In the past I've ranted and raved on this blog about how joining a frisbee team always changes my abroad experience. Just because I haven't written about it this time around doesn't mean I haven't joined a team. Once I had settled into my routine I headed out to the field to start playing. I'll be honest, I wasn't super happy for the first couple of months. The team was pretty poorly run and I felt that we spent more time bickering than actually training. I would complain about it all the time to my friends because this had never happened to me. All of my past frisbee experiences made my time abroad more special and I had the feeling this wasn't going to the be case this time around. But I stuck it out because I love playing and I couldn't just not go. It was also very hard socially to break into the group (I still feel a little on the left out side). They are a group of very close friends who have known each other for a very long time. Besides the language barrier, it was hard simply to not have any history with them. Little by little we've been getting closer, but my closest friends in Sevilla are not on the frisbee team. Like I've said though, I've stuck it out. Little by little I've gotten to know the team better and now that tournament season has started again, we've started to train a little more seriously. And wasting time bickering over nothing? That's just a Southern Spain thing. You get used to it, you tune it out. Not quitting has meant that over the past months I've had some pretty fun times at some different tournaments and gotten to know the world of Spanish ultimate even better.
My first ever tournament with the team in Sevilla was a beach tournament in Málaga. I was horribly sick with food poisoning, but I went anyway, because that's what I do. I ended up playing for the team from Granada, who had only come with one girl. I had the best time! Their captain was from Wisconsin too, so that made the tournament in and of itself. We came in second after losing to my old team from Barcelona. It was a close game (universe point) and I'm proud of how I played. To this day, I still haven't played a tournament with my team here in Sevilla.
The second I knew I was officially coming back to Spain I signed up for El Porró. It's a huge beach hat tournament run by my old team in Barcelona. To this day, it is one of my favorite weekends have had here in Spain. The theme was Latin Loving so besides playing on the beach in beautiful weather, I learned how to Salsa and did my best to dress up to the theme. My team, Mojito Mixers, came in 9th. Like every tournament, it was full of good spirit, meeting new people, and plenty of alcohol. It was really great to be back in Barcelona and Casteldefels and to see my old friends again. When you leave a place you've studied abroad you kind of assume you're leaving for good, so, while it was a little weird to be back, it was also the most wonderful and unexpected surprise.
My next tournament was a beach hat tournament hosted by my team in Punta Umbria, Huelva. I came in not expecting much (you know, disorganization) but wanting to make an effort to be a part of the team. With expectations set so low, it's no wonder that I was blown away. The weekend started a little rocky when I was informed that, since I was a part of the team, I would be helping with set up and take down. This meant getting up before 8am, after a loooong night of partying and saying hi to friends both old and new. It would have been nice to know that I was expected to help out before hand so I could have mentally prepared myself for the lack of sleep. That aside, I had more fun than I had ever expected. I finally got the opportunity to get to know my team mates and honestly talk to them about how I've been feeling about the frisbee here. They were really understanding and open and it's changed the way I've felt about going to trainings and spending time with them. My team ended up coming in 10th, but I won a box of super expensive Christmas candy in a charity raffle, so I feel like a winner. I can say, without a doubt, Chiripones is one of my favorite tournaments that I have ever been to.
Those are the highlights thus far. Tournament season has started so I have a lot to look forward to. After some disappointment I finally feel in a good place with the team and I always looking forward to trainings and spending time with them. So like always, if you're studying or living abroad and feeling a little lonely, find Ultimate Frisbee.