There has been an ongoing discussion between Rahma, his friends and our team. Rahma’s favorite team is Real Madrid. In his hut, he showed us posters of the team, and today he wears the jersey. He prefers Real Madrid over Barcelona because of Cristiano Rinaldo, “He is the best player, for me. Maybe not for you. But for me.” Sabir, his friend and fellow soccer pal, disagrees. He prefers Barcelona. He points to the recent slaughtering of Real Madrid by Barcelona which ended in their 5-0 victory. Rahma defends his team, “This is okay, because football is like that. You know, it can go both ways.” We tell him our team is Manchester United and Rahma smiles. “I like Nani,” he says “…because he is friends with Cristiano.” We laugh. Soccer has become a great point of conversation this trip and I look forward to handing out the soccer balls and t-shirts we brought. It is exchanges like these that remind me that at the end of the day, kids anywhere are just kids. And they all want to have fun and play. It is not only a desire, but a necessity and a right.
ktj and team