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Greece is less than 24 hours away, which means it’s packing day!!! My name is Joy Bergstrom and I’m a rookie here on the South Dakota Women’s Basketball Team! My team and I are so grateful to have this opportunity to travel abroad to compete and learn all about Greek culture! Personally, this will be my first time out of the country, so I feel extremely lucky to be able to experience this with such a large community. This trip allows me to experience many of my “firsts”. Not only am I traveling overseas for the first time, but I’m also playing my first college basketball game! I think everyone can guess that I’m at least a little nervous about having this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, I’m much more excited! Our team has worked so hard this summer training to be the best they can be and now we’re able to make it count!

All in all, I’m thrilled with this whole trip. Some of the things we can do and see don’t even seem real to me. Specifically, I’m really looking forward to visiting the Parthenon because it’s such a central location for Greece. Also, I’m really looking forward to discovering what the beaches and water are like in Greece. I love the beach and being outdoors so this is something I look forward to. The team and I learned a lot about these specific places we are going to visit thanks to two students here at SHU who came and spoke with us. They had the opportunity to study abroad in Greece, so we were very lucky to hear about their experiences and give us advice on what to expect! One thing I really took away from their presentation was to enjoy the time we have together as a team and make the most of whatever we’re doing in that moment. They reminded us not to focus on “what’s next” and instead appreciate what is currently happening in front of us. Finally, the food! This trip will definitely make me, and I’m sure many others, branch out and try new things. I think it’s going to be really cool for us to see what all the different types of food look like in Greece, and what makes it so different from the United States. Before leaving for our trip, the team was able to share a Greek meal together. We were joined by Tasos, who is from Greece and plays on the men’s basketball team here at USD. He taught us all about the different types of food we will see and try, and even assured us that they will be even better in Greece! I think it was also a great opportunity for our team, as we were able to ask Tasos questions about the m Greek ots, restaurants, symbols and everyday things that we don’t get to experience here.

Finally, this trip to Greece will allow the whole team, the program and the community to grow together. A lot of people worked so hard to make this happen, and we are all very grateful. It’s my first year here, I feel like our team is already very close, even if it may seem different. I’m so excited for this extra chance to get even closer to my teammates and really bond around this incredible opportunity. Wish us luck and we’ll be thinking of our entire Yote community at home! Also wish me luck with the packing, I’m an overpacker and it shouldn’t take me that long…

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