I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank all of you who contributed to SOL International Foundation during the Global Giving Open Challenge. With your help we were able to meet our fund raising goal and earn a permanent spot on that website. We will soon be posting new projects to seek funding for our Educational Program. At this time, I would like to update you on the progress of our Youth Baseball League.
This last weekend we traveled with 15 players (age 11-13), 3 mothers, 1 aunt, 1 grandfather, and 2 coaches to the mainland to La Ceiba for a tournament. A new airline on the island provided us with a great deal on airfare - thank you EasySky! For many of the children this was the first time that they had ever been on an airplane and the looks on their faces when we took off was amazing. Window seats were popular and the 15-minute flight over the 34-mile stretch of Caribbean Sea was over before they realized that we were already landing!
We stayed at the Hotel Paseo Delfin in La Ceiba, in the Teacher's Neighborhood a few blocks from the baseball field. The swimming pool and the seaside hammocks were a great place for the kids to hang out between games, practice, an interview with local news station, and the trip to the food court at the mall.
The rules of the tournament and the style of baseball played was different than we were accustomed to, but the boys adapted as well as could be expected to the smaller rubber ball, the 3-inning games, and the 1-hour time limit. Although the Roatan All Stars lost their first two games, they came together as a team and bonded throughout the games. It was especially pleasing to see them pick each other up when one would get down on themselves for mistakes made or missed plays. These boys are quickly developing into fine young men!
The second day of the tournament, rain threatened to cancel our final games. Luckily we met another coach from La Ceiba who was looking to play a friendly game with another team. So we jumped into the pick up trucks, gathered his team together and made our way to the field. After about an hour of field maintenance, the field was ready to play on. Both teams were equally excited to finally get to play a 7-inning hardball game, and our boys won in the last at-bat in the bottom of the 7th!
Not even the wet ride in the pouring rain in the back of the truck to the airport, or even the airport closing due to bad weather could put a damper on their spirits. So we hurried to the ferry to catch the boat back to Roatan instead of flying home. We finally arrived home that evening tired, hungry, and wet.
I would again like to thank you all personally for your contribution to the SOL Youth Baseball League through the Global Giving Open Challenge. Please know that through your contributions you have made a positive effect on the lives of these and other children involved in this program.