Today we woke up super early to leave Villa de Leyva for a game against TERRAnova, a club IN THE CITY OF DUITAMA, that Norman has been in touch with over the past year since our last trip to Spain and Portugal.
Today we got to sleep in a little bit and ended up beginning practice around 11:00.
This morning, we woke up in our apartments IN BOGOTÁ, packed up, and drove to the hotel we will be staying at when we return to Bogotá AFTER OUR WEEKND STAY IN VILLA DE LEYVA. We dropped our stuff there and had breakfast.
Today, we got to sleep in a little before going to a delicious brunch at a nearby restaurant. While everyone played cards, Mo and Alex used their creativity to make their own game, called Sweets, played with sugar packets (contact us for more information).
We began our day with a friendly scrimmage against a local soccer team, funded by the organization we worked with yesterday. Most of the girls came from the neighborhood we had visited the day before, and they were thrilled to have the opportunity to play with us. We enjoyed meeting them as well. It was a warm day and we played in the blacktop field where they train and play.
After the game we came back to the hotel and Norman delivered us the news that our afternoon match versus the U17 Formas Íntimas team was cancelled. We were a little sad to miss the opportunity, but we shifted into rest and relaxation mode. After lunch, a group of six of us travelled to the park to see some of Fernando Botero's most famous paintings and sculptures. We thoroughly enjoyed his unique approach to reality and are glad we went. While some of us were at the park, the rest of the team relaxed in their rooms.
After visiting the park and museum we returned to relax for awhile and prepare for the Semifinal Copamerica game between Chile and Colombia. We walked to the central plaza where we watched the first half of the game on a jumbo tron. Chile started off the game pretty well, scoring two goals in twenty minutes. We sat amongst many Colombian fans who were not too happy about this bad start. At half time we walked to a nearby restaurant. This restaurant served delicious crepes that elicited nothing but a wall of smiles from us. After dinner we returned to our hotel. There we will watch the second half of the game. (It was delayed because of severe weather conditions)
Today we met with an organization called Fundación Golondrinas. The foundation works to build a stronger community by providing medical care, day care, sporting activities, environmental education and other services to disadvantaged and displaced populations in and around Medellín. One of the volunteers led us on a walk through the recently developed community garden and park in the outskirts of the city, giving us valuable insight on the organization's work. The gardens are built by the community to prevent erosion and to provide sustainable agriculture at the same time. On the walk we reached a lookout point that allowed us to see Medellin as a whole.
When we returned, we got lunch at a nearby restaurant and had the opportunity to walk around the neighborhood and visit some local shops.
Next we played a game against a local Colombian team, many of who play on the Colombian Olympic and national teams. The game was quite challenging, given that we hadn't played in a few days since Santiago, and the elite level of our opponents, but overall the games was a valuable and fun experience.
We returned to the hotel, tired from a long hot day, but excited to watch the US vs Argentina game. Unfortunately our hopes were dashed by the US's inability to connect three passes in a row! and Argentina's superb skills. Argentina scored within the first three minutes and it only went downhill from there. We went to bed disappointed but hopeful for a good match between Chile and Colombia tomorrow.
day nine. we out.
Today we woke up dark and early at 4:30 in Santiago and left for the airport. We took a plane to Bogotá, and flew from there to Medellín. After arriving in Medellín, we walked to a local restaurant a few blocks from our motel and got our first taste of the tropical weather in Medellín, with a warm shower half way through dinner, where some of us ate traditional Colombian food.
We are excited for what is to come tomorrow, as we will be playing soccer with one of the best clubs in Colombia, as well as doing service in the morning.
Today, we woke up to the beautiful sounds of port city life with the sounds of water crashing against the rocky shore and distant fog horns. Valparaiso is a beautiful town, similar to San Francisco in two iconic ways, its proximity to the ocean and its famous hills. We had the chance to ride to the top of one, taking an acensor to the top where we found cute artisan shops, stunning views of the city, and beautiful street art. We even found a public area with a colorful slide, giving us a glimpse of our inner child, as we each rode down the slide.
We had lunch atop the hill seated on the outdoor balcony, which along with giving us a beautiful view of the houses below, left us exposed to the bitting coastal winds. Lety led us down the hill, down narrow steps and painted alleyways. We made many canine friends during our time in Valparaiso, from loyal Juan Carlos, to loving Carlita, and best buddies Stuart and Willis, kind strays characteristic of Chilean cities.
Once we reached the bottom of the hill, we joined a walking tour guide, who took us all around Valparaiso, while explaining to us some of the history of the city. Around the end of the tour we stopped by Don Sergio's bakery, where we ate his delicious empanadas and alfajores. After the tour we walked back to our hotel and from there took the van back to Santiago.
Tomorrow we will wake up very early and fly out to Medellin. Although we are sad to leave Chile, we cannot wait for what is to come in Colombia.
We began the day by working once again with Fútbol Más. Our team attended their INAUGURAL SEASON tournament, where teams from many different neighborhoods came together to play friendly games. The event was so important that even the mayor came out to support the kids. All the kids were very excited to play together, and their enthusiasm was reflected by the parents who carried flags, played drums, and blew horns. The tournament was kicked off by an Olympic-like procession, each team having created their own unique cheer. During the tournament, we had the opportunity to play with different teams and be a part of their matches and neighborhood bonding. The best part about playing with them was every time a goal was scored, their whole team would come onto the court and perform a fabulous cheer.