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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Work Hard, Play Hard

One of the most exciting events in our course transpired during our first week in Tiquipaya – Andes and Amazon Group B won a soccer game. I know what you’re thinking – your first? Yes, yes it was the first game out of many soccer games that we have won.

We had the chance to organize a soccer game with the Bridge Year Program here in Tiquipaya, and got to meet all of the hardworking Princeton students who have been living here since September. They provided much appreciated advice on many topics – recommending restaurants, advising on Trufi routes, and telling funny stories about their Bolivian experience. In turn, we shared our adventures through Peru and our goals for our time in Tiquipaya.

Then, the game commenced. It was a hard fought battle, both sides fought with valor. Princeton led a hard offensive attack with their lead player, Rowan (a committed soccer player to Princeton,) but A&A B held strong. The fact that everone on A&A B had matching jerseys/a soccer jersey probably increased our strength exponentially. We were ahead a few points when Princeton called in the big guns. Rowan’s visiting family, all current or previous soccer players, decided to join the fray. Things were heating up, when the climax of the game occurred, two minutes before half time. Asa and Matt from Princeton both tried to head a ball and collided spectacularly.

As they say, whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it’s going to be bad for the pitcher. Asa’s nose made acquaintance with the very hard back of Matt’s head, and the game promptly ended when we realized it wasn’t simply a bloody nose. Good naturedly, Asa shook hands with Matt and the other Princeton players, before he was escorted promptly to the clinic.

We enjoyed lemonade and chocolate cake lovingly prepared by a homestay mother to celebrate the coming together of our two groups. We hope to see the Princeton group again, with more laughter and less bodily injury.