Lately I’m been feeling somewhat under the weather. This isn’t supposed to be a bad thing, when the weather most days is clear sun heating the air to 30 degrees – in the shade. But my body choose to play the card of irony in these conditions, and managed somehow to catch a heavy cold.
Life is odd.
But I have been improvising, and can now almost swallow without pain and walk five paces without getting dizzy (oh yes as all men I get the biggest cry-baby, when the smallest signs of sickness hits).
Sunday was Valentine’s. I was still not feeling at the top of my form, and sadly very aware of those not at my side – such as a certain Danish girl. But comfort was on the way, as I was invited to play in the local men’s football match between the married and not married men. I teamed with the later. A funny experience. A thing I found entertaining was to watch no. 7 (“My name is Beckham”) and no. 11 (aka. Carlos Tevez) argue about, who should play number 9. It was clear that the reason was – as I experienced in China – that they don’t argue on, who should play right back or left wing. Instead they discuss who should play the position as number 9; meaning striker.
Culture is strange.
Nowhere is the colonial legacy more apparent than in the way they played football – good English kick-and-rush. This made my position as midfielder a bit difficult. They played with the heart outside the shirt but played fair.
The match was very even, with the ball mostly high in the air or way outside the pitch. The Pitch! It is worth mentioning that it didn’t exactly encourage technical football, as they had been burning the vegetation here as soon as a month ago to make room, and the earth was still a bit sodden and very uneven. And not a single piece of grass.
Half-time. 0-0. It is an exhausting pleasure to play football in this heat – and my knee had as always turned into some unidentifiable mix of gravel and blood. But then teen minutes into the last half, I got the luck, that sometimes seem to smile on the debutant. A reflected ball landed at my feet at the edge of the goal area and with a left footed half-volley the ball found its way into the right corner. So unbelievably lucky, but the crowd went wild. Soon I found myself in the middle of a huge crowd of team players (high-fiving and embracing me) and spectators (shouting ‘Aporto’ or ‘White Man’) and ‘thank you’. A funny experience indeed.
As we won 2-0 I got to watch another player go through the motions, and it seemed impressive indeed.
Life is funny.
It has collectively been decided that this weekend will be spend on one of the world’s best beaches. Sierra Leone got amazing beaches, which hardly is visited, because of the small number of tourists (which will no doubt change as a long held stability will remove the feeling of danger many connect with the country). I was hoping to wait a little longer to go, but I seemed a pity not to enjoy it with the others. Hope the sandy beaches will drive away the memory of sickness, although it is now clear to me, that I am in Sierra Leone to stay (for a while) – in sickness and in health.