Luiz and I spent the day volunteering at the Homeless World Cup competition/celebration in Copacabana. Talk about spirit! The mostly young people involved in the competition were inspiring and bursting with enthusiasm and excitement.
Imagine having next to nothing in your home country (Haiti, South Africa, United States, Slovenia, England, Argentina, Ghana, Costa Rica – and on and on – there are about 60 countries represented) and now being in Rio de Janeiro putting on brand new soccer shoes donated by Nike, getting pumped to show your stuff. There are men’s teams and women’s teams. All the teams were smiling.
Luiz and I worked security at the entrance to the “Players Only” hospitality area. We struck up a few friendships and got to see all of the athletes. Luiz showed so much enthusiasm for the Palestinian team that one of the players gave him a beautiful shall made of kafia scarf cloth. Score!
These photos are from the Parade of Nations and the games. The Homeless World Cup continues through the week and we plan to return as often as possible to volunteer. If you have the itch, c’mon down. The games area is on the far east end of Copacabana Beach at the border with Leme. More volunteers would be helpful (and with a volunteer credential you get free reign of the place – with plenty of time to watch some matches.)
The official web site is being kept up to date. Check there for the schedule of who is playing whom and other information.