Futbol en Teleman

It’s 8:00 P.M. on a Monday in Teleman, and we have exactly one hour for adventure before our hotel locks for the night. The city is dark, and it’s loud, and it’s busy, with quorums of solemn drinkers congregating on street corners and three-man taxis tearing up the cobblestones. A few from our group speak Spanish. None speak Kekchi. We buy some water for the next morning and head of into the street to see what’s out there.

Down the road from the hotel, we find a sports court. Basketball hoops welded atop soccer goal frames. Two sets of bleachers on either side, and large, bright streetlights spilling light over the court. We walk in on a game already in progress – two teams of twelve-year old boys. Number ten on the blue team played without shoes. It wasn’t much of a game – kick, miss, kick, miss, whistle, and repeat. Still, we had a good time.

When the court cleared out, a couple of the more adventurous from our group ran out to see if they could join in on a pickup game. I think they were anxious to get active, although I imagine they might have just wanted to get out of the rain of bird droppings that had been steadily falling since we arrived. So there were nine of them, out on the court, dividing into two teams, and they needed one more.

So that’s how I wound up playing soccer in Teleman.


…not, mind you, that I played very well.

Distracted in Paradise

So I’m here in Guatemala on a caroling choir tour. At almost every leg of our trip, we’ve made a stop at the local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where we’ve sung a couple of songs (or just used the bathrooms). The funny thing is, every single LDS building, apparently in the world, is equipped with wi-fi, so we Americans immediately hop on to check out what’s new on Facebook.

Now, on some level, that makes sense. After all, we’re in Guatemala, a far-less technologically-developed country than the United States where we are all from. Most of the hotels we’ve stayed in don’t have the Internet, so we’ve all been a little anxious to keep in touch with friends and families.On the other hand… we’re in Guatemala. We’re in a land full of deep green flora, the likes of which we’ve never seen back in the deserts of Utah. We’re surrounded by centuries-old cathedrals, restaurants with exciting new foods, we’re just a few hours away from actual Mayan ruins. The biggest thing on our minds, surrounded by so much novelty, is making sure we’re getting enough likes on our Instagram pics.

Heck, I almost missed seeing this super cool waterfall because I was too busy playing spaceship simulator games on my iPad.

Americans are weird, yo.