High in the Haitian hills, near the border with the Dominican Republic lies the village of Thiotte. That evening, we made our way to the far side of town for a soccer match. The local team versus a nearby village. It seemed like every young person in town was there. The crowd formed a ring round the dusty field as the two teams, wearing used American uniforms, battled for bragging rights. It was a lovely, cool evening. The setting sun cast a golden hue as fans cheered on their team and vendor hawked their wares.
Thiotte emerged victorious, beating the visitors 2-0. The fans erupted in wild cheering. Players joyfully ripped off their jerseys, twirling them in the air.
Celebrating their victory, the team and fans ran off the field and down a
narrow jungle path. As we jogged, I imagined we were headed for a large victory celebration. To my surprise, we popped back out on the road in the middle of town. It turned out the crowd was just going home. Since everyone walks in Haiti, I think they were just using the emotion of the victory to propel them on their way.