Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Centro Helen Keller

Today after morning practice, we went with our coach and a couple of our teammates to a school to play basketball with some kids. The school was called Centro Helen Keller. It’s a private school that any child can attend, but it is also a school that sort of specializes in teaching children with disabilities (blindness, deafness, etc.). We absolutely love doing stuff like this. We enjoy playing with children anytime/anywhere, but there is something extra special about doing it in a different country where there is a significant language barrier. When you’re playing with kids, you find a way to communicate even though you can’t speak the same language. I love it!

We started off just doing some simple dribbling drills. Jen was the leader, and the rest of us just kind of mixed in with the kids trying to help them with the different skills. Then, we split the groups up and worked on some layups for a bit. My coach thought it would be a good idea to have them try reverse layups, too! Pretty funny stuff :-) At the very end, we scrimmaged a little bit. My team had on green jerseys. I told them that we needed a team name, and they came up with ‘Alface’ which means ‘lettuce.’ :-) I was on a different court than Jen and her team so I didn’t get to see their scrimmage. Apparently, Jen’s team had some strategy: Get the rebound, outlet to Jen, run the floor, make layups. They must have had some extra time to practice or something because Team Alface was not quite so organized! :-)

We took some pictures with the kids, and then they went to class. Right before we left, a couple of the blind students came out to the court to meet us and take some pictures. I met a girl named Patricia. She was speaking to me in Portuguese so I couldn’t understand what she was saying, and then my coach came up to me and told me that she was inviting me to her house for bacalhau, a popular kind of fish in Portugal. So sweet! :-)

Anyways, it was a great day, and I hope that we can do more things like that in the future! We hope you're all having a great week!

Jen and Tina

Jen made us pose like this because she wanted to make fun of how short my shirt was :-) Mine is a large, and hers is a medium, but somehow my shirt is about 3 inches shorter than hers.

Jen leading drills

Group picture :-)

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