02 October 2009

Official Pastime

Shortly after Brett put up the new court and the Fall semester students arrived, volleyball became our official pastime here at the center. Every day we have a little break between our afternoon fieldwork and dinner, usually between 5:30-6:30pm, and that downtime has quickly become game time!

Volleyball at the SFS Center

Beach volleyball here on South Caicos is great fun: convenient, social, physical, and located right next to the dock, which makes those post-game cool downs irresistible. There are some drawbacks, however. For one, playing in a hot, dry climate that supports brittle and thorny shrubbery is hard on our volleyballs, to say the least. Specifically, there are a number of acacia trees around our center that can put six or seven puncture holes into a ball in a single hit.

Acacia Tree by our Court

Our nightguard, Daniel, tried to help out by weedwhacking down all of the acacias around the perimeter of the court. It turns out, however, that dead, brown, dried-up, thorn-covered acacia branches cut up into pieces and spread around the yard are far more hazardous to both volleyballs and bare feet than live, green ones on trees would have been. We've gone through a number of balls, as well as pumps and duct tape, in the past month.

Sad Box of Volleyball Equipment


Despite the acacias, and the heat, and the glare from the setting sun that is pretty much exactly at eye-level during the time of evening we usually play, our commitment to this new pastime has not wavered. We practice every day and often invite passersby and folks we know in the community to join us, which spices up the competition. Our most frequent takers are a group of firemen, a few women who teach at the primary school, and a couple of local teenage boys who seem just as happy to gawk at our female students from the sidelines as to jump in and actually play.

This past Tuesday we faced our toughest rivals, the Indian guys who work at High Point. One of the staffers decided to put together an "A Team", which caused a little inner-team animosity and tension, but in the end about 20 staff and students drove out there in the hopes to cheer and/or play. After we arrived, the SFS squad volleyed for a little while and waited for the High Point guys to trickle in after finishing up their day's work. Then, our A Team challenged their A Team to a match. SFS-A lost 15-7. We then put our B Teams up against each other. And SFS-B lost. Then, we mixed up the SFS and High Point teams and played a game. (Brett had a few nice spikes during that round!)

Volleyball at High Point

Before we left, the A-Teams went for another round and SFS lost yet again. We all had fun though, and we agreed that there is lots of room for improvement between now and our next match-up with High Point... which is incentive to keep practicing!

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I wish I could play some sand volleyball! hopefully you remember your Bellingham Rec league from last year when you play... and therefore remember me!! Miss you on the team this year!