It’s also easy to play. You don’t need anything except another fanatic willing to go around with you. You roll up an old sock and kick it around on the cement porch, right out in the burning sun. Take someone’s shoes and put them a few yards apart and you’ve got a soccer field. You’re Bebeto; you’re a star; you’re magnificent. Goal… Soccer is the most beloved sports in Haiti.
Someone told me that you can’t understand a country if you don’t understand its sports. That’s certainly true about American football. While baseball has been hailed as America’s favorite pass time, it is football that most resonates with the American psyche. American football is indigenous to this land and is played with patriotic pride. American football exhibits the hallmarks of American character —hard work, self-discipline, sacrifice for the greater good and individual achievement.
At 10 a.m. in the morning the heat hitting the pavement in Casa de Campo park is severe enough to make a walk in the park slightly hazardous. A group of older men are playing a game of chito. I know it is chito because I ran up to the administrator’s desk and spied the papers. This is a tournament, which means someone will win and someone will lose, which means there is a way to be good at this and a way to be bad at it. Baffling. I would guess that these players range from 60 to 75 years of age. I have met people here who are 90 years old, live alone, and travel alone. In Granada, I saw elders ambling with walkers out for an evening stroll under the orange trees in the small neighborhood park. Old couples and some matrons traveling in groups fill modest hotels in the summer. Here they carpe diem ´til the last minute.
I’ll sign up for that.
I saw this game while visiting friends in Madrid. A totally autoctonous activity as far as I can tell. Never seen it anywhere else. It amused me that they had lists and tournaments – the seriousness of it made me laugh. If you enjoy the post, please share with others!