Courtney Ingersoll: A journal from IsraelWritten by Courtney Ingersoll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior guard Courtney Ingersoll is keeping a journal of her experience while the UT women’s basketball team visits senior guard Naama Shafir in her hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel. The following is her first entry:
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – When I was little, my family and I would make a 20-hour drive to Bismarck, N.D. almost every summer to see my mom’s family. I would now like to take the time to apologize to my parents and sister for any inconsistent mood swings, irritable sleeping schedules, or unruly eating patterns. In other words, WE FINALLY MADE IT TO ISRAEL!!!
It took us nearly 14 hours via plane, via cramped space, via middle seat, via oh-my-gosh my ankles are the size of Jerusalem themselves, but the University of Toledo Women’s Basketball Team has arrived. We walked past customs and baggage claim that eventually led us to the arms of our very own Naama Shafir and her family.
The culture is unique in Tel Aviv. Hebrew and Arabic are the most common languages with English coming in at a distant third. It is already a task to communicate directly and Naama has already been asked to translate on numerous occasions. Our team, coaches and ABC news correspondents have been scrambling to pick up WIFI signals that will connect us back to the US, but it is very expensive or difficult to find or afford a signal.
La de la la la…oops sorry. That was me just day dreaming as I look out my hotel balcony to an amazing sunset view of the Mediterranean Sea. This trip will be filled with many different pleasures, but I am very excited to get our games started in a couple days. We will be playing a couple teams that Naama is familiar with as well as holding an hour-long clinic for children. Kids in America already think I’m goofy, so I can only imagine what these poor kiddies will think of me as this laughing and loud, non-Hebrew speaking girl. Each player brought a gift to give to the kids, and I have the ping-pong balls, BOO-YAH! In other words, I really hold the key to ping pong destiny, so they better like me.
Seeing Naama in her natural setting is priceless to me and I’m so fortunate to experience this with her. Her natural smile tells me she feels at home. The roles are reversed now. It was almost three years ago to this day that I met her and her dad at International House Dorm dressed in a tie-dye Bob Marley shirt and my hair wild. And even in my craziness, she accepted me then and I’m so grateful she accepts me in her homeland now.
OK, I have some exploring to do party people. I will try to keep you up-to-date. So much to see, so little time. Stay classy United States.
- Courtney “Deuce” Ingersoll
P.S.- I MISS YOU FAMILY. I MISS YOU 1826!!!