Saturday, June 26, 2010

You know you're in South American when...

Not long ago, we took the boys to preschool on what seemed like a normal Friday morning and were surprised to find the place deserted. No children playing in the yard, no smiling teachers ready to greet arriving students, even the security guard was absent from his post. Our initial thought was that maybe there was a Venezuelan holiday we weren't aware of. After two years in Caracas we knew it was also possible Hugo Chavez had declared a holiday on a whim. But, we heard noises emanating from the building and went in to find the source. A quick look around around revealed the entire school crammed into an upstairs classroom, clad in their team colors of choice and glued to the television for game one of the World Cup. It didn't matter that no one present had obvious allegiances to South Africa or Mexico. This was the first match of the holy grail of sports, for most of the world anyway, and business as usual would have to wait.

I never played soccer as a child. It was an option, sure, but not a popular one. I'm sure part of that is that America is a few decades behind the soccer, or rather football, revolution, and part of that is a consequence of growing up in Hawaii. I can dance the hula, pound taro into poi, even husk a coconut if necessary, but I don't know the first thing about soccer. Or didn't. Soccer mania is rampant in Caracas right now and I'm sure in a hundred other countries too. Every other car on the road if flying their team flag. Embassy employees have all the televisions on and the volume turned WAY up. Shouts of GGGGOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL and cheers are echoing through the halls day in and day out. And I find myself checking scores and statistics and rooting for players I'd never heard of a month ago. The US is doing, I understand, surprisingly well and we are rooting for them in their next match against Ghana. I read an article (see what I mean about the fever?) that said the US has never won 2 back-to-back World Cup matches, I'm hoping this will be the year. Honestly, I don't care who wins, but the excitement is contagious and I'm enjoying the fun.

On their way to school last week. Fridays are now team color days.
Vaya Argentina y Messi!

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Lauren in GA said...

I am totally impressed that you can hula, pound taro into poi and husk a coconut. I think those skills are better than soccer.

Adrianne said...

64 games, average of tour hours each, all much be viewed. It's like an intensive course, and I'm doing quite well I might add.

When in BA the other day they had huge screens set up in various parks for people to pop out of the office and watch.

Michelle said...

We love the team you're supporting! We head down South in a couple weeks. Can't wait!


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