Aug. 30, 2012
Junior outside hitter Carly Edwards is back with her final blog entry from her trip to China this summer to play for Team USA in a pair of tournaments. In this entry Edwards tells about the team's last day in China and reflects on the overall experience of the trip.
Greetings Nova Nation!
On our last day in China we were able to visit the famous Tiananmen Square where it is said to be the heart and soul of China. The square represents the New Republic of China as it was established in 1949. Our entire group was given Beijing t-shirts that we all wore to show our support and love for being in the city of Beijing.
After taking several group photos we all headed towards the Pearl Market where our souvenir shopping took place. Entering the market it appears to look just like any American mall, each floor being designated to a certain commodity item. The main difference in the two types of markets is that the Pearl Market had no set prices so you had to bargain to get your item down to a decent amount of Yuan, which is the Chinese dollar. Every Yuan is worth 6 American dollars so before we even began to bargain we were feeling pretty good about our skills and odds of coming home with something good. The items sold ranged from silk scarves to top of the line electronics. We had a blast learning the tricks of the trade and all were quite satisfied with our purchases. I ended up with two silk ties, two silk scarves, beats headphones, a Prada wallet, t-shirt of the Great Wall and chopsticks all for only 100 American dollars.
Upon our return to the hotel we had the closing awards ceremony where our team ended up taking third ahead of the All Star American team. We said our good-byes to the Chinese teams and thanked them for the opportunity to be in their country and learn a new style of volleyball.
The next morning we began our travel back to America. I am pleased to say that the travel returning home was much smoother than the trip going out to China. We were all thrilled to be back in the states and standing firmly on American soil.
Overall this trip was such a wonderful experience and an amazing opportunity for me to be selected as a participant. I was able to play with girls from all over the United States, compete against another country and learn a new style and pace of play. I made lasting friendships and got to see some of the world's well-known historical sites such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We experienced another culture, cuisine and lifestyle for the two weeks spent abroad and although there were many ups and downs throughout the trip I would not trade the experience for anything.
Thanks so much for reading about my trip and time in China! I look forward to bringing what I learned abroad to my game here at Villanova as we begin the 2012 season.