May 26, 2010
Junior guard Angela Puleo and senior guard Jence Rhoads are spending the month of May studying abroad in Greece. The two are taking a three-credit hour course called "Uncovering Greek Religion: Cults, Sanctuaries & Festivals in the Ancient World." To keep Commodore fans tuned to their experiences in Greece, Puleo is providing updates of their travels on VUCommodores.com.
Hey Vanderbilt fans -
Since last Monday we have traveled all over Greece. We have been to Nafphlia, Sparta, Pylos, Olympia, and our last stop is Delphi. I cannot believe that we only have 8 more days left in Greece. I have enjoyed every minute of it.
The food of choice for the trip has definitely been gyros. On average we eat one a day. They are to die for and, not to mention, they are cheap! Also, a big hit is the gelato (Italy’s version of ice cream). I tell myself that since I am on vacation I am allowed one gelato scoop a day. I have to verify my splurge in some way. Salads here are a lot different than they are back home. For instance, almost every night I order a tomato salad. It only comes with tomatoes, green peppers and onions. That is ideal for me because I am a die-hard tomato fan, and not a huge fan of lettuce. Greece is famous for the production of olive oil so, that is the only dressing they normally serve on salad unless you ask otherwise. The only “American” type restaurant I have seen has been in Athens. There is one McDonald’s, which I have definitely gone to when I am craving some “American” food.
Jence (Rhoads) and I have had way more opportunities to play basketball than either of us anticipated. There was a track and community center right beside our hotel in Sparta, so we would wake up in the morning and do our running, and then try and go play at night. Some of the Greek players were there for practice and seemed like they had never seen girls that could play basketball, so naturally Jence and I had to show them how we do things at Vanderbilt.
Our next place we were able to play was at Olympia. We actually spent the first day playing soccer. It was fun to bond with the other people on the trip as well as watch Jence in action (she played in high school and holds the number of records at her school). After we played some soccer we made our way to the basketball court. Some of the local guys were playing, so our Vandy group merged with them and played a few pickup games. It was so much fun getting to play with them and mingle with people that you would otherwise never meet.
One of the more difficult parts of the trip is trying to communicate with the natives. In particular, we have found it more difficult since leaving the tourist town of Athens. For the most part everyone here knows a little English. We have learned to say things in Greek such as excuse me, and thank you. I would try to tell you them but there is no way I could spell them (it is hard enough trying not to butcher the pronunciation). Everyone here has been extremely nice and accepting of us in Greece, and it makes me think that we should be a bit more hospitable in the United States.
We spent Tuesday at the Ancient Olympia. It was unreal. We got to stand at the starting line of the first ever Olympic games. To be able to stand and walk on the same ground as athletes that competed 2400 years ego is something that I will never be able to put into words. If it weren’t for some of those who helped start the Olympics, who knows where, or if sports would be around today. I am so thankful to be able to have come on this trip and cant wait to relish the rest of my time here.
Until next time,