Undergoing Maintenance

Playing Games with the Locals

This is my friend Mateo! While on an independent trip to Venice over a weekend I had many wonderful and personal experiences beyond the tourist aspect. I really enjoy exploring without a set plan, and interacting with people to receive a genuine cultural experience. While walking down a street I had thought I heard a basketball which isn’t too common here. I walked through a gate and found these kids playing outside of their church. I have a love for the game of basketball so I couldn’t resist and went in and started playing.

We played a game of one on one and he told me his dream was to play in the NBA after asking me what mine was which surprised me! I plan on sending back a few jerseys and a better ball for him to use when returning home. It is expensive on the island because things have to be transported from mainland. I taught him a few drills/tricks and we enjoyed our time and spoke enough broken English/Italian to each other to communicate, but honestly all we needed was the ball and the hoop.

I have loved playing soccer and any other sport here as well as meeting families, kids, and people everywhere I go whether it is the grocery store or on a train. I was fortunate to sit by two different families on the way there and way home. I actually ran into one of the families in the city and they called out my name and hugged me right there. I just feel so welcome and the experiences here are wonderful.

On the way back home I observed children ages four and fourteen months playing. They had Disney books and it was interesting to hear them make literal animal sounds rather then us saying “oink” or “roar” People generally here are very welcoming and kind. They love when you interact with them. The exception is driving in Italy! It is a scary experience being in a car or taxi because people are so aggressive and impatient! But its part of the culture and how the country moves and operates!

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