Monday, April 2, 2018

Let's Play Ball - Philippines 2018

Our latest baseball adventure took us to the Philippines!  Mason's 12U team was invited to play in the SEABYST (South East Asian Youth Baseball and Softball Tournament), which was located outside of Manila.  They competed against teams from Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and the local team of Pamanga.

 Rod wasn't able to join us on this trip as he was busy getting ready for the World Cup.  So I loaded up Mason and the twins and headed East!  The kids were troopers on our 12-hour journey, with a 2:45 am departure and final arrival at 7:00 pm local time!  Philippines is 4 hours ahead of Dubai. 
 We were able to explore on our first day and ventured out to a Costco style store.  They even had Costco and SAM's brand items, along with a Brandy taste testing section.  

 We of course had to visit the local McDonald's and check out their menu items such as the Chicken McDo (fried chicken), rice, McSpaghetti (noodles with ketchup).  We were also greeted by locals trying to sell handmade items, fruits and vegetables. 
One of the team dad's took a lot of great action shots!

 Mason hit 2 Home Runs and one was a Grand Slam (technically a triple with an error, but it counts as a Grand Slam in mom's book!!)

Team photos with Pampagna, Manila and Jakarta.  Before each game, teams line up, shake hands and exchange team items such as pins, buttons, patches!
 B&W photos courtesy of Coach Jamie Rae
 Three Amigos: Brody, Ben & Mason
I love this photo!
There were a lot of siblings on this trip, and they played a ton of wiffle ball!
One of the kids' favorite part about travel baseball is staying in the hotel with everyone!  Pool time is always fun, and the parents enjoyed cabana time too!
One afternoon in between games, we were able to sneak away and the kids (Crocs Clan) got foot massages!!
 Dubai was well represented by three baseball teams and one softball team!

Baseball plays a big role in our lives here in Dubai, and it's where new friendships have been made and important life lessons have been learned!  We are so thankful for the opportunities we've had to travel and play with kids from all over the world!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Let's Play Ball! - Dubai & Kuwait 2018

Call it a coincidence, fate, a blessing or just meant to be, but horse racing season in Dubai just so happens to coincide with Dubai Little League.  We have been part of this group for 5 years, and it's a little slice of America here in the heart of Dubai.  Mason has made some of his best friends through DLL, and the twins have made some great friends too.  Rod and I have also made some really special friendships and ones we will have even after our days in Dubai.  And while it feels like any of the little league fields back home, it's so cool to see kids from all over the world playing baseball.  For example, Mason's All Star team is represented by players from 6 countries: USA, Canada, England, Australia, Spain and Venezuela! Baseball has also allowed us the opportunity to travel to places like Kuwait and meet kids that play on teams from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  And our next adventure will take us to the Philippines and face teams from Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok and the Philippines.
 The boys got to meet Justin Turner and Chase Utley.  Emirates airlines sponsors both the Dubai Little League and the LA Dodgers!
 Mason loves to rock his evo-shield tan line!

Mason and Johnny Cash at the Friday Night Lights 

 Mason on the mound for his league team, the Red Sox

The 12U Dubai Falcons at the MENA Tournament in Kuwait

 Mason and Brody in flight!
 Mason with two of his teammates at the Sheikh Saad terminal in Kuwait
 View of the Persian Gulf from our hotel room
 Team pic before their first game against Kuwait
Mason rocked a triple!
 Mason in action!
 We love to watch the Ben (pitcher) and Mason (catcher) combo!  They've played on the same team for 2 years!
Big win against the home team, Kuwait 

Dubai & Qatar
Mason and his buddy G!
Fun nights out to dinner at the steak house

Team lunch at Wendy's

Mason with Kadin and Jake
Mason and Ben are team captains for the Qatar game

Mason on the mound for the Saudi game
Closes out a win which advanced them to the championship game!

10-7 Victory!

Pep talk by Coach Greg!

Sarah and the tea man!
Mason's fired up! 

12U Champs!

Two of my faves: Jess & Sarah