So, a couple of months ago I wrote a post about starting to participate in indoor soccer. I've been playing periodically since, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays when I'm in Juiz de Fora and not traveling. Despite the disparity in skill, playing futesal has been a positive experience largely because of the social aspect. Soccer is definitely an important way for guys to hang out with each other here, so it's been fun meeting new people and hanging out with an entertaining group of people. Male bonding, love it.
I guess I've probably got a little better since starting, though any such improvements would be hard to notice since literally every other person is playing on a entirely different level; like a, "I've been playing my whole life in freakin' Brazil", sort of level. Hanging with this crowd, it's pretty apparent I don't know what I'm doing.
It's one thing to write about how weak my soccer is, it's another to demonstrate. So, here's a video of me playing the other day, which I'm really not sure why I'm putting on the internet. Before you watch, read my viewing guide so you know what highlights to look for. In case you can't pick me out, I'm wearing a blue t-shirt and spend my time running around directionlessly.
-The guy who blasts the ball from one end of the court to the other: People do this all the time, and it's the reason that being the goalie is the scariest/worst job ever.
-The ball that is thrown to me: The goalie throws a ball to me, not too hard, and I just let it drift right out of bounds. I indicate my indifference with an only mildly effeminate hang gesture.
-The pass I interrupt: Some guy tries to pass the ball to someone behind me, but just kicks it at my feet. You'll see how surprised I am that I just stole the ball by the fact that I almost fall over backwards.
-Probably the most spastic thing you've seen today: So then, I supposed to pass the ball, because I'm sure as hell not going to dribble it anywhere, but the guy passes it back to me. I'm unclear as to what it is I do after that, I just know that someone decides that they've had enough and just kicks the ball out of bounds when I try to rid myself of it again.
-Corner kick: I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing during the corner kick, so I just hop around a little.
The next video is from our Thanksgiving that we made, and by "we" I mean Carolyn and Athena. The spread involved two chickens, green beans, yams, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, mac 'n cheese and four kinds of desserts. Carolyn's American mom brought down a lot of things when she visited which made the dinner super authentic. We invited over our teacher who gave us Portuguese lessons our first two weeks here, Felipe and his mom, Carolyn's roommate, our Brazilian friend Lucas, and our Argentine friends Paloma, Macarena, Florencia and Jaime. One of my favorite moments thus far in Brazil was watching everyone from this international group go around the table saying the things for which they are thankful. The video is for our exchange program that wanted all their students to make a video from their countries communicating some sort of seasons' greetings in the language. We thought it best to include as many native speakers as possible in ours. This is the result, we're saying "Feliz dia de ação de graças, do Brasil", which means "Happy Thanksgiving from Brazil." Our timing was a little weird, and we were also taking other self-timed pictures during the video, so ACM will probably need to do a little bit of editing on our contribution to the holiday video.