Wednesday, July 6, 2011

UVa.'s Shine teachs, learns, grows in Vietnam

Don't know if Chelsea Shine ever complained about the food at the John Paul Jones dining facility, but if she did, we doubt she'll have any more beef with cafeteria chow.

Three weeks of taking meals in Vietnam will have that effect.

"Our motto was, 'Eat first, ask questions later,'" said Shine, one of 62 athletes to take part in the global initiative Coach for College. "I didn't mind the food at all, but the portions were pretty small. We had white rice with every meal, and they called me Miss Soy Sauce because I doused everything … to give it some flavor."

At least we know Shine won't report to workouts overweight. Besides, Shine told the Daily Press that struggling through meals - not to mention rugged living conditions, a mysterious intestinal ailment, the language barrier and - horrors! - shaky Internet connections - were small prices to pay for the rewarding and enlightening experience of exposing the Vietnemese children to the joy of sports and the power of education.

"I feel like I grew up a lot in my ability to relate to people and communicate with them in different ways," Shine said. "It was real humbling experience, to say the least, to see people living off of basically nothing and still being happy...It was an exhausting three weeks. But it was so rewarding and so worth it."

Bet Shine can't wait to tell her Cavaliers teammates all about it, perhaps during a team meal. Hey, Simone, pass the soy sauce.

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