We are here!!!! First we will start off by making an excuse/ why it took us a couple days to make our first abroad post. It's been a little hectic. Let's start with our journey here that took approximately 12 hours plus a 7 hour time change.
The first flight was 8 hours, which consisted with us sleeping on and off, watching Vipo the Flying Dog the tv show being played (if you don't know what this is you should Google it), wondering if the woman next to Alissa was going to survive the flight, and being jealous of the little kids next to Dannie who got chicken nuggets. We had a two hour layover in Warsaw, Poland where one of the two was spent standing in line and the next was trying to figure out if our flight was changes to a different gate. During this all we were trying to do was decipher the Polish announcements being played over the speakers. This is when it really hit us that we were going to spend the summer smiling and nodding when someone spoke to us, because we would not know what they are saying. (Side note: everyone was very nice and willing to help us understand when they saw our confused looks).
Upon landing in Amsterdam and walking to the baggage claim we had that "freshman in college" look, smile from ear to ear and butterflies to meet the team. Once we realized that our bags were actually there, we found the team who had a banner saying "Welcome to Holland" it was a very nice welcome. By this time it was 7pm Holland time and we headed to our host family's house. We spend the rest of the night chatting with some of our teammates and coach and got settled in our room. To say we were tired by the end of the day would be a minor understatement, we were exhausted! Once our heads hit the pillow we did not move a muscle. That was until 8am the following morning when Alissa shot out of her bed in a panic not knowing where we were, what time it was, where we were supposed to be, while throwing some bard object onto the floor which increased the panic in the room when Dannie shot out of bed. This was a perfect example of our freshman year sharing a room at Wilkins and one of us thinking we were late for practice. So Coach Allister would be proud to know we still are in practice mode. (Mornings will be stressful if we don't adapt at some point.)
Our first meal with our host family was breakfast. Monique our house mom laid out an assortment of things we wouldn't pronounce, but she helped us identify what they were and explained to us the things we hadn't seen before. They had peanut butter! (It's like our natural stuff so it is good) For those of you that don't know this is Dannie's main food group.. Her body is not mostly made up of water it is made up of peanut butter so she will be able to sustain her dirty, dirty habit. We also had options such as croissants (you have to eat your pb on something, well Alissa did, Dannie could eat it with a spoon) along with 4 types of meat (ham, roast beef, salami, and something Dutch) Alissa tried that one and she liked it but couldn't translate what it would be back home. The actual name of it translates to smoked beef.
The breakfast was a good headway into what would be a few days of traditional Dutch food and drinks. Each meal is like an experiment to see if we like it. We made Pannenkoek (pancakes) for the family for dinner, yes dinner. They don't eat them for breakfast but they are also not like our pancakes, they are thinner and we made some with bacon, some with cheese and some plain. Dannie liked the plain ones the most and Alissa liked the cheese ones. Milot helped us she is the oldest of the 3 kids in the family. She is on our team, but is injured right now. "The Dutch way" to flip them is by throwing them in the air and catching them in the pan. Of course we had to try which led to a celebratory dance when we both succeeded on the first try.
They LOVE mayonnaise here... Alissa's favorite! NOT! They eat it with a lot of their foods. Instead of dipping their foods in ketchup it's always mayo. One of the dinners was traditional Dutch which included Frikandel, Krokets, and fried cheese squares (we don't remember what they were called). A Frikandel is in the shape of a hotdog but deep fried and it is made of minced. They eat it with mayo, of course, and onions. Dannie treated it like a hotdog and put ketchup and onions on hers. She kept saying it tasted like an Italian sausage. Bitterbals and Krokets, they are the same thing just different shapes. They are made out of beef that has been mixed so much that it turns into mush and is then deep fried.
Our first games were Saturday. We won both of them, but by no means were they pretty to watch. The scores were 3-2 and 8-0. We were both so nervous for the first game like it was a life or death situation but winning helps get rid of nerves. Alissa instilled a little fear in the other team by hitting their lead off two times in a row and Dannie hit a home run that was taken away from her because it rolled under a fence making it a ground rule double. Besides winning, the best part of the games was being told every inning to just have fun.
Giving a recap of the last five days was difficult for us to remember, but we will try to do it more frequently.
