Two hours of near heart attack ended last night with a draw. Not a well played by my blues, but they travel home for the second leg next week. Sadly, that other blue team from New York blew a 3-1 advantage. Is this becoming a trend for NYC sports?
Two days of average work. I was tired this morning because I made the decision to stay up to midnight to watch some soccer. I wore my Chelsea jersey and was given a hard time by everyone. Fellow fans are hard to find around here, but that makes it all a little more fun. However, one guy insisted on yelling “Eto’o” any time Barca had the ball. He persisted for the first half and was just starting to get on my nerves when he learned that his yelling was not going to help Barca score a goal. Tonight is the Man U match and I will have to see how I feel when game time rolls around. At work I got plenty of grief from Neto and David. Since I watched the match with Neto, he was a bit reserved. David was not forgiving. It may not be my favorite sport, but soccer has helped with integrating in work and around town. Even Angela got in on the discussion to give me some support against the terrible Man U fans.
I want to make an effort to become as much a part of ‘regular’ life in Malava. I cannot do everything and will never be a regular part of the town, but I think that I can be seen as more than a mzungu. So far, soccer and bars are the places to be. If you can talk about soccer, you can talk to anyone. Since everyone likes to drink and chat, the bar is the place to accomplish both. Toss in conversations about soccer and you are in good shape. There is little need for language fluency when talking sport. I plan to continue to insert myself into Malava. I waited for it to come to me and found that it was not going anywhere. The distance that I allow becomes the reality. This weekend we will be making visits to the homes of some people that we have just met and already know. Many people want to befriend us to sell us whatever good they are hawking, but there has to be a starting point. Fortunately, you can decline and the person will not be upset. That does not mean that later on he or she will not proposition you to buy the same good or maybe something different.
I would say that I am back into my routine now. The mornings are done without thought and work has become more rewarding. The kids are slowly becoming more friendly and accepting of my presence. Part of me fears that by December everything will finally be going well for me at the SJC and then it will be time to leave. Now 1/3 done this thing, I still have a long way to go in terms of winning over the kids and parents at the SJC.