It's 7:30am. I was out celebrating Halloween with some friends last night and it is far to early for my alarm to be going off. I'll hit snooze until 8, it won't take me that long to get ready anyways.
It's 8am. Ok, I better get up now. I pull on my shorts, t-shirt, knee and ankle braces, and my tennis shoes and run up to the dining hall to grab some breakfast before the 8:30 set-up time for my first game with the RTC college basketball team. We will be playing Gedu college: best two out of three.
Of course, when they told me to arrive at 8:30, that was BST (Bhutan Stretchable Time), further stretched by the fact that the game itself was moved from 9am to 9:30 late last night without my knowledge. Oh well, I got to watch the competition warm up for a bit before the rest of the RTC girls arrived.
We huddle up and our team captain and basketball club president explain the “plan” for the game. I'll get subbed in after we start. The game begins at high speed and although we are close, our team seems to be on edge. I get called to switch into the game and do my best, finishing off the quarter at 10-10. As the game goes on, our team steadily plays better and better and we take the lead. Although we are winning, RTC never slows down and we even get a little aggressive, fouling a number of times within only a couple minutes.
Around the end of the second quarter I pull a typical “Heather-moment.” I am right under the basket. Jump up... and wait! Someone is behind me and I can't land properly, spraining my ankle. This is the second time I've sprained an ankle playing basketball in Bhutan, my body really doesn't like it when I am active.
Both teams circle around me and despite my protests start stretching and rotating my ankle to see how it is. Someone is even behind me holding my head so I don't have to put it on the dirty floor. The school medical officer comes over, takes a look at it and after a few minutes about 4 girls (from both teams) pull me up and then two of the taller girls from my team get me over to our chairs.
Although I probably shouldn't have, I got back on my feet and played for a while in the 4th quarter and our second game. We went undefeated, beating Gedu twice in a row. Although as I write this my ankle is still a bit sore, the team-work, team-spirit, and great attitude of all of the girls makes it worth it. Cheers to my RTC basketball girls and thank you for making me feel like a real part of the team!