Saturday, July 28, 2007
Dave and Rob sport the US Soccer Federation gear at the openning dinner as the reality of being in Europe set in for everyone. Pop said he felt like he was in a time capsule. He said he got up every hour last night and just had to walk down stairs and stick his head out the door to make sure it was really real. Michael Blackwell and Reginald Jones got up early and already saw the royal palace and the parliament. We are really proud of our group who is soaking up the experience. Our team meeting was very serious and focused. The team sett goals to exhibit great teamwork, return to the us with dignity, show sportsmanship, and to win the whole dern tournament.
The team makes their way to the openning night dinner!
Daniel Martinez, our team captain, has done everything right for the past 8 months. He's moved into a permanent job, moved out of the shelter, bought a car. He's also a mature postitive influence on other team members. He applied for his passport 3 months ahead of the trip. There was a strike in Honduras which delayed matters, and then we learned a week ago that even though Daniel presented a proper birth certificate and his expired passport, green card, and other supporting documents, the Honduran secretary of foreign relations wouldn't issue his passport. Daniel never had a father growing up, so his mother changed his name to remove his father's sir name. Back then, in Honduras, everything was hand written. When the system was computerized, the goverment failed to update his info and the new birth certificate number Daniel was using belonged to someone else in their system. After hours on the phone with embassy and secretary of consular affairs in honduras and with the help of some lawyers we were able to correct the situation at the last possible moment. We got the code to print Daniel passport the night before our departure. Daniel and I celebrated prematurely however, because the greatest challenge would be getting the passport to us in time to leave. I worked the phones all morning to get the proper people in touch with each other so that the passport could be printed early in the day, then arranged for a courier service to ship it from DC to Newark. Here is a photo of Daniel and myself picking up the passport 2 hours before our flight. We jumped up and down and hugged and had the airport worker shoot this celebration photo. Our hearts soared and now we would could relax and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
Before the trip we watched videos about Denmark, looked at maps of the world and Europe and then watched Gridirion Gang to pump us up.
Posted by Lawrence at 2:02 AM