I am very familiar with how high school, extra-curricular sporting events work. Very familiar. I have been going on busses to away basketball games since before I can remember. As the daughter or a coach, I went to lots of away games and many times we rode the bus with the team to get to the games. I know how games work in the states, I know the UIL rules, all that jazz. I did not know how games here in Haiti would work, but I do now (or at least I know how the one we had yesterday worked). Let me highlight some differences.
After giving the girls their uniforms and getting everyone together on time (well, sort of on time), we headed to the bus…well, the truck. All the girls piled into what we lovingly refer to as “the cage truck,” because that is basically what it is. A white truck that has the back covered and there are benches you can sit on. It gets you where you need to go, but no way would this fly in the states as a vehicle to transport children in. Also, none of the parents had to sign permission slips for their girls to leave the school in a vehicle driven by a teacher. I love it!
After piling in the truck, the driver turned the key and….nothing. He called the mechanic over, he banged a bit under the truck and it started. Off we went. We drove through the streets of Port au Prince which is always an experience. If ever I forget where I live, all I need to do is wander around the streets a bit and it comes back quickly.
We arrived at the school which has a very beautiful campus, and went in search of the court. We found it and began warming up. Eventually the other team arrived and began warming up as well. When the time came to actually begin the match, the other coach asked for one of our coaches to be a referee. What? Yeah. No official ref paid for this game. One ref from each team.
The girls played very very well! They were up against a tough team of girls who have played together since middle school and have practice almost every day. Our girls were competitive and kept them on their toes, I was so proud!
After the game some girls left with their parents or boyfriends and the rest of us piled back in the cage truck and entered the afternoon traffic to return to school.
Maybe someone else wouldn’t be as confused or interested in the differences between this game and one in the states. I guess growing up around basketball and away games and UIL rules and all that, you notice the differences a little more. Altogether it was a great experience and a great day for the girls to show how much work they have put in and how far they have come in such a short time. Go Lady Eagles!!