Honduran Boy’s League Soccer

March 24, 2007 at 5:17 pm (March)

 

 

Henry and Lucas are playing soccer on one of the Rancho teams.  The ages of the boys are 8-11.  It’s a little different than the games in the
US. 

Going to a boy’s league game in the
US: 

On the Away games in New Hampshire “The Exeter Express” arrives in their parent’s minivans, one child to a family van, in the lovely little New England towns with the turf covered soccer field. The boys all wear brand new uniforms, and everyone has their new season cleats and shin pads.  The parents line up around the field each with their own fold up chair.  The parents must sit on the opposite side of the field so as not to annoy the coaches and the players.  All of the mom’s bring snacks and plenty of fluid.  Many of the boys have their own bottles of Gatorade.  The coaches are trained to give everyone equal playing time. All abilities play in the younger leagues. 

Going to a league game in
Honduras: 

We heard we were supposed to leave from the Ranch on a bus at 7 am from the vocational school, but no one ever really knows.  We ended up leaving in a van at 7:45 from the boys’ hogars.  There were 27 of us packed into the
Toyota van! I had one boy sitting on my lap and four packed next to me in a three person seat. (At
Exeter we are only allowed to put 15 in a much larger vehicle and everyone must wear their seat belts.)  Breakfast didn’t arrive in time for the boys, so all came along with empty stomachs.  We did have some donated uniforms, so they all put them on in the van on the way to the game.   Everybody who had shin pads shared one of their’s with another.  Most everyone ended up with one shin pad.  We arrived a half an hour later in the town of
Talanga.  Talanga is a dusty, dirty town with unpaved streets. On the street we passed several pigs, humping dog packs, and giant oxen pulling carts.  It rained last night so there were huge mud puddles all over the streets.  Garbage is everywhere.  When we arrived at the dirt/mud soccer field everyone seemed to be staring at us.  I don’t think they see too many gringos around here, never mind soccer playing gringos! 

The name of our team is the “Pre-moscas.”  The “Moscas” is the older boy’s team.  “Mosca” means “fly” in English; therefore, our team’s translated name is “The Maggots!” Our coach has had no sensitivity training.  The boys were standing around helping the coach decide who should start and the coach said, “Only the really good one’s… Who are the really good players?”  Henry was chosen to play while Lucas had to sit out for the first half. Even though Henry is eleven, the same age as a lot of the others, he is at least a head taller than everyone else.  One boy only comes up to Henry’s stomach!  Many of the boys we brought along could not play because they don’t have birth certificates to prove their ages.  I supposed when you are abandoned by your family, no one gives you your birth certificate to carry along.  Sigh.   

Of course, none of the boys or coach brought any water.  Luckily we brought some to pass around, and we brought some oranges.  The boys practically beat each other up at half-time for the oranges.  The game was pretty ugly: NPH 0- Talanga 6 .  Considering they haven’t practiced together yet, they did okay.  Henry and Lucas both did well.  It’s a good thing.  We need to break the stereo-type that Gringos suck at soccer!  The other team had lots of fans, our team just had us.  I guess when you don’t have any family around, you never have fans.  The boys all seemed to be glad to have us there. We can’t wait until the next game! 

 hpnx0007.JPG

Pregame huddle.  Henry is the blondish, tall one! 🙂

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7 Comments

  1. Loran Kundra said,

    Wow, what a great juxtaposition of the typical soccer mom/dad experience in the US and the experience of a Honduran boys team! Another reminder of how we don’t know how good we’ve got it. No birth certificates means you can’t play…and only one shin pad per person?!
    Go Pre-moscas! 🙂

    Loran

  2. La Gringa said,

    Best of luck on the next game!

    Regarding the birth certificates, I know two boys who weren’t allowed to go to school because they didn’t have birth certificates. One was living with his grandparents, his parents had died. The other had a birth certificate with a typo, saying he was 3 years younger than he really was and his mother couldn’t get anyone to correct it. He started school at 8 or 9 and of course had a terrible time being teased by the other students.

    They may not have as many rules, but the ones they have are enforced against all common sense.

  3. Jeanette Lackey said,

    Thanks for these telling accounts of everyday life. I’ll enjoy the Mother’s Day soccer game tomorrow for Exeter Express…..thankful for our good fortune. A big smile crossed my face with your team name….good luck to the Pre-Moscas!

  4. Wromero said,

    I read that all bad comments about talanga, im from there you taking about dirty, garbagge etc, and all ……. but why dont you just stop by in dallas or forth worth I live here in texas and you can find nasty streets, trash EVERYWHERE if you only means makes pages like this one ….. or to feel to be proud be a gringo don be so stupid!!!!!

    is not NICE ALL YOUR THINK THAT WE ARE STUPIDS? so let me tell you is true that is a lot poor people in my town but UNITED STATES have a bad education at the schools too , when i find out about this page I thougth that was for something positive but is not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    also im traveling a lot and know many states you have places that you never thougth that is UNITED STATES THE BIG POTENCY OF THE WORLD, just to mention some like COLUMBUS MISSISSIPPI ,BLYTHEVILLE ARKANSAS, MOBILE ALABAMA ,LAFAYETTE LOUISIANA UFFFFFFFFFFF IS SO SCARY PLACE, NASTY TOO AND DANGEROUS ……… SO BEFORE OTHER COMMENT MAKE A TOUR TO YOUR COUNTRY FIRST OK..

  5. estevens said,

    Dear Wromero,
    I am very sorry I offended you about Talanga. Very defintiely there are a lot of dusty dirty towns in the US too, and defintiely towns worse than Talanga. I visited many places in Honduras, and Talanga was dusty and dirty in comparison. I am sorry if that offends you, but it is my honest opinion. The town would benefit enormously by paving the main street.

    I don’t understand where you picked up the idea that I think Hondurans are stupid. On the contrary, I met many, many very smart people in Honduras, and I have also met many “stupid” people in the US. In terms of education, there are many horrible schools in the US. I know that the Honduran school systems suffer from many strikes and lack of funding. My only experience teaching in Honduras was at the NPH school which had some problems, but so do most schools in the US too.

    I enjoyed my time in Honduras immensely and recently made a visit back. I think it is a wonderful country with beautiful countryside and the friendliest people I have ever met. Someof the comments I made in my blog were when I was suffering some culture shock and experiencing things I have never experienced before. Its a much different world than I am used to in the Northeast US, as I am sure adjusting to life in the US has not always been easy for you.

  6. Wromero said,

    MMMMMMMM WHEN WAS YOUR RECENTLY VISIT?
    DID YOU SEE THE MAIN STREET?

  7. Estevens said,

    My most recent visit was in June and I didn’t get to Talanga. Did they pave it?

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