Sunday, June 27, 2010

A loss for one nation is another nation's victory-part I

A loss for one nation is another nation’s win Part I
I am sick. Unlucky me. Talofi. I decided to use my sickness to my advantage. I needed to see another doctor to update medicines, so I decided to coincide my trip with soccer, rugby, and more soccer.
On Friday morning I got myself together and headed to the main road to wait for the bus. There were plenty of other people also waiting there as they were heading to Salelologa for a singing rehearsal. We were waiting by the road, and I heard a bus. I got myself ready to get on it. But was told, “No. That is not the right bus. Do not get on it.” The bus passed me by. Another bus passed, and I received the same response. “Why would you take a bus that isn’t Asula?” I was asked. Asula is one of the bus drivers that lives in our village, and everyone loves him dearly and is loyal to only taking his bus whenever possible.
Finally Asula’s bus, The Beautiful Savaii arrived. I have been on my share of crowded busses, and seeing the shape of this bus I was not looking forward to being on it. I had to squeeze through a mass of people to fit in a place that was not the doorway. There was not even enough room for my feet, and I had to stand on my tip toes in order to fit. I looked to my left and there were five people sitting on the seat, and this was a common occurrence around the bus. How could they fit that many people in such a small space was a mystery to me.
After such a long ride, we ended up in Salelologa, and I waited for awhile, then headed to the ticket booth to buy a ticket for the ten o’clock boat. There is a set schedule for the boat, however it always seems to be off every time I want to head from island to island. So knowing what I know about Samoa, I should not have been surprised when there was no boat at that time, even though there was a ferry docked and waiting at that moment.
I had more waiting to do. I had left my house a little after seven in the morning, and knew it would be around two when I would get to Upolu. The only problem with this is that being sick, I had made an appointment with the PCMO. I had to call and ask her to make our appointment a little late, luckily she is an extremely nice lady and was willing to accommodate.
The noon boat was a little boat, and I found a nice place to sit on the floor, put my i’e over my head to block the sun, and took a nap. The waves were rough and it was sea sickening to watch our little boat rise and fall on the massive waves. The boat ride is usually less than an hour and a half, and we were not even close to Upolu at that point. I saw a few palagnis look as though they were about to turn green in the face, and I was instantly grateful that I had taken my motion sickness pills before the boat.
The boat ride was two hours and ten minutes long. I was about to miss my new appointment, so I had to call and change it again. I really am lucky the PCMO is nice. I ran off the boat, hoping to get on the first bus to leave for Apia, and as luck would have it, I picked the boat that stopped for everyone and everything. It stopped to help a broken down bus, talk to the leoleo (police) as well as many more stops.
I finally made it to the Peace Corps office about 8 hours after my travels began. I met with the PCMO and was immediately taken to the hospital to see a doctor. Sure enough, same problem as last week. I received a different prescription and was off on my way.
Back at the Peace Corps office, the volunteers were getting their cleats, soccer balls and other gear in order. We had a game to play and we were hoping for our first victory of the season. (I was hoping I would be a good luck charm.)
We arrived at the field and Erica, our expert at soccer, began coaching us on what to do for warm ups. After about 30 minutes, our opponents showed up. We were to play Origin gas. I was already intimidated when I saw their matching uniforms. There were several of us who were playing in our first game since junior high, and did not know what to expect from it. (Just hoping for no broken bones.)
It was game time.
Our players took the field. They looked ready for victory, especially since the overly competitive boys were there. Almost immediately we saw who our star player would be as Casey won our hearts with a quick goal, and a few minutes later impressed us with another.
Then, luck would have to take it’s turn, we get called for one of our players using hands. About ten minutes later, the same player got carded again for hands. He was done, and they had a penalty kick and it went in.
The second half we played defense well and maintained our 2-1 lead. When the game was over we screamed for joy as we had won our first game, and possibly only game of the season.
We were ready to go out and celebrate with….pizza!

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