Men's Soccer Costa Rica Trip Blog: Day 3
Emory University junior goalkeeper Caleb Grisell will be blogging throughout the men’s soccer team’s preseason trip to Costa Rica.
Click here to view updated photos from the trip. Updated photos include pictures of Emory's trip to a community center in San Jose, where the Eagles worked with underprivileged children and scenes from the beach. Other photo updates include pictures from Emory's 1-1 tie with the second-division Cartagena team. The Eagles' goal was scored by Ben Schlang, who is returning to action this year after missing most of 2009 with a season-ending injury.
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On our third day in Costa Rica, we awoke once again to a
phenomenal breakfast feast. After we indulged in the copious
amounts of fresh fruit, mouth watering breakfast meats, and thirst
quenching beverages, we set out for El Manamtial, a
children’s daycare for single mothers to take their children
while they work. We drove through downtown San Jose until we
reached El Manamtial around 10:00 AM.
We were greeted by the director of El Manamtial and presented her with our gifts and donations to the children and daycare. She gratefully accepted our gifts and enthusiastically expressed her excitement that we could spend some time with the kids. We made our way over to the children, who started buzzing with anticipation once they saw us. After introducing ourselves, and teammates Chris Howie and Jake Graetz provided the children with a brief juggling exhibition, we revealed the candy we brought for the kids. The scene that followed can only be compared to the pigeons we fed at the square in downtown San Jose - anyone who had something sugar in there hand was immediately besieged! At one point I turned to see Bryan Fedner with two kids on his back, his legs and lower body completely engulfed in a sea of children, and another one of the kids climbing him like a tree.
Once we had run out of candy, we organized several games of soccer and duck, duck, goose. While the kids loved playing games, their favorite thing to do was for us to grab them around their waist and lift them as high as we could in the air. After about an hour of playing games and throwing the kids in the air, all of our arms went limp from exhaustion and it was time for us to say good-bye.
We then began our five-hour trek to the beaches of Flamingo,
Costa Rica. After some questionable navigation by Ben Buerger and
our athletic trainer Melissa (who both still claim we were never
lost) we arrived at “The Flamingo Beach Resort.”
I honestly didn’t think there was a way for us to stay in a nicer hotel than our hotel in San Jose, but I was wrong. Upon arrival we were greeted by fresh fruit smoothies and a warm welcome from the hotel staff. We then made our way into the lobby of the hotel where it took us about five minutes to recover from what we saw. As we climbed the steps and reached the lobby and front desk, we first saw the spectacular pool, which is covered with incredibly exotic flora. Beyond the pool lies the magnificent Pacific Ocean, including enormous rolling waves, and in the distance you can see a handful of islands that fade into the horizon with the sunset.
Once we got settled into our rooms, we all immediately made our way to the beach where we spent the rest of the day body surfing, swimming, and playing beach soccer. At night we were once again greeted by a phenomenal meal, located at the hotels beach-front restaurant where we looked right out onto the ocean, cliffs and distant islands.
Keep checking EmoryAthletics.com for updates and photos throughout the team's Costa Rica trip.