Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Team, New Country, New Beginning

Hey everyone!  Its been a long long time and I apologize for that.  Last year I didn't blog and there is no excuse I was straight lazy to be honest, but as you can see from my post title its a new year and I plan on blogging all year long to keep everyone informed.  If you haven't heard I have signed a one year contract with TED Kolejliler Ankara in Turkey.  Ankara is the capital of Turkey (not Istanbul) for all of you city capital guru's.  There is approximately 4.75 million people living in Ankara and is the 2nd most populous city in Turkey behind Istanbul.  We are located in central north west part of the country. My amazing wife AJ came along this year as well, and let me tell you it is unbelievable having her around.  However, since we got here I have only seen her 1 night because of camp (will explain later).

Starting out our trip AJ and I had a heck of a time getting to Turkey.  First, our flight from Fargo to Chicago was delayed 1 1/2 hours and we only had a 2 hour lay over in Chicago before our international flight took off.  We end up getting to Chicago 20 minutes before our 2nd flight leaves.  We are literally racing to get to the gate only to find out our next flight from Chicago to Munich is delayed 1 hour.  Not to mention our next flight from Munich to Ankara has a 2 1/2 hour lay over.  So, we are waiting at the gate to board when a man comes on the intercom and says that our delay is now going to be 2- 2 1/2 hours!  AJ and I are sitting there thinking you have got to be kidding, we are going to miss our last flight from Munich to Ankara.  Turns out the plane had a major maintenance problem because of a lose door.  The airline decides to get us a new plane but it wouldn't be taking off until 9pm!  We leave Chicago knowing we are going to miss our next flight and my agent informs me that the next flight they are going to put us on doesn't leave Munich until 7:45pm, and we had landed in Munich at 12:30pm (next day).  After all of those delays and being unlucky we now have a 7+ hour layover in Munich.  From Munich to Ankara is about 2 1/2 hour flight.  After the long layover in Munich and our last flight to Ankara we finally arrive at 12:00am!  So, we basically traveled for 38 hours!

Arriving in Ankara was a great feeling.  They had a team assistant to meet us at the airport and drive us to the hotel that we stayed in for 1 night.  The excitement doesn't stop there.  The next morning I have a physical, after that AJ and I went apt searching, and finally I have to get on the bus and leave for TRAINING CAMP that night for 9 days!  That is why I only saw AJ for 1 night.  Let me tell you it was an exhausting 48+ hours to say the least.  We did find an apt which we are really happy about and AJ is currently there right now.  I am in training up camp in the mountains between Ankara and Istanbul about a 2 1/2 hour drive.  

We finished our first day of training camp today and it was great besides spraining my ankle.  It feels great to be able to get back in the hang of things.  A little bit about our first day, this morning we had some conditioning and a little lifting workout.  Tonight we had our court session.  Felt great getting out on the court with a team and playing.  Speaking of my teammates, they are great.  The foreign players consist of Kirk Penney (2 guard), Jovo Stanojevic (center), Vanja Plisnic (4 man), and myself.  It has been great getting to know all of the Turkish and other foreign players at our camp.  I look forward to playing with these guys all year.  After a full day of work it is time for this guy to relax, ice the ankle, and get ready for tomorrow.  Have a wonder day/night and as always God Bless! "Iyi geceler" Joshua 1:9

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