It was kind of a long ride to the Jumbo which allowed us to take in the sights. We saw a good amount of people walking the streets or riding mopeds inside of some heavy traffic. There were two to three people on a motorcycle at times as well. We also saw several Burger King Restaurants, but no McDonalds yet. Here I thought McDonalds was everywhere!
Once we got the orphanage, we dropped off a lot of the donated items we received from our JU alumni and supporters first (thank you again for supporting our trip). There were 160 girls in the La Romana orphanage between the ages of 6-19. All of them were excited to see us.
First, we watched the kids taking an English class. After that we danced (there is a great video if I can download it), helped cook and played basketball, soccer volleyball, hula hooped and gymnastics. I think WE had more fun than the kids!
A few of the kids cried when we left. Most of them wanted to know when we were coming back. Glen (Powell), Kordario (Fleming) and Russell (Powell) all were given a few pictures that the kids made while coloring in their books. We traveled back to the hotel for lunch (fish chicken, red beans and rice and the fruit punch was better than any KOOL AID I've ever made as a kid!) and to relax by the pool.
We headed back to Santo Domingo for our first game later in the day. Heading back into this traffic, we now know if you can drive over here then you can drive in New York City, Atlanta and Washington D.C.!
Our first game time was 6 p.m. Once we got there a guy came to me and said “We are bringing in the electricity.” Yeah, you heard me correct. The gym had no power so they have to bring in a generator for p.m. games. To add to the matters, it was raining outside.
We made the best of the situation by having the first ever JU "Lights-Out" Clinic. Yes, we did a clinic with drills and such in the dark at the gym as we waited on generator to work and they LOVED it! An hour and half after the 6 p.m. non-start, we were about to leave then BOOM the lights come on and the place went NUTS!
We started off the game slow. We were too excited and had too many fouls - very wild, sloppy game. Our guys settled down in second half and played much better defense and we finished plays.
Both officials were named "Luis" and neither knew any English, but they had as much fun as we did. We won the contest 99-81. Not real sure about any of the individual stats, but everyone scored. Jarvis (Haywood) was our leading scorer, while Glen paced us on the boards and Russell led us in assists. Each assistant will serve as head coach during the trip and tonight it was Coach Neal’s turn.
After the game, we raced, and I mean raced, the 140 kilometers back to hotel before they took away all the food! Luckily, we made it back with 10 minutes to spare. The guys ate well quickly before our meeting to talk about game. Tommy Kyle from the Nations of Coaches ended the night by talking about the story of Joseph. It was powerful stuff!