I was definitely not prepared for the roller coaster of emotions I felt during this trip. From the unknown fear of what would happen after I got on that plane to the feelings of sadness that lingered with me for weeks after I returned home; I was truly surprised by them all.
At the beginning of the trip I felt as if I was missing out on the Paraguayan experience because I was unable to play soccer. However, I quickly realized I was still able to bond with the girls. Whether I was talking to girls my age or younger, they were all very eager to talk and hangout with me.
No matter how broken my Spanish was, they always made an effort to figure out what I was trying to say which really meant a lot. The conversations I had with these girls allowed me to understand how similar we really are even though we don’t speak the same language and live 6,000+ miles apart.
One of my favorite memories was when the mom of a young girl I was playing with approached me and offered me a donut. I could tell they were a delicacy because the excitement of this little girl. Knowing it would be rude if I said “no gracias”, I accepted, but what I wanted was for the little girl to enjoy this rare treat instead of me.
This humbling experience highlights the culture in this small town. Before the trip, Walter had emphasized the importance of mothers to raising community out of poverty.
The interaction I had with this mom highlighted a mother’s importance in a community and their selflessness. They take care of those around them. Even the strangers they just met.
Kaamna is a 2019-2021 Girls Soccer Worldwide™ Ambassador.
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