It's hard to believe that it's already the last full day of the trip. On the contrary though, today was the day that involved the most soccer! When we headed to an orphanage called Hope For The Hopeless, I didn't know what to expect, since it was an orphanage for older kids closer to my age. I arrived in my old David Villa jersey, and all the boys wearing soccer jerseys pointed to me. We of course talked about soccer within the first five minutes. They gave us a tour of their bedrooms where collages of photos of American families that had sponsored them flooded the walls. When we headed back downstairs, we sat around the room and listened to the stories of some of the kids; where they came from, how they got to where they are, and most importantly, where they want to go. A boy name Munir who looked to be about 16 told a story that really hit me in the feels. He said he always had a mother but life was too tough for her with him, so he came to H4H selflessly. He spoke for a while and started to tear up by the end...so did I. Munir closed his story with words that could have opened the most closed eye known to man.
"All I know is I'm supposed to be here. I know there is a plan for me, a destiny, I have never doubted it."
After Munir finished speaking, it was my turn. I stood in front of the room and told my story. Where I came from; Rhode Island. How I got here; passion, dedication, and ambition to bring the game to the kids who really need it. And where I'm going; somewhere that matters. I told Munir that I'm here to gives these kids opportunity. What if Munir's destiny was to be on the Ethiopian National Team and he never got the chance to find out? I'm here to bring him his gear and put that dream in reach. When I said that he smiled almost as big as he did when he actually received his cleats.
That night we went over to the dirt fields down the street and set up a pickup game. Three teams, winner stays. We played till the sun went down and it was insane.
We live our lives according to an outdated, less valid, image of what is real. Well let me tell you. This was real. And we have the power to change it.
You have two choices in this world. You can choose to watch it happen or you can choose to make it happen. Help us make it happen.
And even more importantly, help us make it count.