Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sports days on the Amazon River

We had a great morning for the start of Sports Days in the Amazon!

Officially it is called the Days of Intercompetition of Sports.  It happens yearly between the eight village schools in the middle of the Colombian side of the Amazon River.  It is for grades kindergarten through sixth.  It's three days long.

A beautiful morning in the village to start the first day of the events!

Here we are practicing archery in the days before the competition.  This was the first year it was offered as a sport.

The village kids shoot fairly well.  They have a tradition of hunting in the jungle.

The students line up at 7 in the morning.  They take attendance and then go over the day's activities.  Each village that participates in the event wears the uniform of a particular country of the region.  This year La Libertad's country was Brazil.

The school frequently borrows the boat from our organization, Amazon Pueblo.  We maintain the boat and loan it, free of charge, when it is needed by the school or for some community events.  During the Sports Days of this year, we also loaned the use of our motor.  This allowed transportation for every student, parent, or spectator who wanted to go.
One of the parents holding the flag of Brazil at our bow.


In all, we had over 70 people in the boat!  Our boat is designed to carry up to three metric tons of cargo.  To make up for the lack of life preservers, we stayed very close to shore and traveled in waist-deep water.

By 9 am we had arrived at our destination, one hour upriver.  The community is called Vergil.  The community is about 40 years old, double the age of La Libertad.  They have a school that is large and well-maintained.

Each community school dressed in different uniforms.  Everyone met on the village green.  Vergil had a band that played while all of the participants marched with their school.

After the opening ceremonies, all of the schools participated in sports competitions.  Mirco futbol and soccer were played during the mornings and early afternoons.  During the later part of the day, running, blowgun and archery competitions were held.

Each school brought lunches that were prepared in the morning.


The lunch was rice, eggs, and soup made from milk and oats.  The drink was like Kool-aid.

Everyone played well and I did not see a single argument or fight.  The kids seemed very happy to be playing and to have a day off from school!

The blowgun competition.  I did not get a picture of the archery competition, as I was helping to run it.
Going to the competition gave me a good chance to see and talk to people from other communities.  Everyone was very friendly and helpful!