To kill time, Marc, Mario and I decided to take a walk around the lake, as the view was so wonderful and the weather so brilliant. We only took a few steps before these two football loving Germans saw a couple of local children kicking a football around a rough patch of land on the lakeshore, and wanted to join in their game.
Thinking that it would be a fantastic photographic opportunity, I went along, hoping to improve my action picture taking skills. At the same time, I was worried that the locals (the kids´ parents) might be offended, as some of them believe a photo would snap the soul away. Plus there were rumours of foreign ladies abducting children, so I had to be extra careful.
The kids were delighted to allow Marc and Mario into their game - particularly when two tall strangers appeared, throwing large stones into the water to push the ball (which has fallen into the water) back towards the shore, hence allowing the game to continue. Although the "pitch" is very basic - a small flattish piece of land sloping to the lake and also drainage, with two goal posts on either side, it was great to experience first hand the passion of these kids. No matter how poor their footwear, how shabby their clothes, how uneven and dusty the pitch is, and how frequently the ball falls into the water, their enthusisam was infatiguable. It really put into perspective how much we take things for granted, and that how life is enjoyable - if you allow it to be.
After kicking the ball around for a while, Marc and Mario challenged the kids to a game, and inviting me to be the goalie. I was unsure at first, as this is a very demanding role - especially if you haven´t played football since you were nine, and even that, only kicking a ball around half-heartedly during break time in the playground. I am glad to have joined in though, as I even managed to save 3 goals!! Then the three of us were on the same side, and all the local kids on the other (they appeared quite suddenly shortly after). Running around did me lots of good, though I wasn´t as kind to the kids as Marc and Mario were - they are training to be special needs teachers afterall - and I even scored some goals! Whoopee!!
Not only have I played footie with passionate Latinos and Germans, the kids were more friendly towards us, and managed to take some good pictures of them to remember it by!