photo of the contents of a small geocache inside an Altoids tin

Germans in LA: Nele Barber

Zeinab Greif, Stefanie Kuisle & Nele Barber at the CSULB School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
Zeinab, Stefanie & Nele

After hanging out with Ben Wegener at Grand Avenue, Stefanie, Zeinab, and I drove down to Long Beach State to visit with Nele Barber.

Nele is a volleyball player from Berlin. She played her first 2 years of college volleyball at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After freshman year the coach that had recruited Nele, Bond Shymansky, left Marquette to coach at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. In a new country and without the coach that had recruited her, Nele felt a little lost. After sophomore year she told Long Beach State that she was interested in playing here, and the reply was that they’d been looking at her too!

So it’s Nele’s junior year, and her first at The Beach. And she’s taking my Introduction to the Visual Arts class. When Stefanie and Zeinab told me they were coming, I thought they might like to meet Nele. They might share a few stories about home or travel, and Stefanie is also a volleyball player.

It turns out that Berlin is a little over a 6-hour drive from Sonthofen. Almost the distance from LA to San Francisco.

screen cap of the Geocaching App showing the location of various caches at or near the CSULB campus
The Geocaching Mobile App

We decided to try a little Geocaching. First we tried the cache at the Pyramid which I tried to find and failed back in July. Yay! We found it! Then Stefanie found the Track Stadium cache!

Stefanie Kuisle finding a small geocache behind a sign
Stefanie locates the Long Beach Track cache
photo of the contents of a small geocache inside an Altoids tin
Trinkets in the geocache, including the awesome “I heart One Direction” button!
Nele signing the Geocache log book
Nele signing the Geocache log book
Zeinab, Stefanie & Nele on the sidelilne of a rugby match
After our 2 geocaching finds we went over to the field and watched a Long Beach State Rugby match.
Long Beach State dance team on the court inside The Pyramid and using pink pom-poms for Breast Cancer Awareness night
And then Nele had to get ready for the volleyball match. We went across the street from campus to shop at Ralph’s for our Santa Cruz island kayaking trip tomorrow, only to discover that Ralph’s had closed. So we had boba tea at Cha for Tea instead. When we came back to The Pyramid to buy our volleyball tickets the cashier saw Zeini’s pink top and said that she got a US$3 ticket for wearing pink on Breast Cancer Awareness Night! Stefanie quickly threw on her always-present pink Amsterdam sweatshirt and got the discount too.
Glenn, Zeinab & Stefanie in the stands at The Pyramid in Long Beach, CA
Go Beach!
photo of cup holders on the backs of chairs in the Pyramid seating area
The awesome Pyramid facility has a Cell-Phone-Holder at every seat!
Women's volleyball players on the court at the Long Beach State Pyramid
Long Beach wins! 25-27, 14-25, 25-21, 25-23, 19-17

After losing the 1st set 25-27, and then losing the 2nd 14-25, I was pretty sure Long Beach was going to lose the match against Cal Poly SLO. I should have had more faith! Long Beach won the 3rd & 4th sets and then won the 5th in extra points. What an exciting night! In the end it was a career high night for Nele.

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