For the EWB team Sunday was far from a day of rest. We woke up while it was still dark outside to attend church services in the village and at the convent. This was an interesting experience considering the whole service I attended was in Swahili. After this we did get some down time to get ready for the rest of the day and most importantly the annual village soccer game but before that we of course had to embark on an adventure to the top of the hill. This was on the way to village and we were told that it would only take a half hour to get there. Yet we didn’t expect to get completely lost and have to climb to the top of the hill instead of driving. This was a great way to get warmed up for a soccer game, not to mention we were already 45 minutes late. Luckily we are in Africa and their sense of time is a lot different than ours in the states. We finally got to the field about an hour late but the village team was also late so it worked out perfectly.
When we arrived to the field we realized that we are very blessed in the United States with the fields and facilities we have. Our playing field included a path for villagers through the middle, a cow, two sheep, a two-foot deep ditch near one of the goals, and slippery dirt patches. I do not believe any of us have ever had to play on a field like this. A lot of the village showed up to watch the game and cheer us on. This was very exciting because as a soccer player it is always encouraging to have a crowd and people to cheer you on. The atmosphere was perfect.
After a little warm up the game was underway. Luisa, Taylor and I were the only ones who have played organized soccer before and therefore our team was at a disadvantage. But to the surprise of the village team, we came to win! “Shoot for the moon” we always say. It was evident that the team was used to the conditions of the field, they had such good touches on the ball and all knew how to use the field to their advantage. The village team did end up scoring first but in no time at all we answered with an extraordinary goal of our own by Luisa. I also scored a goal along with Richard our driver, and Reagan the captain of the village team who decided to play on our team. We did end up losing the game but we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Everyone did a wonderful job and we all had so much fun playing against the Masaera soccer team. It was also fun to give away some Valpo jerseys to the village team. The day was exhausting: waking up early, climbing a large hill, and playing an intense soccer game took its toll on us. But it was worth it!