15 July 2014

World Cup Madness

I was outside hanging laundry, when I heard the Argentine national anthem playing over several radios around my house. Nope, it wasn't visiting dignitaries, a parade, a coup or anything of the sort. It was World Cup Finals. Soon the sound of hundreds of people cheering went up from the ravine and surrounding neighborhoods as Germany scored. And no, there aren't many Germans here...let me explain.

Talking with my parents the other day, they asked, "So, World Cup...that's a big deal, right?" I guess you could say that...in the same way that the birth of your first child is "a big deal" or winning the lottery is "a big deal." When you don't feel like a winner in your own right, it's easy to pin your hopes on a successful football team. My understanding is that Haiti almost made it to the World Cup finals once, but hasn't had much luck since then. In the interim, people have chosen up sides between Brazil and Argentina...and to love one is to hate the other. I was praying they wouldn't meet, even in a consolation match, or there could have been real conflict between the two factions. We, of course, root for the United States like good Americans, no matter how bad they are. 

David's Father's Day present was a month-long cable TV subscription so that he could watch the match in English. Yes, I said, "match." They do not, I have learned, play games. It's a pitch, not a field; it's a kit, not a uniform; he's a keeper, not a goalie. And it's a good thing they don't have celebration penalties in football like in American football, or they'd be penalizing till the cows come home. Biting seems to be frowned upon. 

During the matches, we'd text with David's sister M. Sports are always a reliable source of sibling bonding in the Harms family, and M had a vested interest in Germany winning, having seen them play once in Germany. We use Google Hangouts because she and David are both Android users...I know, people. I know. An intervention has been tried, but if someone's not ready to get help, you can't make them...and unfortunately for them, you certainly can't confront them over Facetime, the best invention for missionaries since DEET.

At any rate, it's a phenomenon we've come to appreciate with all its hype. I'm sad to see it go. Even Peter was asking to watch soccer during dinner and we had to tell him, "Sorry, honey--the World Cup is over." But take heart, child...the madness is only four more years away.