It has been awhile since you last heard from us, so I hope this entry makes up for all the waiting...
It has been awhile since you last heard from us, so I hope this entry makes up for all the waiting...
It's Brittany Hrynko again! And with the season creeping up on us I think all of us on the team are very excited! While practices are going great and we are continuing to get better, Jasmine Penny and I got a chance to go represent our team in New York for BIG EAST Media Day.
This is Kelsey Smith, and I'm excited to be reporting to all of you for the first time! Although it hasn't been that long since Jasmine's last blog post, there is quite a bit to fill you in on - so get ready!
This is Jasmine Penny, writing to you for the first time this year. It is my senior year and season is fast approaching! I know my roommate Kelsey Reynolds has been entertaining everyone with her blogs and believe me, she loves to tell me about it. She is a tough act to follow, but I am up for the challenge. Although, Kelsey doesn't talk much, she can write for days!
This is Kelsey Reynolds writing to you from the comfort of my own dorm room. After a 20-day stint at home, the team is back on campus and ready for the start of the quarter. I absolutely love being home, but by the end of break, my parents were busy working and my sisters were back at school. That left me home alone, bored, and talking to my dog. Needless to say, I am glad I am back at school and socializing with my teammates instead of a yellow lab.
As we approach September and the beginning of another exciting school year, many DePaul athletes go through their preseason in preparation for this fall. Golf, however, has been in season all summer so we are excited to begin our fall season.
This is Jan reporting for duty! Its unbelievable that there is a little less than one month until school starts again and just a little longer until we tee off at our first tournament. I can't wait to come back to the Windy City and see everyone again.
Here's head coach Eugene Lenti and shortstop Allie Braden recapping the last two days of the trip for everyone who has been following along stateside.
Saturday, August 17
From Paris to Amsterdam, from the River Seine to the Amstel River, from St. Vincent de Paul to Vincent van Gogh, what a truly amazing experience! Alongside of our four Women's College World Series appearances, this trip is a historic highlight for DePaul Softball!
You all would be very proud of the way our team represented themselves and DePaul. To see their willingness to help the aspiring young softball and baseball players of Haarlem and Alkmaar was inspiring. Coaches Chouinard and Tarulli were instrumental in the success of our clinics, and in keeping the team on task throughout our trip. More important than what our young campers learned about softball was what we all learned after the clinics about each other's culture.
This was on display throughout our trip. So many of the people we encountered in both Paris and Amsterdam were more than willing to share their stories with us. Two in particular that stood out for me were: Angelina, who was our waitress one night. She told us how she came to Amsterdam from Venezuela in search of work. She speaks seven different languages - mostly self-taught. We had an interesting conversation about workers rights in the Netherlands, and why tipping is appreciated but not expected in European restaurants.
The other was at Haesje Claes, a restaurant across the street from our hotel. There Kandace and I met Dario DeBenedictis, an Italian from Bari. He was visiting from The Hague, where he now lives. He is a geologist who left Italy also to find a job. He worked in Scotland, then London, and now resides and works in the Netherlands. After about an hour of conversation about many varied topics, Kandace and I said our goodbyes and left with Darios number - for if we were ever in the neighborhood!
So many people were responsible for the success of this trip and I'd like to take some time to thank them.
First and foremost, to Fr. Ed, who guided us on our trip. You are, as Kandace would say, "phenomenal!" Thank you for helping me make this trip possible, and for enhancing it in so many ways. I don't think Kandace will ever be able to vacation without you. Thank you also for showing us how great a man Saint Vincent was, and how special it is to be a member of the DePaul community.
Thanks to Joop (said like, "Yoop"), our bus driver who was so much more. Joop was a wealth of information, and I can honestly say I have never felt safer on a bus! That is saying a lot when you consider all the cars, bikes and people who roam the streets of Amsterdam.
Thanks to all the relatives who traveled with us. We not only learned stories about people from around the world, but also from people in our own backyard. Our big communal meals afforded us the opportunity to break bread with various groups throughout our trip. I learned that everyone has a tale to tell. Thanks too for your willingness to help out on all occasions.
Thanks to our athletic staff that accompanied us. Kate O'Brien and Jeff Carrico were there always ready to take a picture, or help with luggage, or lend some first aid.
Thank you so much to Kathryn (you probably need a vacation now) for being the driving force in making this happen. You did an excellent job with Fr. Ed in planning this trip and in keeping us all on time throughout.
