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Sports Day and All-inclusive Vacation

Sports Day and All-inclusive Vacation

A few weeks back I received an email from the sports coordinator of Loyola in Sevilla inviting all the international students to a sports day hosted at Universidad Loyola’s Cordoba campus. I participated realizing the travel was covered. But to my surprise only about 5 other international students accepted. I was able to have my ass handed to me in tennis and failed miserably at playing basketball. My skill level in both sports were at a terribly low level, especially in basketball where I can’t even handle the ball at full speed nor shoot the ball without being off by more than a foot.

But to my surprise I received another email from the same sports coordinator at Loyola a week after the sports day, asking if I wanted to join the team and play in a national Jesuit tournament. I accepted, again, because everything was paid for, including the hotel room and all the meals. Easily a no-brainer and an excuse to see another town in Spain.

The tournament took place in Úbeda. Also, in Andalusia like Sevilla but a much smaller town feel to it. Also, it was situated on a hill. The bus ride was 3 hours and a rollercoaster of comfort. When we first got onto the bus it was hot but as I feel asleep I was awaken by cool air blasting through the vents. Then hot again and the process continued for the majority of the trip. But once we got there I was ready to rumble. Wearing my Nike running shoes and asics shorts, I was ready to play. There were two sets of teams, like any team, the starters and the second string. I formed part of the second string in all sports. I would only come on for short periods of time if one of our main team members was tired or got injured. It was a rough game, both because my teammates kept getting tired and for me because I played a lot more than I anticipated. The match ended with the other team beating us by at least 15 points. But I wasn’t sad because I kept looking forward to the fine hotel we checked into later that evening, which I would later find out was a four star establishment.

My objective on this trip was not to win games but rather bath in the freeness of the weekend. I did accomplish this all without spending a dime. Later that afternoon, there was an award ceremony which Loyola won handily in the majority of categories. I was then truly proud to represent the Loyola Andalusia basketball team. Then at night a group of students went out to what I was told the only club in town and of course the only genre of music they played was reggaeton. But by now I need to assume that if the club is located in Spain then they will only play that kind of music.

The next morning we all left Úbeda on the school charted bus and headed home. It turned out to be a relaxing and enjoyable weekend without having to spend anything. I thought about if this could be realized at Loyola in Chicago and I thought never would the school pay for everything of this sort of club teams, even if we were regional champions and fortunate enough to have the opportunity to represent our school at the national tournament as the club soccer team did. But anyways, another reason to study here and bath in the glory of automatically making the basketball team by just showing up.

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