Hola from Albuquerque, where mariachi music filters through the chlorinated air and the cement bleachers make chiropractors smile. Aden and William have a break between water polo games and so rested in our hotel room to watch “Rush Hour” with Jackie Chan. Just a normal family vacation, complete with putt – putting and in-fighting. The older kids each have their own hotel room with teammates, but Mom and Dad are still home away from home.
This tournament fascinates the kids because there are nine Masters’ teams here from all over the west, as well as a team from southern California and a full complement of teams from Juarez, Mexico. The Juarez head coach looks like he played water polo for an Eastern bloc country (if that were not so outdated) and his players are super tough, and not above a dirty trick or two in the water. The kids have been angry and frustrated by turns but they have learned a great deal.
It’s fun to experience the Spanish flavor with the language floating around the pool deck, music playing on cell phones and laptops, and the cheers of “Afuera!” and “Juarez” penetrating the close air. In the hotel I was greeted more with “Buenos dias” than “hello.” Just chalk it up to another learning experience for all of us, more miles on the road and in the pool, another Monday looming ahead with all of us back on our heels, but with good new memories.