One of the Most Amazing Experiences of My Life
Chris Greisl '07 (written Sunday morning 5/21) - Like every day, Saturday was one to remember. It started out with our trip to the Panama Canal. We got to view the passing of multiple ships as the water raised and lowered in order to complete a successful transfer. The whole process takes around eight minutes. Being a history major, the background information of the canal was very interesting. It was amazing to view something that took the lives of so many people. After being at the canal for about an hour, we made our way to the Shamrock where we had our pre-game meal.
In the grand scheme of things, the game was probably one of the least significant parts of the trip, until I realized the effect we had in Panama. From working in the mountains for two days to playing soccer at a local school, we had accomplished so much. We had conveyed a message that hard work, dedication, and a sense of belief can get you through the hardest times. If we decided to approach this game with a “non-Wabash” approach, we would seem somewhat hypocritical.
We were the first foreign team to play a game in Panama. The stands were filled with kids who had come to our clinic the previous night. The announcer, who was Panama’s version of the Detroit Piston’s announcer, gave a very colorful play by play throughout the game. Rain was pouring down until the start of the game. The field could more closely be described as a mud pit. Although conditions were terrible, we managed to have a blast. The game was a once in a lifetime experience. There was a lot of raw talent on the Panamanian team, but you could tell that the “basics\of football” was not stressed as highly in Panama. At the completion of the game we greeted the players and coaches from the other team. The game was a huge success.
Saturday night was a night on our own. We got to go anywhere we chose to. Panama City is completely different from the countryside. Skyscrapers, clubs, and restaurants make it seem as though we were in a typical downtown. Players stuck together and ventured through clubs, casinos, and other night life venues. We were treated as celebrities (free-cover charge) as everyone knew of our efforts in their country. Everyone in Panama is truly grateful for all of the work we have done, while here. I will always remember the time we spent in Panama. This has truly been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.