Last night I played 4x4 B volleyball for the first time. I have been playing volleyball for 2 and a half years but i have been playing in the 6x6 C league. The Beer League if you will. I play at the Yucatan Beach Club which is one of the most wonderful places ever created in this town. Part bar, part beach; you can play volleyball, darts, pool, or foozball, while eating dinner, and drinking from a $4 pitcher of Natty Light. The bar is a sleak amalgamation of slate floors, brown slatted ceiling beams that follow the peaked roof over the wood bar, and dim lighting. Then you walk through the double doors outside and find a beach club straight out of the Carribean. The flagstone patio is partially covered with a tiki hut bar, and next to the tiki hut is a pool. Beyond the pool is a sea of sand with 10 volleyball courts. On these courts are a mix of people. Young, not so young, sexy, something quite far south of sexy--but they all love to play. Some love to play with beer breaks and some love to play for skill.
I have just moved from the beer breaks to the low end of the skill scale and when I walked in last night with my teammates, we were all as nervous as if we were walking into the first day of nineth grade. We knew what to expect to an extent, but this was a whole new world. We were with the big kids now!
Our nervousness visibly showed as we began to practice. A team just there to watch after their game noticed our nerves and started talking to us, giving us tips about the other team. They kept telling us we were good as we practiced, but we just kept scoffing. How could we be good! We play C league! We were in over our heads!
The team watching us stayed for our whole game cheering us on. And the more we played, the more we realized, we could do this! We weren't that bad. We had some skillz, now we just had to work as a team. As much as 6x6 C is a team setting, it's not really a team game. You spend a lot of time trying to not run over your teammates because you are so close, and when you miss the ball there is always someone nearby who could have been at fault too. 4x4 alliviates these problems. You have to run, you have to dive. You have to get it and if you miss, you
miss. Rarely is there a situation that can be attributed to more than one person. And you have to bump, set, spike. That definitely requires teamwork.
All in all, it was a great night, even though we only won one of three games. I can't help but think I could play on a third team! I love it out there.
While we were in Belize City, we had lunch at a very good little restaurant overlooking the water. This picture was taken from their balconey looking out toward our ship. It was an overcast day, and had been windy earlier in the day which prevented us from going snorkeling in one of the most beautiful diving locations in the world. Instead we wandered the streets both saddened by the poverty and invigorated by the resilience of the city's residents and their brightly colored surroundings.