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September 18, 2017

By Tessa Ratzlaff

It was the third day for us in Osaka, and most of us have gotten used to using the bidet toliets! We will definitely will miss these fancy toilets once we're in China.

Today after breakfast we walked to the train station, and hopped on another few trains to get to our destination. As a large group, it has been a bit of a gong show trying to get every single one of us onto the same train, but thankfully no one has been left behind...yet! We finally arrived at Riseisha College, where we had our first game! As soon as we walked in we were told to take off our shoes, and we were given inside slippers to wear up to our change room. So yes, our leaders, Cheryl, Sean, Phil, Scott, Gordon, and Jeff all watched our game in slippers.

Before the game started, the Japanese team welcomed us by facing us and bowing toward us. We ended up winning the game 76-50, but it didn't come easy. Though we had a height advantage, they were extremely quick, and passed the ball very well as a team. The style of game they played was different than we are used to, but it created so many opportunities for us to become stronger in different parts of our game.

After the game we gave everyone on their team a Goodwill Tour t-shirt, and they were very excited to receive them! The girls on the team were so friendly to us, and it was really neat getting to connect with them after our game. We took a ton of pictures with them, learned a few new words in Japanese, and they talked a lot about how much they admired our height, eyelashes, and hair.

Even though they knew little English and we didn't know any Japanese, we had many laughs together and tried our best to make conversation! After saying good bye to Riseisha College, we headed back to the train station.

In the evening we headed to Namba, which was another shopping/restaurant area. We went for authentic sit-down sushi, and got to try some more amazing food. Before heading into the restaurant, we all had to take off our shoes and put them into a wooden locker. For dinner, we each got our own individual rice cookers, which was definitely a hit for everyone. We received a few courses of food, and I think everyone was quite stuffed by the end.

After dinner we did a bit more shopping in the streets, and then headed back to the hotel! Tonight was our last night in Japan, and tomorrow we will be heading to Beijing. Stay tuned for China!

A few words from the girls about the day...

Jenna Van Delft - "It was really neat to be able to meet the girls team from Riseisha College and even though we couldn't speak their language, we were able to communicate and make memories with them."

Simrit Bindra - "It was a really cool experience to be able to meet girls from another country who share the same love for the game as us. It was awesome how we got to take time to hang out with them after the match! They were really cool people. I also really enjoyed the meal we had this evening. I got to try new things and I really enjoyed them."

Jessie Brown - "Today's game was a great experience. We got to play some fast-paced basketball and for once we had a size advantage. There are definitely some great things we can take from playing the Riseisha team that we will be able to transfer into our game as we prepare for our season."