Check here for updates on the Mastodon men’s basketball trip to Portugal and Spain. Members of the team will provide daily blog updates.
Assistant Coach Ryan Sims
“What a great way to start to our trip. I talked to Art Friedel on our bus ride all the way from Fort Wayne to the Indianapolis Airport. We had a couple of smooth flights from Indy to Philly and Philly to Lisbon. Right when we Landed we were greeted by our local hosts Lilia and Jose. Our first Adventure was a Tuk Tuk tour of Lisbon. I really enjoyed seeing all of the fountains and statues throughout the city. I was amazed of how narrow the Streets were and how good of a driver you have to be here in Portugal. After the tour we had a few hours to relax at our hotel which is right on the beach. Every room overlooks the water which is filled with sailboats. We then headed to dinner as a team followed by a beautiful walk back to the hotel with the moon Shining over the water!”
“This is my first time being in Europe, When we got here, I looked at the city and felt a sudden spark of excitement, an eagerness to explore this new culture before my eyes. We got on the bus and Coach Coffman told us we were going on a tuk-tuk tour. I had no idea what a tuk-tuk was, so in the Moments leading up to the tour, there was a Tingle of anxiety within me. Wondering what surprises laid ahead of me in my fast- approaching future. When we finally got there, I finally saw what a tuck-tuck was. It looks like a hybrid between a motorcycle and a small Taxi cab. I had no idea how I ended up fitting in it and at the beginning, my legs were hanging out from the side. Then when we started driving I realized how close other cars and pedestrians were to us so I sacrificed my comfort for safety. I had a wonderful time viewing the different sites that held value to the culture of Portugal. We visited a very important mosque, and we can see the impact that Muslim rule had on the artistic side e of this culture. We also saw a cathedral where they hold Festivals around Easter time and there is a Giant bell that was in it that is rung around this time. We visited the harbor where the Portuguese Explorers of the past started their expeditions from. Then the tour was over and I got lunch. I got some seafood that was so fresh and satisfying. After that, we proceeded to the hotel with an amazing beach view where tourists and locals go to socialize. I woke up from my much needed nap and got ready to leave for dinner where I got some garlic bread, spaghetti alla carbonara, and some cheesecake for dessert. That concludes this wonderful experience that I had on the first day of our trip!
“In our first day in Portugal I found that the city of Lisbon has many displays of artwork that we may not see as often in the US. Buildings covered with graffiti and many big statues honoring past historical figures gave the city a certain zest and pop that you don’t see in many places. The homes and buildings in Lisbon are also painted with bright colors such as red, blue, and yellow that make them stand out and leave you in awe as you pass by. Car brands I have never seen before continued to catch my eye as these vehicles drove fluidly through the tight Streets navigating these difficult roads effortlessly. The people of Lisbon are full of life and myself and some teammates felt this wonderful energy as we jumped into the ocean. Our nightcap ended with our whole group having an Authentic Portuguese dinner and holding great conversation over a Delicious meal and building equity on a level like no other! The first day in Portugal could simply be described as exhilarating and eye openi n.g. The people showed a lot of love and we did our best to return the favor and show our appreciation for the Portuguese culture!”
— Jon Coffman (@coachcoffman) August 10, 2022