South America Blog -- Tiffany Morales

June 7, 2013

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Tiffany Morales checks in Friday for the latest in a blog series that will outline U-M's 13-day tour of Brazil and Argentina, which will include nine matches across the two South American countries.

This morning, I woke up thinking it would be a typical travel day. Get breakfast, finish up packing, meet down stairs and then go off to start a new adventure in Brazil. However, Argentina traffic had another mission in store for us before we could leave for Brazil.

Everyone was waiting in the lobby for the bus when we received notification that our bus would not be able to pick us up directly from the hotel due to traffic, road conditions and a social protest. We had a sudden change in plans but not anything our tour guide, Kelly, couldn't handle. She called for taxis to take the team to the bus. We were all ready to go. By the time a taxi got to the hotel, the cushion time we had to get to our flight was closing.  It was nerve-racking, but we had wishful thinking that we would make it.

Lindsey, Jen and Pichu (Kelly) were the first -- and the only people -- to get in a taxi. A complete game changer came our way when we found out that not even the taxis would be able to get the rest of us to the bus. To me, it was obvious Buenos Aires wanted to keep Michigan volleyball in its presence for another day. But of course we had another way to get us all of us there as long as we were ready for a mission.

We were told we would have to walk nine blocks to the bus. We thought: okay, let's go, let's do it. Sudden change was the name of the game. What can we do to find a solution to our situation? The answer was to make it to the bus at what we call "shuttle pace," basically meaning the best time we can while lugging our bags and luggage. Krystalyn accidentally hit a parked motor cycle, and set off the alarm, to start the race!

It was only nine blocks, but I can guarantee we all were not prepared for the interesting events in store. For instance, a bird flying straight for Kelly's head or tripping over pot holes in the side walk. It was very unexpected and exciting. Once we got to the bus, it felt like we had just won a game and completed a mission. So for every great win, we sing the Michigan fight song, loud and proud.

The thought process of sudden change was great motivation to get the situation back under our control. Thank you BT! Who would have expected a simple travel day to turn into a mission to locate our bus within the traffic and chaos? I am thankful because even though we were not prepared for this situation we handled it and got to our goal.

Now the next stop was to get to our plane. We were extremely late but the airport was able to hold the plane from taking off because more people than us were unable to get to the airport on time due to the traffic. Fortunately, we had a smooth flight and when we landed everyone on the plane clapped for our safe arrival in Brazil. I cannot remember the last time a full plane of passengers clapped on airplane after it had landed but it was an interesting thing to be a part of.

We got to our hotel and went for our first meal in Brazil. It was excellent and can't wait for more to come.

Our first beach day is tomorrow and everyone is excited for tanning and bike rides.

For more on U-M's tour of Brazil and Argentina, including game results, blogs, photos and video, visit our Michigan Volleyball in South America page.

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