition of the day consisting of seeing who had the better stick skills. I did not complete the course so I was bummed but even though I lost I still cheered for my fellow players. After this challenge the winner collected 5 dollars. After collecting five dollars the winner was able to spend it on whatever they chose to.
Second stop. We pulled up to this blacktop basketball/soccer court. We decided to grab 2 buckets to use for goals and we played three by three (three by three is a game kinda like box lacrosse but with three vs three with no goalie).
Third stop. We went to see the amazing giant tortoises. They were a lot bigger than I thought they would be. They were probably some up to about 1000 pounds. The highlight of the tortoises was seeing Fuego Diego. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Fuego Diego is one of the most widely know tortoises because he was known to have saved the population of tortoises.
Fourth stop. We went to a beach called Germany Beach which was a beach know for being calm and very clear water. As we got there we played in the water and swam for a while. After we swam we got out and did a series of challenges where we had to test our accuracy and we had to test our strength as well as our speed.
After all of our fun adventures for the day we went to go get dinner. We walked to the soccer field that we were at the previous night. We ate at venders on the road which were really good. I probably had some of the best chicken of my life ever on the side of the roads. After eating we went to the soccer field where we played with the kids the night before. As we walked by we realized that there was a soccer game, so we sat and watched the locals play full field soccer. It was a very fun experience for me to witness the soccer play. After we decided we were done watching the soccer game we all walked back to the hostel where we met to recap on the night. My favorite part of that day was that we got to swim at Germany Beach. After we recapped we headed off to bed where I went to bed around 11 after chatting with the guys and getting to know everyone a little bit better.
JULY 31ST 2017
Woke up and really didn’t feel like getting up because it was so early. Went downstairs had breakfast which wasn’t a lot but still ate and had a cup of coffee with some good juice. I can tell that the juice was freshly made by the taste of it and by the looks of it. After I went back upstairs I took a shower and the shower was acting up because it was turning cold when I didn’t even have the cold water turned on and then I let it sit for a little to let it simmer and it turned hot finally. It was a nice shower then got out and got ready for the day. Also I was very excited because that day we were supposed to go swimming at the beaches and I was looking forward to that. I never been on an actual beach because I live in Denver Colorado. We started walking towards the shop where we got our gear for swimming and headed towards the beach. we had to use a boat to get to the swimming place and we walked to the swimming place and I think it was called “Les Grietas”. It was a far walk. It was like 2 miles to get there, but I was happy when I got there because I never really swam with fishes and in like deep water surrounded by rocks. I thought that the little stream would lead to the ocean, but it didn’t so I was kinda mad about it. After that we walked back and it was shorter than the walk there. We started walking towards another swimming place which turned out to be a beach. That walk was also long as I don’t know what and when we got there we couldn’t swim because the dangerous waves, but we still swam and it was so fun and not dangerous at all if you could swim. After that we walked along the beach and went to another beach while looking at black iguanas. the second beach that we went to had baby sharks and I was kind of scared, but not because they were little. After like 45 minutes to an hour we went back to shore which included another boat ride. We started to play some catch and had a little audience coming in. So we found some trash cans to play a little game of 3 by 3 and it was really competitive. I fell really hard and on my elbow and had a little cut on my elbow. After that we went to dinner and ate at this little food strip. I had a seafood plate with octopus, shrimp, rice, beans and it was good but i did not like the octopus. After that we walked home and on the way got some popcorn, made the popcorn then took a shower to go to sleep.
AUGUST 1ST 2017
At six in the morning we woke up and ate our last breakfast in the Galapagos. We then headed to the airport. The transit began with a 3 mile walk, through dirt, with all of our luggage to the bus station. Once on the bus we journeyed for 30 minutes to the edge of Santa Cruz island to hop on a ferry which crossed the 100 foot gap to Baltra Island where the Airport is located. Once at Baltra we missed the first bus to the airport. We then waited for 45 minutes at the dock and had to literally box people out to get on the bus. Once on the bus we were able to get a good glimpse of the terrain of Baltra Island. Batra Island has a desert terrain which bared a stark contrast compared to the luscious flora of Santa Cruz. At the Airport we didn’t check in for a while because we didn’t get breakfast from the hostel. Personally I had a fantastic Omelette. Once checked in there was a big difference between an American Airport and the Galapagos. The Galapagos had small shops in which you could bargain with the employees who worked there. I personally have never experienced this flea market style bargaining, and it was very interesting to see. The plane ride was short and I was able to sleep well. Once we got back to Guayaquil we looked for a place to practice, but all the fields were taken. We then decided to go to a giant mall. The mall was very nice because there were quite a few American chains there, but there were also some not so American restaurants which were advertised as being American. For example one restaurant was called American Deli, but it was clearly not a deli, nor have I ever seen the food they were selling there in America. We finished the day back at Casa Romero and got a good night sleep before we played a true lacrosse practice and headed to Salinas.
