Being in South America during the World Cup is an experience like no other. I originally was planning on going to Rio last weekend to see Argentina play but it wouldn't have been smart for my bank account or my safety. I played soccer basically my whole life, until I gave it up for volleyball in high school. I don't know why but there's something so exciting about a soccer game to me. While in Argentina, I have watched all or part of every World Cup game that has been on TV. Mostly because it's all that is on the TV here, but that wouldn't stop me. There is more excitement here about soccer than in the US. It's not just a game, it's their life. I've never seen fans more passionate about a team than the Argentines, the Brasilians, and the Uruguayans. When I was in Uruguay on Saturday it didn't matter that they weren't the top ranked team, they were playing in the World Cup! They were all so sure that their team would win. Every street corner in Uruguay, and here in Rosario, is filled with flags, scarves, jerseys, random hats and fun things to wear with their team's colors. Uruguay ended up losing while we were on the bus back to Rosario so I don't know their reaction but I saw the reactions of the Brasilians who were in the cafe I was having a coffee in during that game. It was insanity! Every little play or pass they were going crazy. Then, Sunday was the Argentina debut, their first game. The city is already preparing for their Flag Day (this Friday June 20) but the blue and white have been everywhere. Instead of just every other street corner selling Messi jerseys, you can now find something everywhere you look. It was almost impossible to find somewhere to watch the game on Sunday! Everyone was out and celebrating. We finally made our way to the restaurant/bar next to our university and got a table. We were given "Vamos Argentina" thundersticks and face paints to get ready for the game. As soon as they showed the team on TV everyone was freaking out. When that first goal happened the place went wild. I have never experienced watching a game like during that one, and Argentina didn't even play well! After the win everyone floods the streets and proceeds to the flag monument to celebrate the win. Messi is actually from Rosario and his father owns a restaurant next to the flag monument. I can only imagine what it was like there during the game. Monday was the USA game. A small group of us went to one of our favorite bars for Happy Hour because they actually have food like at home! It is the only place I've seen in Argentina that has chicken fingers so we knew that was where we needed to go. Naturally, it was just the bartender, waitress, and four of us there. Nobody was out watching USA vs. Ghana because well USA isn't really known for soccer.  We ended up making friends with the bartender and waitress and got free drinks after USA won!! The games are never ending, and the excitement is continuing every day. We are all pretty upset because we will miss both the Argentina game and the USA game this weekend while we are traveling to Iguazú. We will be without internet access for the 20 hour bus ride! 

 

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