Junior forward Emily Wyffels and the rest of the women’s soccer team travelled to Hawaii last month to play a game against the University of Hawaii. Wyffels kept a journal of her experiences, and shared it with The Sun.
This is the second of three installments of Wyffels’ Hawaiian adventure.
Friday, September 19th:
I wake up to discover that our bathroom is handicapped accessible and the shower is only a drain in the floor and with a curtain separating the sink and toilet from the showerhead. Great. The team splits up for breakfast, wandering down the Waikiki streets. Never have I had better pineapple in all my life. Several of us utilize the well-spent $6 at Porgy’s all you can eat Breakfast Smorgasbord.
We don’t have a game until Saturday and we don’t practice until 4 P.M. that evening so we all run our separate ways, trying to pack in some sort of activity into every minute. I run to catch a glimpse of the beach and to take some pictures. Ber and Gretchen take an ambitious 4 mile walk Diamondhead (the beautiful mountain/volcano jutting out of the island). Some have set out to shop and some lie out on the beach for an hour so that they can come back to school and brag about all of the sun they got.
Such beauty on the beach did not go unnoticed. Our bikini clad teammates, Whitney Cale, Natalie, and Sarah are approached by boys of questionable repute inquiring, “Are you girls cheerleaders?” To which Natalie replies, “YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT!”
From the beach, I head out to shop for Hawaiian staples and souvenirs. Little Kara Ishikawa is laughing at me because within the first ten minutes of shopping, I’ve purchased a grass skirt, coconut bra, ukulele, postcards, puka shell necklaces, and about 4 novelty t-shirts, one of which proclaiming me “HULA CHAMP HAWAII.” I sprint over to an outdoor gathering to take pictures of the 80+ year olds taking ukulele lessons. I can’t stop taking pictures because I still can’t believe that we’re really here. Every store clerk has greeted me with an “Aloha!” and thanked me with a Hawaiian “Mahallo!” I have to eat about three lunches because I’m still starving from the plane ride the night before.
We board the 2002 dodge caravans for practice. Our van we endearingly name “the silver bullet.” We’re scheduled to practice for an hour and then give a clinic to 9-10 year olds in Kara’s former soccer club. The clinic is amazing! The kids are so cute and very talented for being so young! We have a great time interacting with all of the kids. Some of them were a bit perplexed by our questions. “So what’s it like to live in Hawaii!!??” “Where do you go on vacation if you already live here??” It probably didn’t help that I kept referring to the mainland as “America” as if Hawaii was not a part of America. Kara introduces us to a club coach’s 4-year-old daughter, Tru. And we thought Kara Ishikawa was cute! This little girl is darling! We all pose to have pictures taken with Tru.
Me: “I want to have Hawaiian babies!”
Sarah and Em schemed how they could steal her, suggesting that she might fit into one of our Nike travel bags. Her dad chuckled uneasily, not being able to tell if we were joking or not. I’m sure they weren’t really serious about the part where they were going to put her in a bag. After the clinic is over, we are again given lei’s and hugs by all of the cute little children. The soccer club has prepared a potluck dinner for us. We’re all on the verge of tears. We love Hawaii so much!!
We’re lost. Great. All of the other mini vans decide to leave us at a stop light and now we’re completely unaware of our bearings. Although, Ber improvises very well to get us back to the hotel flawlessly. Great work Ber! We have a bit of spare time this evening because we don’t play until 7 P.M. Saturday night. We all wander the streets of the Aloha Festival, sampling food, music, and hula dancing. Leigh Ann and I wander down to the international marketplace and soon learn that we can buy an assortment of throwing stars, brass knuckles, or samurai knives to take back with us in case our path of career development turns towards the profession of ninja or Asian mafia member.
Somehow the 6 of us that are in Ali and Em’s room are entranced by the Ohana Beach Hotels and Resort Channel. It’s quite possibly the worst channel I have ever seen on television (including Lifetime and the channels that show old reruns of “Caroline in the City”). The show spans from island cuisine to Hawaii’s greatest Elvis impersonator. We all manage to steal ourselves away from such riveting television programming and retire to our respective rooms to rest up for tomorrow’s big game.
