African Safari – a bit of soccer

African Safari – a bit of soccer

I still like playing soccer even though I don’t play it well. At 60+, my legs don’t push me as fast as I want them to and stamina is a thing of the past.

Imagine my excitement, when we returned from one of our safari game drives and I saw some young Kenyans holding a soccer practice on the SOPA Lodge soccer field.

When we were disembarking from the vans at the front door of the lodge, I spoke to Mr. Mutisya and told him that I was going to see if I could play a bit of soccer with the young Kenyans. “You’re pulling my leg“, he responds. Couldn’t blame him, I guess :-).

Anyway, undeterred by this highly supportive response :-), I changed out of my safari clothes into shorts and my low cut hiking shoes (not as good as my regular soccer boots but passable substitutes) and headed off to the field. Mr. Mutisya, still shaking his head, came along to watch.

First time I’ve seen a soccer field on a hill.

The SOPA field is rough, on the side of a hill and severely slanted in two directions, and located at an altitude of 2104m. I survived practicing with the group in a 4 on 4 configuration with a not-always-neutral “neutral” ninth player.

Had a lot of fun and the thinner air at 6000+ft left me wheezing quite often. The young guys tolerated my presence and I think that they were a bit surprised when I scored a goal.

A nice change from being in a safari van all day.

Thanks guys!

About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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