Villages, Practice, and Youth Clinic
Jared "Bubba" Lange '08 (written Friday night 5/19) - We woke up today with plans of going to the jungle to visit some local tribes, practicing for the only time on this trip, and participating in something similar to our community day, but with 150 Panama children.
In order to reach the local tribes we had to take small boats to their area. The boats was made out of trees, but unfortunately when you have a few lineman on the same boat it seems to sink a little bit. Half way into the boat ride we were overtaken and water started flowing into our boat. I was hoping for a dry day, but that was scratched out in the first thirty minutes, Dr. Warner got he worst of it sitting in the back.
Once we reached our destination we were introduced to the local tribes and families. I felt like I was in the Discovery Channel, but it was real life. The chief of the village described to us their history and other various information. Afterwards, we looked around at some of their various handmade merchandise. There were things ranging from $5 to $500. Next, the tribe showed us some of their music and dances, they even let us participate with them. It was amazing seeing some of the players dance with some of the women in the tribe.
Also, many of us decided to get some tattoos, only temporary ones. It made us seem a little more macho at practice with everyone having tribal tattoos. I left there knowing that I will never taste pineapple so sweet again in my life.
Next, we went to the Florida State University to have practice. It was finally here, football in Panama. We had an amazing view, the field was under a bridge and the Panama Canal was only a few hundred feet away. The practice was the hottest practice ever, every player was sweating more than they ever have. Practice went by fast, everyone was anticipating for the clinic afterwards.
The clinic was amazing. Hundreds of kids who love football running around. There is a lot of raw talent, but none of them really know any technique. I really feel we taught them some good technique, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm. At the conclusion of practice we had a little competition. After every time the defense won, everyone would surround each other and go crazy. The faces on all of them was indescribable when we were jumping up and down. I felt almost famous when walking to the locker room saying good bye to everyone and being wished good luck in the game tomorrow. Plus, they were so happy when all of us were giving them shirts and small gifts.
So, it is finally here. I am about to go to bed thinking of being on the first team ever to come from a different country to play in Panama. I not only feel like I am representing Wabash College, but America as well. Plus, tomorrow is my 20th birthday and my dad came down here to celebrate it with me and watch the game. Tomorrow is going to be a good day.