Sometimes You Learn Things in Strange Ways

Posted By: T-John Casiello
Posted On: December 9th, 2016
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Picking up where I left off on my last blog, I was still in Belfast for Thanksgiving when suddenly something happened that made me quickly realize how awesome this experience is.

Before telling you what that is I want to set the backdrop for the story.

Being over here in Ireland, I have the opportunity to meet a ton of people, whether it is through school, playing basketball, or coaching. Sometimes I get to see these people numerous times a week or, for some of them, meeting them only once or twice since I have been here. Furthermore, being over here isn’t one big vacation, we work a lot between school, coaching, and playing. At times it can be very hectic making it difficult to be in the moment and soaking the whole experience in.

So let me tell you what happened….

At the Sport Changes Life event, we finished up dinner and then they directed us to a projector screen saying they had a surprise for us. I couldn’t even begin to think what the heck it was. Then, Marc got up and said over the past couple weeks they have been in contact with all our families back home. They said each Victory Scholar’s family made a one-minute video full of friends and family wishing their individual scholar a Happy Thanksgiving. The video began playing and it was hysterical, but also bittersweet. It sure makes you miss you family and friends but it also makes you happy to see them.

My family sent in a really short video that had them all standing in front of my house with my dog. It was awesome to see them. As I said it makes you miss home a little bit, but it's also great to have them wish me Happy Thanksgiving. Furthermore, missing Thanksgiving was tough, but this is a once in a lifetime experience I am getting that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Despite that being a cool little story that is not the main thing that completely changed my mindset out here.

This occurred at the end of the video. When all the Scholar’s families were done suddenly Niall, my Letterkenny basketball coach shows up on the screen. I was like what the heck is this?

He goes on and says that my family didn’t send a video in so he didn’t want me to be the only Victory Scholar without a video from their family. I later found out that my family could not be reached, there were not answering any texts, emails, phone calls, or Facebook messages from SCL. Then, last minute they sent a video in. So, therefore, Niall went out and made a 5-minute video for me. The video is absolutely hysterical, but it was also very moving. It is filled with people that I have met out here wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving. As I said before, it is easy to forget what kind of impact I am having out here. This video made me realize how big of an impact it is.

Here is the link to the video…. I must warn you Niall is a real jokester so don’t believe everything he says LOL! 

Niall and everyone involved in the video thank you guys so much! It really means a lot. I consider you guys a second family anyway!

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