Alissa and Dannie
Since their freshman season, Alissa Koch and Dannie Skrove have dreamed of following in the footsteps of their fellow former University of Minnesota softball players, Briana Hassett and Shannon Stemper, and continuing their softball careers in the Netherlands. Now that the two recent grads have completed four memorable seasons in a Golden Gopher uniform, they are off to Europe for an experience of a lifetime to play for a team called Zuidvogels (don't ask me to pronounce that for you), which is the same team Hassett and Stemper played on during the summer of 2009.
"After hearing about Bri and Shannon's experience, Alissa and I made a promise to one another that we would do the same thing after our senior seasons," said Skrove. "Our four years as a Gopher flew by so fast, and it is a little nerve racking that it is time for us to fulfill our promises to one another. Aside from the nerves, we are really excited about this opportunity to not only continue playing softball but visit Europe."
Koch and Skrove began their journey last night as they hopped on a plane in Chicago for a seven and a half hour flight to Holland. In the coming weeks, the two will be moving in with a host family, which they will live with for their entire time abroad, and getting introduced to the Zuidvogels' clubhouse.
"The biggest challenge will be communicating with everyone, especially since we will be the only Americans on our team," Koch mentioned. "I bought some books to help me learn the language and basic terminology..."
"But all we really need to know is how to ask where the bathroom is," Skrove sarcastically jumped in to add.
The adventure that Koch and Skrove are embarking on right now is sure to be filled with a number of memorable experiences, which is why I have asked them to send updates throughout the summer. So keep your eye out for new posts from the two because about every 2-3 weeks the former Gophers will send me updates and pictures from Holland, and I will be posting them here.
The University of Minnesota softball team has had Game Two of their doubleheader against Purdue delayed until 6 p.m. tonight, due to thunderstorms in the area.
The Golden Gophers took Game One of the series 5-3 before the storm clouds entered Minneapolis, Minn. Back-to-back home runs by senior Dannie Skrove and freshman Erika Smyth in the fourht inning propelled the Maroon and Gold past the Boilermakers. Sophomore pitcher Sara Moulton shutdown the potent Purdue offense by striking out eight batter (six of which came in the first three innings) and allowed the same number of hits.
Stay up-to-date on all the information regarding today's rain delay and Gopher softball by visiting GopherSports.com, Facebook and Twitter (@GopherSoftball).
The rain has cleared (for now) and the Golden Gophers are slated to face Idaho State at 4:45 p.m. CST. It is still up in the air on whether their second game against Utah State will be played following the first game because Boise State doesn't have lights on their field.
Minnesota will play Idaho State instead of Utah State to make sure all four teams that have traveled here to Boise, Idaho get a game in today. Boise State will not see action today.
For all your Gopher softball needs, head to GopherSports.com, Facebook or Twitter.
The Golden Gophers' softball games have been bumped back again, but there has been no definitive game time set for any games today. I will keep everyone updated as game time information becomes more clear.
The fastest way to get updates is by following Gopher Softball on Facebook and Twitter. GopherSports.com will not be updated until exact game times are set.
The University of Minnesota's softball games for Saturday have been pushed back two hours due to the rain accumulated over the night. The Gophers originally were scheduled to face Utah State at 1 p.m. and Idaho State at 3 p.m, but the times have now shifted to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Stay up-to-date with the latest game time information by checking GopherSports.com, Facebook or Twitter.
Due to unsafe field conditions, Friday's softball games at the SpringHill Suites Invitational have been cancelled for the University of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers were slated to face Portland State and Idaho State.
Minnesota will return to action tomorrow afternoon as they face Utah State at 1 p.m. CST and Idaho State at 3 p.m. CST. Rain is also projected in the forecast for tomorrow, so check GopherSports.com, Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.
The University of Minnesota softball team is currently in a rain delay at the SpringHill Suites Invitational. The game was supposed to begin at 11 a.m. CST, but the new game time is slated for 1 p.m. CST.
Check back here for future updates, or check Facebook and Twitter.
Today's University of Minnesota softball game against host Boise State has been moved up one hour and is currently slated to begin at 4 p.m. CST.
Rain is also projected in the forecast for the next couple days, so stay tuned to GopherSports.com, Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date information related to game times.
Currently, the Gophers' games at the Bulldog Invitational are pushed back three hours, due to last night's thunderstorms. Minnesota was originally slated to play Ohio at 8 a.m. and Georgia at noon, but the new game times are noon. and 5 p.m., which are still subject to change.
Follow the Golden Gophers on Facebook
and Twitter (@GopherSoftball
) for the most up-to-date information on today's game times and all other information pertaining to Minnesota softball.