There is a version of soccer that I’ve never heard of until I came to these tiny towns in Ecuador. It’s called Indur…sounds kind of like indoor, but is most definitely not played inside. Ironically it is played on a concrete basketball court. There are six players per side and in theory, moves a lot faster than regular soccer. Or at least that’s the premise. When the players are not good, well it looks a lot like a kid’s soccer match. And since I never turn down a sporting event, especially while living in the woods with no electricity, I found myself at the local Tabuga Indur court where the girls over in Pendernales (you know, the ones from the other side of the Equator) braved the journey and scored the victory over the girls of Tabuga. It was a blow-out 8-0 although I’m not sure what a normal indur score might be.
In a community (a very tiny community) where women are rarely seen (not at the store, the library, or the nature center which is where I spend all my time), I am just impressed that they even have sports for girls. Or that there are enough girls to make up a team. After the official indur match, the unofficial ones began, and at the unofficial match, I played my very first game of indur as goalkeeper defended my goal valiantly as some cocky boy found out when he got my knee in his side for trying to get to fancy, and he did not even score. My team won 5-2, and I have respect on the indur floor as I was asked to play again tomorrow. There is nothing more satisfying for me that taking it to a bunch of boys who 1) think girls can’t play sports (and in this scenario, I am a girl) 2) think anyone over 20 should never leave the house.
It’s not my goal to enact social change in the short time I am here, but if I can inspire one girl to play sports or one girl to come to the library and read more, or one girl to stand up to the gangs of boys that rule these tiny coastal towns, then I consider this stop a success. If playing soccer or reading books can keep one girl from getting pregnant before 16, then it’s a good day. In a community with no official school, how can people combat ignorance and poverty. Without exposure to other ideas, how can a girl decide that 16 just might not be the perfect age to have a baby.
After indur and cock fighting, it was time for the movie at the festival of Tabuga. The director of the library (a former Peace Corp Volunteer who has essentially moved to the area) and I organized movie night for part of the festival. The movie was to supposed to start at 8p, as per usual in these off the grid places I find myself, despite having obtained special permission to use electricity after the sun went down, the movie did not start until almost 10p–which was disappointing. The movie was the Jungle Book meant for the kids which due to the late start time, most of the kids either left or fell asleep by 11:00p.
How does one have a movie night for the town in a town that has limited electrictiy and requires special permits to use said electricity after certain hours? A white bedsheet pulls double duty as a movie screen. Indur posts serve as attachment supports and an old ibook turns into a movie projector.