So we have been having "soccer practices" for about a month and a half now. It has been tough because the players have no discipline and have never been required to practice. Sometimes players show up and sometimes they don't. So last week I wrote up a contract and sent it home with anyone who wanted to be on the team. They had to sign it as well as their parents. The players are now expected to stay at school from 2:30 to 5. The first hour is study hall and 3:30 to 5 is practice. We have had two boys practices and two girls practices. So far every practice has had a full team. The second problem has been that we have no games scheduled, the public schools get out in two weeks and every other soccer coach on the island speaks Spanish. I'm working on the Spanish thing but its coming SLOW. Both of these issues have been stressing me out a little because I felt kinda like I was being thrown to the wolves with a soccer team that had no structure or direction. Its been a blessing to have the students respect our new practice model. It took a lot of chasing kids through the parking lot to make them stay but, its working. So the game thing. Without games, the kids have no drive or motivation to train. I knew we could only keep practices up for a limited amount of time without games. So yesterday while we were practicing, a man was watching us play so I went to talk to him while the players were doing some drills.
He spoke just enough English for me to understand that he was a soccer coach also. One of the injured players came over and helped me with the translation. After a 10 minute conversation of nodding my head and whispering, "what did he say?," we had a game scheduled for next week. So as of now we have our first boys game scheduled Tuesday as 6. Also as I sat down to begin this blog, one of the girls from the team came in and said another school wants to set up a game for next week. They will be sending an invitation to play for Friday of next week. So we got ourselves some games! Things seem to be getting on track with the sports finally, its a beautiful thing.
Aside from the soccer teams things at school are going great. We were using the parachute in all of the elementary school classes and they LOVED it. I mean how could they not.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
So about a month ago, these 3 little girls stopped by our apartments selling donuts. I was so stoked because it was a rough day at school and nothings sounded better than to sit back and eat a bunch of sugar. I think the teachers that live on the hall bought the little girls out for the day. When they went to Amy's apartment, she showed them love through chewing gum. The girls were so excited and had both pieces of gum in their mouths before they reached the door. they came back a few days later and we went through the same routine. This scene repeated itself for about 3 weeks, each time the girls began to stay a little longer and talk a little more. They don't speak a lick of english so it's giving us an opportunity to practice. Amy has taken these beautiful little girls under her wing and has been showing them the love they may have never experienced before. They are now waiting on the steps outside our apartment almost everyday when we come home from school. They usually stick around and hang out for about an hour. Our time consists of playing memory, drawing, learning geography with the world map on the wall, getting smoothies, and a lot of Spanglish. These little girls are 9 and 10 years old and work selling donuts for their mom from the time they get out of school until dark and the entire day on Saturday. They live in a home with 6 other children and are obviously not a part of high society. It has been a beautiful opportunity for us to love them and allow them an opportunity to be kids with our full attention for an hour a day.