I have been playing soccer for most of my life. It was once my biggest passion, and while I don’t play competitively anymore it still remains my favorite sport to play and watch. Soccer (or futbol) is often regarded as the world’s sport and that was never more apparent than it was today.
Today, myself and two other USF students went to the neighboring town, about a 10 minute taxi ride from Carhuaz. The family we visited is a friend of one of the students, she met them during one of her many visits to Peru. We were meeting them for lunch and so before we left we bought pierna de chancho. The mother of the family was so incredibly friendly and we mostly watched her make lunch since none of knew how to make chicharrones. The lunch was absolutely amazing and the two little boys were so sweet, but also an incredible handful.
After lunch, we went down to the town’s soccer field and there was already a group of older boys playing. We set up our own little game and played for a while. More little kids came down to the field and we decided to play a larger game on the other side of the field (the other half wasn’t being used by the older boys). Teams were divided depending on whether or not you lived in the barrio Florida or Shumay. We were on team Florida. I am still not very comfortable in speaking Spanish, but it truly just wasn’t necessary to play. Soccer is something that I am comfortable with and there are so many nonverbal cues in the game, that it isn’t necessary for all players to have to speak the same language. The longer I played with them, the more comfortable we were with each other and the more fun it became. The only thing I was concerned about was not running over any of the smaller boys. I wasn’t trying to be the gringa that knocks over children. By the end of the game, some of the younger boys were referring to me as Tia and were asking if we’d be back next Sunday to play. This Sunday game really helped alleviate some of the stress I’ve been accruing doing my thesis research. I’m looking forward to next Sunday’s lunch of ceviche and futbol.