Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Saturday, February 6, 2010

soccer, soccer, and more soccer

As I mentioned in this post about my friends at the bridge, soccer games have been a highlight of our best times together!

Now, I do not like soccer. I think it's highly boring to watch compared to basketball. I've only played it once in my life, in a Casa de Amor staff game years ago.

That said, I enjoy an occasional game of Bolivian soccer! When an interesting group of friends is going, I like tagging along to just chat while enjoying nice weather and mountain views. It's also a great cultural event to introduce to new volunteers. Just ask how entertaining it is to watch the drama of "seriously injured" players who are back on the field within seconds, and observe the many roles the police play at games. (Here, people take their soccer seriously!!)

Right now, Bolivian teams are competing to win the "Copa AeroSur", and the favorite Cochabamba team Wilstermann is in the lead!

25,000 tickets were sold for this game! Wilstermann won 3-1 against Aurora.

The first game we went to together was easily the most packed out, heavily guarded, craziest soccer game I have been to in all my years in Bolivia. And I had to bring over 20 volunteers, street friends, and children, just great!

I had NO idea how it was going to go with our street friends. My expectations and the guidelines were clearly laid out almost daily in the week leading up to the game (such as no glue) and the kids were very responsive, but beyond that I could only be hopeful.

Some of our large, rather out-of-the-ordinary group from the first game

Savannah with her dad in the last hour of his Cochabamba visit, and Caris with B (CDA II) and a new friend

First of all, I barely recognized the group I picked up at the bridge, they were so clean and spiffed up! Still, no one was more surprised than me when all went well at the game. The only part I wasn't prepared for was the police bullying, even towards me for being with them (such as where we were allowed to park). I thought I was never going to get a couple of the most recognized (or notorious?) through all the levels of security, but by vouching for them every step of the way we got in!

They insisted that I be their "bodyguard" the rest of the game when police came near, or when they wanted to go buy something. Interesting twist, me with no street smarts whatsoever, ha!

I love how carefree these four look here, which is not always the case

Pictures from the second game, which included hours of boiling hot sunshine rather than rain, (we decided we preferred the rain of the week before!):

(By the way, I actually do have great pictures of these people straight on, I'm just hesitant to post lots of them publically.)

Wilstermann won again against La Paz, 1-0!

There will be another huge game on Sunday but I'm not sure I will get to take them this week. And anyway, I haven't had more than an hour "free" in weeks and weeks now, so that would be really amazing.

For my friends sake though, GO WILSTERMANN!!! :)


Gallo Pinto2 said...

So cool! Looks like so much fun...I still can't believe I haven't been to one! But yea Wilstermann....not that I'd ever heard of them before you started taking the kids to games!

Anonymous said...

Hey so how'd it go today? I thought of you (and norma) as I left my house around the same time in the pouring rain! Just so you know I mentioned to COYERA (oscars group) and others you've started working with the kids (they do too) they said if they see will encourage your work to the kids and say "listen to the senorita"!! Part of our vision is to support each others just thought i'd let you know they will 'support' you!