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From a host’s view: Soccer Season Arrives!

April 20, 2010

Cindy Nichols is the host mom of Dennis Lengishon of Arusha, Tanzania, and Victor Yusuf of Bauchi State, Nigeria. They live in Lewis, Iowa, and attend Atlantic High School.

Cindy has been keeping a personal blog, “Adventures with my African Sons,” to share her experiences with hosting. This is a recent post from her blog explaining a new challenge: soccer.

We recently experienced our very first serious soccer game.

We may have watched one or two nieces’ games as they were growing up, but those were more social events than anything else. However this is serious, folks.

Now we know the difference between forward, midfield and defense. We are beginning to understand the foul system and the running clock. We are starting to comprehend the rules… But not enough that we know how to yell intelligently.

During my high school’s inaugural wrestling season, the coach held a meeting to instruct the fans how to intelligently yell encouragement (and keep a watchful eye on the referees), but I guess my friend’s “Soccer for Dummies” book will have to suffice for this sport. That and the helpful comments from more experienced soccer parents: “It’s ok – he has to keep both feet on the ground when he throws the ball in” or “that goal didn’t count because it went above the net” or “don’t worry – it’s fine for the goalie to use his hands.”

I’m afraid we demonstrated our ignorance quite well during that first game. I guess we really need to read that book…

Dennis and Victor, however, were totally in their element. They seemed to be everywhere at once — keeping track of their own team and also their opponents. Dennis (midfield) has amazing footwork — the other team resorted to triple-teaming him in the second half. Victor (forward) has an amazing kick and scored our only goal.

I was so proud. Now I just need to learn how to take soccer pictures!

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