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DAY EIGHT - Emory & Henry Women's Basketball Arrives In Lisbon

DAY EIGHT - Emory & Henry Women's Basketball Arrives In Lisbon

DAY EIGHT - LISBON, Portugal - by sophomore Alexis Hoppers

We started out our morning with a bus ride from Combria to Lisbon. We parted ways with our tour guide that we have been with since we landed in Lisbon last Friday. We checked into our hotel and went for some lunch. We then took a tour of the city and learned about where we were going to be staying the next couple days.

Arch in Lisbon, Portugal      E&H Women's basketball viewing a statue in Lisbon.      A square with a monument in Lisbon.

DAY SEVEN - COIMBRA, Portugal - by sophomore Taylor Gilbert

After breakfast in the hotel, we traveled by bus to the Mondego River where we kayaked 12 miles. We traveled with other groups down the river. The trip was very relaxing and we stopped for a barbecue lunch 10 miles into the trip. After lunch, we continued kayaking down the river for another two miles.

After the trip, we went and got back on the bus and traveled back to the hotel. Later that night, we had a group dinner with our tour guide since it was his last night with us. 

     E&H Women's basketball dining in Coimbra, Portugal.

DAY SIX - COIMBRA, Portugal - by junior Kylea Cooper

Today we toured the city of Coimbra. While here we learned that it was the first capital of Portugal before Lisbon. Coimbra is a university city, so it is filled with college students.

The tour consisted of The Mermaid Garden that was built in the 1700's. It belonged to the monasteries who owned much land.

We toured the University, which was founded in 1290. This is the sixth-oldest university in the world. We learned the students are required to wear uniforms that look similar to Harry Potter's! It was very interesting to learn that hazing was a part of the culture for freshman in the university to earn their uniforms. They have fraternities, but they are referred to as Republics. The university's main focus was law and medicine when first opened, and now has six other programs. The most interesting thing about the school is that there is no graduation ceremony, but a 10-day festival for seniors to celebrate. This is also similar to the ceremony that allows the freshman to receive their uniforms.

I think this was interesting to compare to the University of Coimbra to Emory & Henry. Things are very different. They declare majors right after high school, which I feel is a lot of pressure. Overall, I think this was a great experience.

Statue in Coimbra, Portugal     Emory & Henry women's basketball poses together while in Portugal.      Photo of a Portuguese town.      Another statue in Portugal.

DAY FIVE - COSTA NOVA, Portugal - by sophomore Tori Powers

Today, after we ate breakfast in the hotel, we walked to the bus station. We all got on a bus and traveled to Costa Nova. It was a long trip and took about a hour. 
When we arrived in Costa Nova, our tour guide took us to a place to paddle board in a lagoon. There were two instructors that helped teach us how to paddle correctly and the different positions that we could be on the board. The water was chilly when we first got in but everyone had a great time! We played a couple different games while in the water that worked on team-building. Everyone did great with the games. 
Canals of Costa Nova, Portugal     E&H women's basketball paddleboarding in a lagoon.

After we finished paddle boarding, we went to a restaurant nearby and ate pizza! Before we left, we stopped to grab some ice cream. Everyone returned to the hotel after and showered. We ended the evening by heading out to do some shopping. It was a great day!

DAY FOUR - AROUCA, Portugal - by sophomore Callie Haderer

After packing to transfer hotels, we ate breakfast and headed to Arouca to begin our adventure on the river canyoning. We stopped at a coffee shop for refreshments before our journey. Once arrived, we put on our wetsuits and gear and set off on a 20-minute hike. We finally reached the river and headed down, climbing rocks and swimming through deep water.

We came upon our first obstacle we had to complete before continuing on our way. Each member of the team had the option of jumping or repelling off of a six-meter cliff. We all decided to jump. The next obstacle on down was repelling from high areas. One of the final obstacles was a 12-meter cliff followed by a 10-meter waterfall. Two members jumped from the 12-meter cliff while the rest repelled.

Once finishing repelling and jumping we hiked back through the river and up the mountain to complete our canyoning experience. 

Landscape of rural Portugal.

DAY THREE - PORTO/MATOSINHOS, Portugal - by junior Elizabeth Jones

After breakfast in the hotel, we traveled to the train station where we rode the metro to play in our 3v3 Tournament on the beach in Matosinhos. The tournament was very interesting being that it was on the sand of the beach. Both men and women played in the tournament and it was really interesting seeing all the talent from different countries. We definitely struggled with the rules of the tournament a little, but once we got the hang of it we had a blast. It was a great experience for all of us and we definitely had fun competing against the foreign teams and each other.

   E&H women's basketball poses at the beach at Matosinhos, Portugal

DAY TWO - PORTO, Portugal - by junior Josie Salyer

On Saturday, we did a three-hour tour of the city of Porto. It was a city dedicated to trade. We learned Porto was modeled much after Paris and formed by merchants. With that being said, religion was not important. The population of Porto today is 220,000. Population with neighboring cities is 2 million people! 

Peter the IV was a ruler for Portugal for some time, after he died he wrote in his will that he wanted his heart to stay in Portugal. After his death, his body was sent to Brazil and his heart was preserved in heart of Porto. 
We visited the Metro Station, where we learned that the same man spent over 10 years painting the station! We also visited the Cathedral, where our tour guide explained to us that the Cathedral was not built for looks, but for protection. The outside was pretty, but provided a safe shelter when the city was being attacked.
Cityscape of Porto, Portugal   Photo of a building in Porto, Portugal.

DAY ONE - EMORY, Va. - by Head Coach Jaclyn Dickens

These past seven days have been such a valuable time for the team. Not merely in terms of basketball but as a team and for us coaches as well. Having 11 returning players here has been good because we are learning to adjust to life without the six seniors who just graduated. It is time for a new opportunity for teamwork and leadership. Our chemistry continues to be amazing.

As a new head coach, this has been so beneficial for me. The players know what to expect from me. Serving previously as the assistant coach, they know my expectations of them. The time together is an excellent team bonding. A huge advantage is being able to start implementing new offensive and defensive strategies. Getting comfortable playing together and using our strengths has been beneficial.
Emory & Henry women's basketball at the airport before their flight to Portugal.
Traveling to Portugal is such an excellent opportunity for each player. Some have never flown, some have never gone out of the country, and some travel pretty often. To experience another culture, compete against high competition, and spend this time together is exciting. 
The financial support has been fantastic for our program. Our families, Emory friends, and fundraising efforts have made this possible. We look forward to welcoming our new players to the E&H family and returning to Emory with great stories and experiences that will last a lifetime. 
In addition to taking on some top international clubs, the team will get to participate in numerous cultural activities including historical tours of the city of Porto, a boat trip of the Duoro River, and a visit to the National Palace of Pena.
We invite you to follow along with us on Thank you for all the support leading to this trip. We are very blessed to represent Emory & Henry. Go Wasps!