Jul 19 12

Portuguese soccer supporter


Portuguese soccer supporter

Portugal was out of the European Championships.  After a 0-0 draw, they lost on penalties with Spain.  This was extremely lousy as it was a hot talking point specifically between Nicolai and myself.  The Euro Championship also took the family away from the dramas we were going through.  Effectively stranded in a foreign country, many miles from home.  Staffie battling to get repaired, and very unsure circumstances around the longevity of the trailer.

It is difficult as a parent to know how far one should go to encourage and promote the winning aspect behind supporting a team so passionately in sport.  In a way it is bound to result in heart-sore and failure from time to time.  The loss that Portugal suffered really hit Nicolai hard.  Throughout the safari he had touted Portugal with whomever gave him half an ear.  He wore his Portugal outfit fondly and with Dixon, the chef, and John, the driver, he had allies in the games we all watched together.  The passion of this 7 year old, drew many folk close to our travelling band.  One could see the pride of Dixon and John that he was part of their travelling team.  In fact for the two weeks, they seemed to adopt him as their son.

All at Kipepeo knew who we were supporting and in no time we pulled the neutrals into our support group.

As my brother often reminded me, you fully understand the rollercoaster of emotions when you support Portugal.  The problem is that they punch way above their weight, and as a result, they give you hope.  This hope, in turn, feeds expectation – perhaps unrealistic expectation.  One often looks at them and gets frustrated that they do not have more self-belief. 

There was a general sense of apathy in the family at that time.  This was probably due to the fact that we had enjoyed a whirlwind tour through the northern circuit of Tanzania and now we were back in Dar.  We needed a lift in our energy levels, and as father and leader, I was unsure where this was going to come from.  I needed to find some, quickly, before the whole family was infected, even more.


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