Thanks to Jeanne for creating this opportunity and then allowing softball to take advantage of it. I am already thinking of ways to raise money for a 2017 trip.
Finally, to all of you who are apart of the DePaul Softball family, thank you for giving of your time, your talent or your treasures to help make this trip possible.
Merci times infinity!
Friday, August 16
Today was what we called our, "free day," meaning that we could go and explore on our own! Even though the tours were an amazing experience, having time to go and explore on our own gave us a better feel for the city and the culture of Amsterdam.
Exploring the streets of Amsterdam opened my eyes to many different cultural traditions. As you walk by the little canals that accompany almost every street, you find rows and rows of bikes followed by little souvenir shops and famous ice cream shops.
This trip has been one for the books. We, as a team, have been so blessed with all of these opportunities that have been given to us and we want to thank everyone who has helped make this happen.
This is a once in a lifetime experience for us all and has brought us even closer as a group.
- Allie Braden
Wednesday, August 14
Today was our first full day in Amsterdam!
First thing in the morning, we got the chance to visit the secret annex and hiding place of Anne Frank and her family. We got there at opening and the line to get in was already three blocks long! Our presentation began with the story of Anne Frank and the others who appeared in her famous diary.
Next, we were able to walk through the building, in which the secret annex was constructed and Anne lived for almost two years of her life. It was unbelievable to see how small the house was and how secluded the families must have been. We also learned that many others who were persecuted by the Nazis were put into similar or even worse situations.
The thing most striking about the visit to the Anne Frank Museum
was seeing and hearing the young 13-year old girl's ability to change such a
negative experience into a positive through her writing. Overall, the visit was
not only historically significant, but also very humbling for us all.
After the museum, we got to go on a boat tour through the canals that make up the city of Amsterdam. This tour was very informative and will help us to navigate the city over the next few days! I'm very excited to see what the rest of our visit has in store for us!
Bye for now!
Thursday, August 15
We began our day with a walking tour of the city of Amsterdam.
On our way to our first stop we saw Gable stones. These stones were placed over the businesses so people who were illiterate could find their dentist, breadmakers and other services because there were no street numbers at the time.
We continued on to Dam Square, located in the middle of the
city, where we came upon the Stadhuis House. First built in the 16th century,
it was a town hall and the largest building in the city. During the reign of
Napoleon, he sent his brother to rule the Netherlands and, because of its size,
it was used at his palace. He wished for a balcony and when it was built he
went out onto the balcony to greet the Dutch people and intended to say, "Hello,
I will be your new king," when he actually said, "Hello, I will be
your new rabbit," because he was learning Dutch and the word for king and
rabbit are similar.
After three years, Napoleon removed him. The Netherlands had been under a Dutch king since 1813, beginning with William I.
We continued our tour of the city and walked along Warmoesstraat, the oldest street in the city dating back to 1170. The Netherlands is a trading nation and Amsterdam is a city of canals. Every four weeks the canals are refreshed with freshwater from the Rhine river of Germany. One of the queens swam in one of the canals in a fundraising effort for ALS, and to demonstrate the freshwater content of the canals.
As we continued our tour we stopped at the Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder, that was once a forbidden church. In 1578, the Netherlands converted to Protestantism and Catholics were allowed to live in Amsterdam - just not to practice their religion in plain sight.
They turned a canal house into a church, and people smelled the incense and heard the organs of the Catholic church, but it was not visible from the street therefore tolerated - out of sight, out of mind!
As we continued our tour, we visited the medieval gates of Amsterdam, which are now a restaurant. After the gate closed in the 16th-century, it became an anatomical theater. Once a year, one of the men that was executed for a crime would be examined by doctors and gave medical students the first insights of the human body.
The tour around the city was historically-filled and gave us a very good idea of the enormous amount of culture within the city. We had a very full morning and spent our afternoon down the shore of the North Sea, where we had a wonderful lunch.
This is Megan Rogowski reporting to our fans for another update! The squad and summer school are hitting the gas full throttle! Almost three full weeks of summer school and workouts have already flown by. The freshmen are taking two classes while the rest of the returners are taking just one class. I am lucky enough to have class with my teammates, Chanise Jenkins, Megan Podkowa and Brooke Schulte! Having class with my teammates makes summer school a lot more manageable. Midterm week is here so we are all studying hard this week!