Saturday, September 20th:
Game day! It all begins with a mile long beachfront walk to a park so that we could stretch out before the evening’s impending game. Although our stretch is a low-key affair, we have a few homeless spectators to witness our pre-game ritual. Sarah has an especially adoring fan wearing a Disney Land t-shirt looking like he hadn’t left the bench he currently occupied in about 5 days. On our walk back, Ali is the only one who has realized that we were walking on the side of the street requiring us to stop at every stop light as opposed to walking on the beach where there are no stoplights. That would be far too easy, Ali! So instead, we continue to stop at every street corner and make it back to the hotel in approximately 45 minutes. We again enjoyed a beachfront breakfast, despite having stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts just 5 minutes prior.
Em, Leigh Ann and I head out in search of proper surfing attire in preparation for the next day’s surfing debut.
The “silver bullet” is at it again. This time we’re headed to Tiff’s parents house to eat lunch. Nobody told me that the ride to the Todo residence would be the most breathtaking moment(s) of my life. The scenery was amazing! Ithaca is gorges??? NO! HAWAII IS GORGEOUS!! We drove up a mountainside and had to check in with the security guard manning the gate into Tiff’s neighborhood. I don’t think you will really understand how truly awesome Hawaii is by simple use of descriptive adjectives, but I really feel that this next conversation describes it most aptly.
Me *looking out van window*: “Where are we!!!!!!!!!?????”
Leigh Ann: “Heaven.”
Tiff’s house is equally as spectacular as everything we have seen so far. I can promise you that I will NEVER in my life forget the view from her second floor patio. I am used to walking out my back door to view rows of corn and the old school bus that has been parked in the field for the past 20.7 years of my life. I couldn’t even imagine what it must be like to wake up in the morning, walk out the back door, and see one expansive Pacific Ocean bordered with beach, palm trees, and mountains. This brings us to scheming how each one of us could be adopted by either the Ishikawas or the Todos. Gretchen explains to us that we’re too old to be adopted. Ok, scratch that idea. Plan B is to have Em be hired and run the Ohana Beach Hotel and Resort and give us permanent residence in the hotel. This will give Sarah and Whitney a chance to launch their T.V. careers, while I concurrently develop and produce a t.v. show that is based entirely upon our soccer team, which will be so appropriately named “The Antics of Girls.”
I would describe lunch to you, but I
think I’ve exhausted every word that is synonymous with “amazing,” “beautiful,” and “awesome.” So let’s just say that lunch was even better than eating at Arby’s
7:00 — 9:00 P.M.
GAME TIME!! We play before the largest crowd we’ve ever played for (300+) in an immaculate, carpet-like grass stadium. Our opponents: none other than the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine. These girls are monstrous and manly! Hawaii is the franchise of the leading scorer in the nation at that point of the season–number five Natasha something-something. We simply referred to her as #5. Number five is the ghastliest looking beast of a girl I have ever seen and is notorious for punching girls in the face–even girls on her own team.
The game starts out at break-neck pace and we’re playing like I’ve never seen any team play before. Number five tried her best to score (and to start a fight) yet was successful in neither effort. We shut out the Rainbow Wahine in a convincing 2-0 fashion.
Although our fan base is greatly outnumbered, it really isn’t that apparent considering the number of kids pouring out of the stands requesting our autographs and all of the congratulations we are receiving. We’d been placed in an absolute paradise full of distraction and were expected to concentrate for a short two hours on the game of soccer. And we did just that.
On our way out to meet the “silver bullet” in the parking lot, we had another run in with number five. We secretly wanted to remind her to stay off drugs (especially amphetamines) and that violence is not always the answer. But then we were afraid she’d run us over with her pick-up truck. So instead, we got into the van and listened to Britney Spears all the way back to the hotel.
The entirety of this story cannot be explained due to lack of appropriateness. But let’s just say the integral parts of the story have to do with the beach, a 20-something army girl just stung by a jellyfish, public urination, and urinating in one’s own pants. The end.
Archived article by Emily Wyffels