Thursday was our off day for the teams. To start the day we went down to the “market”, which is where tourists like to go to buy Costa Rican souvenirs. The market is a little different than say, Mexico. There really isn’t much haggling over the price. It is pretty much the price they have marked. What you see is what you get. However, it was fun seeing the players try to haggle with the vendors. Some even had a little success!
After the market we had a quick lunch at Coronado then off to a school. The food so far has been great and there has not been any bad physical result from it yet with anyone on the trip. The school we went to was St. Francis which is a private school that is fairly expensive so the kids there come from families that are well off. All the kids are Costa Rican, but most of the classes are taught in English. This made the communication much easier and we didn’t have to rely on the translators as much. The testimonies that were given were still translated to Spanish just to be sure the children understood everything. St. Francis school was very nice. The soccer field was turf and had a huge net system going around the entire complex. The gym looked like a “Hoosiers” gym but with beautiful dark wood both on the floor and the bleachers. The Women’s team did a little training session to get some of the soreness out from the games they had played over the past few days. The Men’s team put on a clinic with some of the elementary boys. The oldest boy was 10yrs old. The skill level of all the children were way ahead of American kids their same ages. Some of them were very impressive to watch.
|Ken & St Francis coach|
|Truett guys & St Francis boys|
After our time at St. Francis we had an opportunity to go watch a premier league soccer game. We watched La Liga play against Saprissa which turns out to be the two best teams in Costa Rica. The bulk of the National team is made up players off of these two teams. The atmosphere at the stadium was unbelievable. If you take the most ravines fans from the most intense rivals in the U.S. you’re still not scratching the surface of what was going on in that stadium. The noise was constant, but would surge with just about every good pass, shot, foul, through ball, or missed touch of the ball. We saw yellow cards, red cards, fights, guys taken off the field on stretchers. None of it because of the famed “soccer flop” either! They were all quality fouls. Police were dragging fans out in headlocks! I’m not sure what you have to do to get taken out that way, but apparently having lit fire in the stadium is not one of them. All in all it was an amazing experience. The comment of the night from one of the girls was, “Those people need the Lord!” It was said more out of fear I think, but still very true!
|Stadium on fire|
|Yellow card being handed out|
|Saprissa vs. La Liga|