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Excitement Over Soccer Takes Our Minds Off Real Issues

Zafer Ahmed

This month has gone by far too fast. I remember getting off the plane completely confused as if it happened yesterday. So much has happened since that day.

On a more serious note, despite being a beautiful and amazing country, Ecuador has many problems. The other day I met an English man who has lived here for 18 years. I asked him if he had watched the Ecuador-Poland World Cup match. I was surprised by his answer - he wanted Ecuador to lose. When I asked why, he told me that the people get so excited and worked up over their soccer games that they ignore the problems of the people. He likened soccer to a Roman form of entertainment - entertain the masses so they are too preoccupied to be worrying about the real issues. He also said that if Ecuadorians had the same passion that they have for soccer, this country would not be in its current situation. The rich exploit the poor - he even went as far as to say that most Ecuadorians are "placid." Logically, I asked him, "Why are you still here if you hate this country?" His answer was a great one. He said that he only speaks of the problems in order for them to be resolved because the first step in solving a problem is recognizing it for he loves this country. Our conversation really put my view of Ecuador into perspective.

I would like to thank everyone who has made this trip possible and wonderful. ¬°Gracias Ecuador!