Monday, 24 July 2006

Camps at Stowe and NYC

I came to NY and took the cheapest way to get to my sleeping spot: by taking 3 different subways from the airport. It was very well doable, but it just took a lot of time and I had to carry my 20+ kilo backpack all the time which is not my favorite thing to do. I am not build to carry a backpack hat heavy and long. I am more into the delicate things and suitcases with wheels… ;-) But of course I am a though guy and survived it! I got more respect for my brother though, as he hikes like this in the mountains for days... I had a great place to stay in Brooklyn at a very nice guy. I got his address and contact data trough the internet community I am a member of, where you can offer people to stay over. It is for free and since I wanted to do it all low budget, it was the best option. I tried to see a friend of mine a couple of blocks away, but she wasn’t at home, so I walked 30min in the pouring rain back, as I didn’t know which bus would take me back to my sleeping spot. The next morning I took the train to Vermont and it was a beautiful train ride. I could have gone faster (1 hour by plane instead of 9 hours by train), but since I am not that fond of flying and I just love to travel by train, I just did it this way. I wasn’t in a hurry anyway as I arrive 1 day early to the camp.

The camp at Stowe, VT itself had the first week around 45 campers and the second week some 75 ones. All girls in the ages of 14 till 18 and all with very different levels of skill. They play here on grass and that is something totally different from what we play in Europe like on astro turf. The game is here so slow and difficult, because the ball gets stuck in the grass a lot and even the coaches can’t do it all perfectly. We had some good coaches around though, from the Spanish National competition, from the Scottish national team, some American coaches (who don’t have the same skills as we do) and me. I might play in the best country of the world with the best club competition, but they play for better teams or even the national team. They were good fun though and we have a lot of laughs and have nice games between each other.

The schedule was so tight and I was busy all day on the fields that I simply didn’t have the energy to write on my blog after it all. Breakfast was at 7, the first training session starts at 8.15, then lunch from 12 till 13.30, second training session and a match till 17.15, dinner, more matches till 20.30 and then an evening activity till 22.30hrs. Besides that you had to prepare your trainings for the next day, see what exercises you would do and write them out and plan them with the other coaches on your field. It is tiring and I can’t see myself doing this for more than 3 weeks. Some coaches do it for 7 weeks and go to a lot of camps to make money, but I guess I would go mad by doing that.

Blair Academy

In the Netherlands we hardly have private schools, but in the USA it is rather normal. I had never visited a private school before, but had some idyllic images in my head from the movie The Skulls and what I know about private schools in England. Now was the last field hockey camp situated at Blair Academy, NJ and I was very impressed. The campus was wonderful and very impressive, just what I had imagined. Take a moment to browse through the campus shots to get an idea... (Note: the yearly fee is a staggering $37,000.00 though)


For all of you that don't know yet: on Tuesday I will be leaving to Namibia (Africa) for my vacation with my parents and brother. My parents celebrated their 30th anniversary and wanted to go one last time on vacation with their sons. After lonbg discussion we found a compromise in Namibia. My brother didn't want Asia, my father was more for Canada and I opposed against Europe or the USA.
We rented 2 Adveturer 4x4's with which we will travel one month throughout the country and will stop at all the major (for example the Etosha Park and the Skeleton Coast) and not so major sights (for example Damaraland) of the country and it will be a blast. Sleeping will be half of the time in the car and half of the time in a hotel or lodge. I am looking forward to see some more wildlife, some beautiful nature sceneries and meeting new people. I don't think that I can blog a lot about it all, but I will for sure try to do so.

Back home

I am back home from 3 weeks of coaching field hockey camps in the US. I miss it already. When the last camp in Blairstown, NJ was done I was relieved as it is a rather hard job to do, as you have to combine mental and physical activity. Not only that, but also was it more than 38 degrees Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit) during the afternoons. So it was hard work, it was very hot, my shoes had tremendous holes in them and I got up every day at 6.45am what is something I never do. Looking at the (short) list, you would say that I should be glad being back home, but I ain't. I miss it. I miss being around with those girls; who sadly often can hardly hit a ball, who cannot stop talking about the Spanish (male) coaches and who are sometimes a pain in the ass. But it is great spending time with them, to teach them new things and learn them things outside hockey about Europe, Holland, culture and habits. Not only that, but working abroad for me always feels like holiday, eventhough I sometimes have to work really hard. It was so in Germany, in Albania and now in the USA. I just love being in a new surrouding, meeting new people and doing stuff I like.
I am doing on vacation to Namibia with my family on Tuesday and am really looking forward to that, but I wish I could have done the camp in Sauk Valley as well to see some old friends and be a longer time around those crazy Spanish.
I had a blast working 2 camps in Stowe, Vermont and 1 camp in Blairstown, NJ and I would like to thank you all, campers and coaches, for the great time. I really hope to see you either here in Holland (equals The Netherlands) as my guest or next year again in the US of A.

Wednesday, 5 July 2006


For all my German friends who were so kind to send me an SMS after Holland lost the match against Portugal, I can only say the following: "Ohne Deutschland geht es zu Berlin..."

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Wireless again

I have a wireless connection here and I can receive my email here, but I can't send any from here as I need a different protocol for that. Just that you know... :-)


I am in Vermont now after a long, but very nice trainride. The scenery outside was marvellous and the company on the train was great too. We had a crazy guy working at the bar and some crazy girls in the same wagon. We played a couple of card games and had a laugh. Always nice to meet people on the train and have some talks and discussions.
I was picked up from the trainstation together with a Scot, who happened to be on the same train as I was. He played for Hurley for a year and plays in the Scottish national team, so we have a real pro here. The hostel is ok and we are expecting the other coaches between now and 2 hours. The girls will come tomorrow and for the first week there will only be 50. The other 2 weeks will be fairly crowded though. It is hot out here and I am enjoying myself with this wireless connection. :-)

Monday, 3 July 2006


The guy where I am staying has wireless, so I take the opportunity and get online with my laptop. It is so hot here that we have a storm now with lots of rain. All is fine and for a change was the flight also pleasant, although I still don't like to fly. Tomorrow around noon heading for Vermont. My Dutch simcard doesn't work here, but my Ukrainian does... Strange...


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