The men’s volleyball team kicked off their season a little further south than their home court in the Kern Center by traveling to Honduras where they competed against local teams and experienced the culture.

Shane Reid, head men’s volleyball coach, always dreamed of taking the team on an international trip. “I had international teammates when I played volleyball and I always thought it would be an incredible experience to see where they grew up and experience their hometowns and how they live in contrast to the USA,” said Reid.

When Honduras-native David Pineda joined the MSOE’s men’s volleyball team two years ago, Reid began planning the trip to Honduras to make his dream a reality.

Showing my teammates what home looks like for me was fascinating,” said Pineda. “It was really gratifying to see how everyone embraced the cultural differences and were so eager to explore and learn about my upbringing and the country of Honduras.”

While in Honduras, the team trained almost every day and competed against other teams, including two pro teams and the Honduran Olympic team. In between games, they visited local attractions such as the Valle de Angeles, El Picacho and Pulhapanzak waterfalls. They enjoyed trying traditional Honduran food like baleadas and chicharrónes. The team also led a volleyball camp at a local high school, Escuela Internacional Sampedrana.

Competing against different teams and experiencing new cultures was a valuable learning experience for the team. “To be able to experience a country and its daily life that was so different than our own was eye opening and rewarding,” said Reid. “The guys gained new perspectives on volleyball, school, life and even traffic! The beauty of experiencing a different language was also amazing.”