Since arriving at my site I don’t feel like I have stopped. I also feel like I have packed every ridiculous moment possible into the last 6 days.
Saturday: Football training was supposed to start at 10, it didn’t end up starting officially until around 11 and people were still showing up after that. I was ok with the late start because it meant added water breaks in the mid day sun. It was made clear to me that my team wasn’t used to seeing sunburnt white people because they kept asking me why I had to keep putting sun screen on. I still ended up a lobster.
Sunday: Sherine (my assigned best friend) and I woke up early to go to referee training. We got there and no one else was there so she called some of the other referees. Apparently training had been cancelled because there was supposed to be a meeting with the football association, and the referees were “striking” because they hadn’t been paid. Her cousin, also a referee, is in his 40s and keeps telling me he likes me. It’s very uncomfortable and he doesn’t believe Sherine that I’m not interested.
Monday: I spent most of the day in the FA office trying to learn about the clubs and gathering information. Monday afternoon we had training and as we were warming up the coach asked me to run practice. I was a little thrown off and had no idea what I should do, but after many years of Bandoni practices I had a few drills we could do. The language barrier was surprisingly difficult. A few of the girls had to ask me to slow down because they didn’t understand. Now they know how I feel when they speak in Patwa.
Tuesday: Ha! Tuesday was just funny. It was senior citizen sports day. Really it was just senior ladies, but the ranged in age from 62-74. They ran 50m sprints, 50m relays, egg and spoon, and a number of other “field day” type events. I am embarrassed to admit that I legitimately got beat by a 70 year old woman in a 50m sprint. As embarrassing as it is for me it also goes to show how athletic Jamaicans are.
Wednesday: Labour Day is a national holiday where the community gets together to work on projects. This year Grace Kennedy, one of the major food producers in Jamaica, put on a sports day. There was a cooking contest, dominos, and a 6v6 football tournament. We were the only female team and drew our first game and lost the second. The amount of attention I got was hard. In the beginning of the day it was pretty funny, but by the end of the day I was tired of getting marriage proposals.
Thursday: I showed up to my office at 9:00 to find that everyone was at a conference in Kingston. My supervisor had neglected to tell me that he wasn’t going to be there so I just found random things to work on all day. In the afternoon a few of the girls and I did an Insanity work out before practice started. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever sweat so much in my entire life. At the end of training I introduced the team to the game of World Cup. I think I have created a monster.
Friday: Well, its only just begun, but my supervisor is still MIA. It’s ridiculously hot. I have intentions of going to the market and buying food as my fridge is empty. This afternoon my host mom and I are going to work on building a compost bin. She is in the horticulture society and we were talking about composting the other day and decided to build our own. It should be a fun project.
What I learned today:
For being a homophobic country, I have met a lot of openly gay people.
Cranberry Wata is my new favorite drink. (Not to be confused with cranberry juice.)
6 people in the back seat of a small car is totally normal.