Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Part I

ID4 Part I
I made the trip to Apia, it was long and I was exhausted. The only plans I had for the day was to do my normal errands (shopping, paying the electric bill and visiting the PCMO [Peace Corps Medical Officer] to update on my random illnesses.).
In the early afternoon we gathered together to get ready for our soccer game. We were to be against the leoleo (police). We arrived at the soccer field ready to play, as well as ready to finish the game early so we could attend the Ambassadors’ celebration for the holiday. We started warming up doing these drills and realized quickly that too many men’s voices are not helpful. Everyone of them tried to contradict each other as they know they are the alpha male.
After our 30 min warm up the other team began arriving. There must have been 50 of them. They looked strong and we had heard many rumors about them which made us nervous. The game began and we were surprisingly keeping up. I was able to play defense and had a few steals of the ball which made me happy. We had a few shots on goal that were all unsuccessful, and our amazing goalie Erica (No Way Erica-because there is no way the ball can get passed her) stood her ground on the other end. The boys on our team were working together and not trying to dominate the game. Halftime the score was still 0-0.
The second half, some of the boys turned into the alphas I know. The rules for the league are there has to be at least 2 girls on the field at one time, which means there could be more. The boys wanted to dominate the game, they wanted the chance to be victorious, but they didn’t think having certain girls on the field like me would help their chances and so I spent some of the second half arguing that I can trade off with a boy. Finally they caved and I think there were 4 of us girls on the field at the time. We held our ground, with the score remaining unchanged when the boys subbed us out again.
There was only a few minutes left in the game and we began to get nervous. The leoleo were powerful and we spent a lot of time just playing defense. Several times there were throwing the ball in right next to the goal and I was nervous that it would be too much for Erica. Then in happened.
A ball was passed in and everyone was ready to defend it. It went high. A few heads were ready to bounce it out of the way.
One of the Peace Corps guys jumped up high.
The ball bounced off his head.
Erica jumped up high but could not reach the ball and it bounced into the goal.
We played our hearts out the last minute of the game, but were unable to score ourselves.
It was a disappointing loss as we all tried so hard and thought we had the game. No matter what, we were not going to let it ruin our spirits. This was our weekend, and we had to celebrate for the entire the weekend.
We quickly went into the locker rooms which they graciously opened just for us, and changed into our fancy clothes that we normally are unable to wear (as they are not Samoan) and headed for a taxi.
We showed up late to the Ambassador’s party, and missed the beautiful singing of Corina doing the national anthem. We were able to hear the beautiful speeches welcoming us to the party, and were all given a miniature copy of the Declaration of Independence to bring home.
We snacked on appetizers as we chatted with all the Americans they could round up in country. I talked with one woman who did the relay race last year, and it was nice to be able to size up our competition for August.
Most of the volunteers were in town and it was nice to be a part of my Peace Corps family. It was Friday and the weekend had just began and we were ready for more fun.

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