OU rising senior Andrew Steioff finishes his three-part blog about the Oglethorpe Men’s Basketball team’s trip to Costa Rica. [Read Part 1, Part 2]
“It is currently 5:30 in the morning and we are waiting at our terminal to head back home to Atlanta. After a week full of non-stop sightseeing and traveling, it seems we are all sleepwalking through the airport and even the wonderful coffee of the country can’t help wake us up. The last few days have been filled with a couple days at the beach, zip lining, and a game against the Costa Rican national team.
The beach resort we stayed in was one of the most serene and relaxing scenes we could have hoped for, with the rainforest stretching all the way up to palm trees and the stunning beach. The surrounding landscape was mountainous so it felt as though we were enclosed in our own beach paradise separated from the rest of the world. While swimming in the pool the first afternoon we experienced a tremble and most of us really thought nothing of it, moments later we were ordered to evacuate the pool because just 40 miles away a 6.0 earthquake had taken place. Living in California in my young life, I had experienced earthquakes before but it was a first time experience for most of my teammates to add to the list of firsts already accumulated during the trip.
The next morning we embarked on our zip lining expedition through the rainforest canopy. We glided through the trees on 14 different zip lines traveling at speeds of 35 mph on some. The most uneasy part of the whole experience though was standing on wooden platforms built around trees suspended hundreds and even thousands of feet above the ground. After the zip lining we had the rest of the day off at the beach to relax and enjoy our last days of Costa Rica and its beautiful scenery.
The last day we had our final friendly game against the Costa Rican national team, only it wasn’t as friendly as advertised. The team was extremely physical and coupled with their excessive size, the game became a little chippy from the get go. One of their best players even got ejected after throwing a elbow into the jaw of Branden Jovaag. Exhausted from a long week of travel, we did not bring our best effort and eventually fell to the team 87-64. It was amazing to play top tier competition though, as this is the team that represents the whole country of Costa Rica when competing for a bid to the Olympics and other international competition.
Overall, Costa Rica was an experience that surpassed everyone’s expectations: from the food, to the sights, to the basketball competition, to the friendly people, and most importantly the memories and companionship we formed as a team. This was a once in a lifetime experience that everyone on this team will cherish for the rest of their lives. Saying goodbye to this country and this experience is a tough pill to swallow but the thought of sleeping in our own beds tonight is enough to ease the transition.”