Thursday, February 28, 2013

End of February Update! :-)

Hey!  I know it’s been a while, but we just wanted to give you guys an update.  The second half of the season is usually a little more difficult to blog about because there is a lot of repetitiveness in a 9 month season.  That being said, here’s what we have been up to in the last month or so.

This past weekend we were in Brno, Czech Republic for the Final Four of the Central European League that we had been playing in since October.  On Saturday, we played Trutnov, a team from Czech.  When we played in Slovakia for our first two seasons, Trutnov was a regular opponent.  They are traditionally a very well-coached, disciplined team so we knew it would be a tough game.  Thankfully, we came out with a comfortable victory.  Sunday, we played Miskolc, a team from Hungary.  We had a preseason game against them back in August, but at that time they were still missing some key players.  Our team played great in this game.  We jumped on them right from the beginning, and they were never able to recover.  Soooo….we won the championship!  Our team has three major goals for this season, and this was the first.  Mission accomplished!

Now, for the next couple of weeks, we will just play league games.  Then, at the beginning of April, we will play in the Final Four of the Romanian Cup.

This weekend, we will play against a team from Brasov, Romania.  It is in the center of the country in the heart of the Transylvania region.  On Friday morning, we will leave early because our team is taking a trip to Bran Castle (better known as Dracula’s castle).  This is probably one of the most well-known landmarks in Romania so it will be great to have an opportunity to see it.  I (Jen) watched the movie Hotel Transylvania on my flight from California to Romania, and I’m excited to see if the real-life castle looks anything like the castle in the movie.  I’ll let you know.

Anyways, here are some pictures of different things that we have done in the past month or so.  Enjoy!

The church that we went to for Mass while we were in Brno.  It felt like old times in Slovakia because the Czech and Slovak languages are so similar.  The church that we go to in Romania has Mass in Romanian and Hungarian, and we can hardly understand a single word so it was awesome to at least be able to identify a couple of words that we knew :-)

Celebrating after the win

Team picture

At our victory dinner posing with the CEWL Cup

We played a home game a couple of weeks ago against Satu Mare, and some of our teammates helped to organize a Teddy Bear Toss before that game.  Fans were encouraged to bring stuffed animals to the game and then after the playing of the Romanian national anthem, everyone was instructed to throw their toys down towards half court.  It was a big success!  Those stuffed animals will be given to children in Arad at hospitals, orphanages, and places like that.  The day after the game, Tina, Chrissy, Suzana, and I were invited to visit a center in Arad for people with some sort of mental disability like Down Syndrome or Autism.  

This is a picture of me and my new friend, Vlad

I (Jen) have been enjoying trying out some new recipes lately - especially healthy recipes.  I found a healthy pancake recipe on Pinterest that uses wheat flour, Greek yogurt, an egg, and a few other things.  Tina was a little skeptical when I first offered her some because she doesn't typically like her sweets to be "healthy," but when she tried them, she loved them.  I have made them for a few other teammates, and they have been a hit!