Anyone reading who has gotten older probably has had the experience of playing a field sport and trying to make a play that, in your head, you know you can make. Like most people, I played the vast majority of my sports between the ages of 5 and 20 and, by the end, I had a pretty good idea how fast I could cover, say, 10 yards, or how fast I could react to new visual stimuli. I now play something like basketball or soccer every few years and every time I try to make a play I KNOW I could have made when I was 18. And I don’t get anywhere close to making the play now. If I’m very lucky, I don’t fall down.
I bring this up because the students put together a soccer game for 5pm. We got started around 6 and played until 8. It was a lot of fun and was a very good idea. I made a few plays but not as many as I once would have. I cringed every time two of them collided, selfishly, because I was tired and didn’t want to think about paperwork.
We played guys vs. girls and we gentlemen thoroughly beat them. We had an advantage in that about half an hour in a local named Lucas asked if he could play. We agreed and let him play on the girls’ team. So they outnumbered us and had an experienced player. They should have destroyed us but, in the words of one student, Lucas was “muy guapo” and I believe he felt the same about his teammates. We’ve heard several times that girls do not, as a rule, play soccer in Argentina. They also do not, as a rule, wear revealing clothing. So a field full of young ladies in shorts and sports bras may have been too much for Lucas. We certainly attracted a crowd. I’m not sure what was most entertaining for them: our horrible soccer, our failure to wear sufficient clothes or some of our players frequent use of two or three of the only English words the locals were likely to know.
Lucas indicated he needed to leave and the students were getting tired (I was going great, obviously) so we played “next goal wins”. Lucas then took it on himself to go straight through us and the girls team won. Alas.
I also visited Plaza de Mayo today after class and took a peak at Casa Rosada, the Argentine equivalent of the White House. It’s pink because the two main parties at the nation’s founding were represented by Red and White. So a pink house to include them both. Plaza de Mayo is most famous as the place where the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo protested their disappeared children during the dictatorship in the 70s. It was a moving place and visiting was a good idea.
Today I also asked to be added to the Group WhatsApp. This was a bad idea.
Plaza de Mayo and the walk of the Mothers of the Disappeared.
Casa Rosada. Basically, the Plaza de Mayo serves the same purpose as Lafayette Park in the USA.