Torneo de Futbol 2011

October 1, 2011

Las chicas de Mi Esperanza!

I had been dreading September 29th for months. You see, I was unfortunately born with very little (okay, none) athletic inclination. The only reason I ran cross-country in high school was because I did not posses the coordination or skill to do anything else. Running was just like walking…only slightly faster; it seemed simple enough. Not that I particularly excelled at racing either, but luckily, work ethic allowed me to be at least an average competitor.

So anyway…I suck at sports. Imagine my chagrin then when I received word from Paraguay that I had been placed on a girls soccer team at the church (Mi Esperanza). They were really scrounging for players, and since I was a warm, female body, I was good enough. The thought of mortifying myself as well as my teammates with my ineptitude caused a lot of anxiety. I certainly did not want to earn an embarrassing reputation as Futbolista Failure fresh off the plane from America. You can be sure I spent the ensuing weeks wracking my brain for day-off excuses. But after deciding that claiming “morning sickness” probably wasn’t going to be a good idea, I had no choice but to grit my teeth and suck it up.

Fast forward to Thursday, which was a federal holiday commemorating the anniversary of Paraguay’s key victory at the Battle of Boqueron during the Chaco War (history blogs to come). Everyone gets the day off at work and nobody has class, so per tradition, all the Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in Asuncion gather together to participate in a day-long soccer tournament.

This was the first year our tiny church was able to form a girls team. I was under the impression that the girls portion of the tournament was pretty informal, so our hodge podge gaggle showed up wearing borrowed, over-sized, neon yellow t-shirts and whatever else we could find to sweat in. Some girls didn’t even have real shoes. We walked onto the tournament site and saw every other team in matching, professional, custom-made soccer jerseys with their names and numbers printed on the back. Oh sh…naps.

In spite of the 100 degree weather, 65% humidity, the coordinated teams who had been practicing together for months, and me being on the team, our girls placed second in the tournament out of six churches! Woot. Aside from not sabotaging the success of our team, it was also wonderful getting to spend time with the younger girls as well as witnessing the different Alliance churches mingling together.

But let’s be honest. Between you and me, I’m glad it is finally over. The soccer nightmares can now go plague someone else and leave me to uninterrupted slumber once again. Sweet dreams!


One Response to “Torneo de Futbol 2011”

  1. […] Last year at the Alliance soccer tournament, Mi Esperanza’s girls’ team was the laughingstock of the day with our rag tag group (going into this year’s competition, I still didn’t know the rules of the game…) and borrowed cotton t-shirts. But we mustered up a scrappy second-place finish, and vowed to return the following year for first-place honors in styled veteran savvy. […]

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