AUGUST 2ND 2017
At 7 o’clock we woke up and had our last breakfast in Guayaquil for a while. After breakfast, we hopped on the bus and went to a turf field that we had never been to before. We were uncertain if we were going to get a field at first because we went to the complex that we had visited the day before, and there were no open fields. Luckily for us though, we had seen the fields on the way to the complex and we went back to give it another look. Thankfully, the field was open for use. The field however, was not the best. It was very hard turf which offered almost no traction in cleats. In ground ball wars, we would try to plant and then we would slip out of nowhere. After we got done with the practice, we went to the mini sports bar that was located on the same facility as the field. The person working there had to run into a separate building every time someone wanted to use a debit/credit card for purchase. It was taking a very long time so then he called for help. It was still taking a while until Jack decided to knock over a bottle. The person working there stopped what he was doing, cleaned it up, and went away for a couple of minutes. Then, we got on the bus. It was a long bus ride from Guayaquil to Salinas. Everyone on the bus was asleep almost immediately. We all woke up to a sudden stop in front of a sketchy looking building. The coaches got out, and then went into the building through an old metal sliding door. We were all very skeptical at first because we didn’t know what had happened to the coaches because they had been gone for about ten minutes. They finally came out and led us in to what was actually the garage for the hotel we stayed at. The hotel was very nice, one king size bed and two twin beds, a refrigerator and three bathrooms. it was a big change from the hostels that we had stayed at. After we had got all settled, we went for a walk down the beach. We ended up going the the Salinas Yacht Club for dinner. It was amazing because when we walked in, we immediately saw rows of billiards and ping pong tables, a pool, a mini soccer court, a playground, and an amazing pool. We were sat down and the waiters immediately took our orders. The food there was some of the best food that we had had in a while. After dinner and all the things we do after, we walked back down the beach where some purchases were made. There were two guys sitting at a bus stop shining laser shining the lasers everywhere. We instantly stopped and bought the lasers. We went back up to our rooms and that’s when the fun started. In the main room, there were two sliding windows that you could look out of and see the whole city. We couldn’t resist and we started to find things that we could shine that lasers at. Then, out of nowhere, another laser starts to shine at us from a house in the distance. we start to shine back with more lasers and then they stop. We eventually got bored of that and went to bed.
AUGUST 3RD 2017
The day started at around 6:45 when my roommate Craig and I got out of bed and brushed our teeth and headed downstairs for breakfast. That day the hotel had a breakfast that was composed of eggs, croissants, and hot dogs along with a banana strawberry smoothly which was a great start to the long and eventful day. After that we headed upstairs to get our lacrosse stuff ready for practice. Once we headed downstairs we got on the bus and started looking for a field. First we went to a smaller field similar to the ones we had played on before however today our goal was to finally play 6v6 similar to a real game situation. So after deciding that this field wasn’t good enough we purchased Gatorade from the snack shack and set out to find another more suitable playing environment. After driving around for another 30 minutes checking maps and talking to people we showed up at a very large field that was looking very promising. Johnny got out of the bus and negotiated with the guard until they agreed on eighty dollars an hour for the field. So we quickly unloaded and geared up so that we could get started as soon as possible. It started with stretching and a quick lap so that we could get the blood flowing and then we went straight into two on twos from behind the goal. After getting warmed up doing that for a while we moved into 4v3’s or otherwise known as tiger drill. In this case it was defense vs offense and every score the offense made they got a point and every stop defense got they got a point. It was first to ten points for a game and we played best of 5. Defense cleaned up 3-0 and got 5 extra dollars at dinner as well as not having to run due to no losses. After that we moved into full on 6v6, we started with 3 defense and 3 attack at the cage and 3 defensive middies and 3 offensive middies at the mid line. Johnny would call out how many went from each group up top and start the play with a fast break. After defense won again this time first to five points we packed up and drove back to the hotel. We then went out for lunch and I ate with another player named Ben. We went to a restaurant on the water and had a tasty lunch, then we went back to the group where we saw Coach Mike getting corn rows. I immediately decided to get some of my own as well as a player named Jason. After finishing that, we all got henna tattoos and headed over to the Salinas yacht club that Coach Juan’s family is members of. We had a great time playing ping-pong, soccer, basketball, and went swimming. Next was a delicious dinner that was made up of pasta, burgers, and unlimited bread, we then finished our time at the yacht club with a group chat about highlights and lowlights of the day as well as what we were looking forward to the next day. We then walked back to our hotel while Ben and I had an interesting conversation with Coach Mike about the time that he got robbed in Columbia and how similar of a city it was to Salinas. We then all went upstairs to our rooms and chatted for a little before heading to bed for the night. Overall my favorite part of the day was finally playing 6v6 lacrosse with the guys and getting to fully experience the Salinas Yacht Club.