Our school in Buchanan, Help Liberia Foundation Community School, last Friday, December 13, 2013, played its first major football and kickball games since the school was established eight years ago.
The games, which were started around 11:am, were played between our school and another school called Kornonia Community School, also located in Buchanan.
The first game was a kickball match between our girls and the girls of Kornonia. Kickball is a game invented in Liberia and mostly played by Liberians. It is played by girls.
Before the start of the kickball game, our girls were excited and jubilant about it, promising to beat the other school. Unfortunately, our girls couldn’t withstand the skills of the other girls. They beat our girls badly. They had 28 points, and our girls had 16 points. Students, staff and parents were dejected. In fact, some of the smaller kids started crying on the field.
“You should not be discouraged. You did well. This was your very first game, so you have to be encouraged by the fact that you scored more than 15 points against them. We are convinced that you girls will beat them next time. Besides, our boys will beat them,” remarked Mr. Paul Yeenie Harry, director of HLF Community School.
Reflecting on the outcome of the kickball match, we were not that excited for the football match. It’s like we were hopeless hopeful, if that is the right way to say.
Just before the game could start, the students of the other school were jubilantly running all around the field, shouting and singing as if they were determined to annoy or confuse us. And, as if to increase our confusion, the Kornonia boys scored their first goal. Their singing increased, while our kids stood around the field sorrowfully.
While in this period of uncertainty, our boys scored their first goal, equalizing the scores. In less than ten minutes, our boys scored their second goal. Our students, too, started running all around the place, shouting and singing. Staff members and parents could not hold their peace, too. An outburst of jubilation seized the sports ground. Before long, again, our boys scored their third goal. It was now 3-1. You have to imagine the ecstatic state we were in. Our boys were playing good football and most spectators began to praise them. The staff and the students of Kornonia became confused and silent. It was only our students who were shouting and singing.
Anyway, because of some mistakes, the other school managed to score two additional goals. So it was 3-3. Anxiety crept back into us, but our boys were ready to remove it. They scored their fourth goal and the game ended after a few minutes. In short, we won the football game by 4-3.
When the referee sounded the last whistle, we started the jubilation from the field and did not rest until we reached our campus. But who wouldn’t be jubilant in such a situation? It is as if their girls had not defeated our girls. The boys’ victory overshadowed everything.
A few things need to be remembered about the games last Friday, December 13, 2013. First, it was the kids’ very first time playing such matches in such a manner. Second, it was the first time ever that they used jerseys, which were brought by Anders and Lena during their visit in October and November. Third, our boys played better football than their boys played. Fourth, although they beat our girls, our boys beat their boys, and that beating lessened the impact of their girls’ victory.
We extend a very big thank-you to our boys, our girls, our staff, or parents, our Swedish sponsors and all other individuals and institutions that helped us to give the school a great day.
Click on photos below to see a larger version.