Friday, April 15, 2016


March 12, 2016: This is Ryan’s first year to play in a soccer club.  It has been quite the learning experience for us. 

First of all, there is no age limits of the players. If you are good enough to keep up (be you 13 or 30 years), you can play.  I suspect Ryan is one of the youngest at 15 years to be on the team.  There are a bunch with look 18-25.  Ryan plays right forward.  He was relieved to discover that he is an asset to the team.  He’s fast, smart and can shoot. 

Today Ryan had his first scrimmage.  It was scheduled for 3.  We were the first to arrive in Cero Yvy (a 15 minute drive) just before 3. We were, however, the first ones there.  At 3:30 the team began to arrive on motorcycles.  They were all dressed up.  They had ridden 10 miles on dirt roads in 95 degree weather in jeans and button down shirts.  Ryan, wearing athletic shorts and a t-shirt was underdressed.  Even though the team had arrived, there seemed no rush to start.  At 4 the payers began stripping down to their skivvies, replacing jeans with the athletic shorts in their backpack and dress shirts with the jerseys the coach handed out.  Ryan was thankful he didn’t have to do that.  4:30 the game began.  Unfortunately Ryan’s team lost 0-1.  Ryan played well against aggressive opposition.  About half way through the first half Ryan began elbowing and pushing in true Paraguayan playing style earning him cheers from the Jataity crowd.

 March 20, 2016: today was the district kick-off for the soccer clubs.  There were probably 500 people at the event in 3 de Mayo.  It was a HUGE deal.  Drums and trumpets played as teams paraded onto the field with jerseys on, banners and balloons in team colors flying, and beauty queens waving to the cheering crowd.  Presentations of the clubs, coaches and club presidents were made.  Tons of speeches were given including one by the district’s mayor.  Then the priest splashed holy water o all the teams and prayed.  Those poor boys stood in the 100 degree weather 1 ½ hours.  I am surprised that no one fell over from heat stroke!

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