Thursday, June 26, 2008

My first few days...

I had a some time and wanted to let you know that I did arrive safely in the great land of Belgium, and how it has been so far. I had a good trip over minus the length. When I arrived in Brussels 26 hours after leaving Omaha I was welcomed with no luggage so I had to file a lost luggage claim and walk away with my carry on, it took some time and I was concerned that my coach might think that I did not show up and leave me, but as I walked out of the baggage claim area the pitching coach and head coach were waiting. A short drive from Brussels to my host house of about thirty or so minutes. I met some of my host family, while parts were out doing their thing. My host mother Ingrid is a very nice lady and and single mother of four boys. There is Sebas, Cedric, Sander, and Juinior and they are 18, 17, 6, 4 respectively. I spent an hour or so meeting my mom and she took off to bed. Cedric and the other American who plays for our team and also lives in my room stayed up and we got to know each other better.
Wednesday, I woke up at 5:30 am, my clock is all messed up from traveling and sleeping odd hours for my body right now. I took a four hour nap at 10 and woke up to go see the doctor for a physical, which consisted of checking blood pressure and taking a resting heart rate. The doctor was surprised at how low my heart rate was, not a bad thing, but I did not know how to tell him that I was in shape from "The Bar" league basketball! We had a game at 7 so dinner at five at the Vansoom household and off to the game. I have a car here given by one of the fathers of a ballplayer on the team. The other American can not drive a manual trans, so it is up to me to get us around now that I am here. (pictures to come at a later date) I get to the game and find out that I am the starting pitcher. Remember I am borrowing cleats, gloves, and eveything else since I had not recieved my luggage yet. I tried and warm up and probably did not do as good of a job as I should have since it was less than 24 hours since I traveled halfway around the globe, but I pulled something in my upper leg. It really is my butt that hurts, but I threw 4 innings and gave up two un-earned. I had two balks because I didnt come set long enough, but those things will happen when you have not been in the flow of things so I am not to concerned. I hit as well but went 0-2 with an RBI. We lost 6-2. After the game we went up to the building and both teams hung out and drank in what they call a "Canteen" but really it is a bar run by the home team. The locals really do like Americans (unlike most of Europe) and they like to buy you "pinches" which are beers. When we came home all my luggage was in my room so I do not have to live off the two shirts and one pair of shorts I was sporting. All in all my first couple of days in Belgium have been great. Tonight the Americans are taking me out in Antwerp to a club that they visit every Thursday.

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