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Last summer I was invited to play soccer in Brazil an experience of a lifetime I traveled alone leaving La Guardia airport in New York making connections in Miami Sao Paulo and finally arriving in the cit of Natal Brazil 20 hours later There I trained with the professional soccer team America FC The Brazilian natives could not have been any nicer or friendlier This was an experience that I would never forget Since I was unable to speak their language Portuguese the Brazilian players communicated to me through Soccer Indeed they helped me through the training sessions by physically showing me what to do with the ball Nevertheless when I was not focused or simply could not do what they could their body language made their dissatisfaction with me clear The Brazilian players and coaches however never were negative always projecting a positive attitude A typical example of their passion of the game and teaching ability occurred when we were playing in a game A Brazilian player would pass me the ball and naturally expect that I handle it properly In the beginning I could not and so the next time the same player would pretend to pass me the ball but purposely pass it to someone else This is the way he told me he expected more from me Perhaps ten minutes later I would be given another try I quickly learned what they expected from me and improved dramatically from this Off the soccer field was even more enlightening as the players would invite me to go out with them They interpreted the language showed me the local sites introduced me to native foods and showed me how to exchange Dollars to Reals They took me in and watched over me for my entire trip and I thank them for that On my first day I met and extremely interesting person a fifteen year old homeless native who lives on the
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