Posted by: waterforwaslala | April 8, 2010

VU Engineering Reflections from Waslala Part 4

The fourth in a series of reflections from past Villanova Engineering students and professors who have visited and been touched by the people of Waslala…

Baseball

One of the most amazing things that happened during our trip occurred during a hike in a small community called Las Delicias. This wonderful little village, with a small church at the center, was full of smiling faces and curious children constantly observing our group.

One day, after lunch, we went for a hike up to their prospective water source. When we finally reached the source, we realized that it wasn’t ideal because of the insufficient water supply. We spent the next few hours hiking to several other sources all across the community,  trying to find a better source, to no avail.

Eventually, we hiked back to the center of the community, where we found a group of teens who had been waiting for us the entire time. This particular group of teens wanted to take us to their baseball field and play a few innings with us. Initially, we were unsure if we could go because it was getting dark. But as we looked at these teens, we knew that we had to go play. This was probably the best decision we made on the entire trip.

We followed the teens for about 10 minutes until we arrived at our destination. What a sight! It was easily one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. Right in the middle of these mountains and trees was a fully constructed baseball field. It was AMAZING! The backstop was made out of bamboo, the plates were made out of the ragged sacs they use to store beans, and the mound and base paths were dug by hand. There were cows and pigs in the outfield, walking around and grazing as we played. Lastly, to the left of the outfield was a remarkable view of mountain after mountain with the sun setting perfectly over them.

We played for about an hour with beaten up gloves and an extremely heavy bat that was more like a club. The kids were excellent and taught us all a thing or two. With my lack of baseball talent, I struck out in three straight pitches; however, they were sympathetic enough to let me keep batting until I finally made contact with the ball.

I’ll never forget playing on that field and watching the joy in the Waslalan teenagers’  faces as we played with them. It was something that you could have read in a story book or watched on an ESPN special; however, I got to experience  it in real life.

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