Check out my recent post on Roots and Wings about problems in my school and where I found reason for optimism in an unlikely place.
I have been playing soccer in the evenings an hour before the sun sets. I play with two students from the school named Salvador and Juan. They are two of my favorite students to spend time with. They are both extremely down to earth and have really great senses of humor. We have gotten into a routine each day at school of asking each other whether we are going to "el campo" or "the field". Some days we all agree that we don't want to go, but other days we will talk about how we are going to the stadium to play all day. We usually agree on meeting outside my house at 4 o'clock. Sometimes I take a nap from 3 to 4 and I am woken up to banging on my window and Juan and Salvador screaming "Apurase Hombre!" or "Hurry Man!".
I bought a ball last week that was like 10 dollars but the guys absolutely love it. I let them borrow it when I can't play and they take good care of it. I usually wake up in a pool of sweat from the afternoon heat, grab my ball, and meet them outside. I go grab a bottle of water across the street and buy Juan and Salvador a bag of chips at the corner store and we sit on my porch and hang out for about a half hour. When we finish our snack we take our time walking to the stadium switching between Spanish and English whenever they can find a word that they know. When we get to the stadium we don't play a game, we usually get in a circle and pass the ball around and continue our conversation. After no more than 20 or 30 minutes someone says, "Tengo Sed" or "I'm thirsty" and we all agree that we have had enough. After another long, slow walk home we get to my porch and usually see if Leche wants to hang out for a little bit. We only actually play soccer about a fifth of the time. The other four fifths is just chillin. It's a great way to spend an afternoon.