Starting today we plan to post a picture each week and write a story that explains the picture.
This week’s picture is of my newfound friends on the soccer team, Selección Quinta Cordillera, I plan to train with. I met the boy in the red hat at a pickup soccer game. He turned out to be a goalkeeper and so I played with him after the game was finished. He was clearly very good so I got to talking to him about how or where I could play soccer here in Valparaiso.
With the help of my father, we were able to overcome the language barrier and understand that he was inviting me to practice with his select team. We were told to meet him at 4:00 back at the same field on Wednesday so that we could pick up a bus to Quilpué, a town nearly an hour away from Valparaíso. I got his contact information and he stressed to me that I should be there at 4:00.
So on Wednesday, my father and I walked up to the field at 3:55. We ended up waiting for twenty-five minutes until the boy and two of his friends finally strolled down the hill. Instead of catching a bus we followed them down the hills of Valparaíso for a few kilometers to the downtown area.
As we walked, their friends called and told them they were late so we had to run. We finally met up with the rest of the players from Valparaíso. There were seven including a Bolivian and a Colombian. We got on the bus and I learned all of their names. When we got off they said we were going to walk to the field. After about five minutes they waved down a truck and all of us (including my dad) hopped in the back to go to practice.
At practice, we did conditioning at the start of practice and even before we finished two laps people were falling on the ground and refusing to run. However, once we started playing a scrimmage something changed as they all became faster and sprinted around for the next hour of practice.
After practice, I got their contact information and one of the guys took me to get a haircut. They have been on summer vacation for the past few weeks but I am looking forward to connecting with them again. I have been very impressed with how nice and inclusive the Chileans I have met have been.