(Continuation of “I’m a Follower”)
There I stood, watching the boys disappear into the winding streets of the medina. As I observed the situation, I saw all the men around and questioned why I was led to stay. What was I to do there? And then I saw the futbol. There was a group of men playing futbol, yet the futbol was torn to shreds. It was falling a part and almost seemed as if it was a rag they were playing with. And then I knew what the next step was.
I took a deep breath and walked into the middle of the crowd. I got their attention and pulled my futbol from my pink beach bag and offered it to them to use. They eagerly accepted it and I sat down and watched. There I was talking and laughing with these men. A few moments later from across the plaza I saw one of the street boys that I met early that morning. He saw me, smiled and waved. And that sense of familiarity warmed my heart. He sat down next to me, with some huffing drug in hand, and we watched the game together. The men then called him out to play. And with that invitation, he threw his drug to the ground and began to play. He was distracted with futbol and all I could do was smile.
After the game, several of the men approached me, thanking me for the use of the futbol and we continued to talk. A few moments later, two men came up to me with their disrespectful comments and kissing sounds and the men in the group instantly came in my defense pushing them away. Our conversations continued as best as they could until a fight broke out between two men. I began to gather my stuff in order to leave quickly, when I was reassured that everything was okay by three men who moved in between me and the fight.
I felt protected and accepted in a way. I know it was just a moment, but it was a moment of relationship building that I appreciated and cherished. It all starts somewhere…