There’s no better cultural experience than going to a national team’s soccer game. So, when I found out that “El Tri,” the other name for the Mexican soccer team, was playing in Estadio Azteca here in Mexico City, I had to find a way to go.
I had been to one of these games before, but it was only a friendly match against the Republic of Congo. This time, it’s a World Cup Qualifier. In other words, this one really counted. Especially since Mexico is on the brink of being left out of next year’s World Cup, something that would be unheard of.
So Hube, Edgar, Paco, and I left from the Seminary at 5:30, thinking that we had plenty of time to get to the stadium. Well, we were wrong. At 8:30, we were exiting off the main road to get to the stadium. We put the radio on and heard the national anthems. We knew we were late.
Then, we heard that the game had started, and Mexico scored a goal in the first minute. We were still in line to find parking. As we pulled up closer to the stadium, we realized that the parking lot to the stadium was closed. So we had to park on the road in front of someone’s house and pay 20 pesos more than we would have paid at the stadium parking lot.
We walked to the stadium entrance, and as we were entering, they informed Huberto that he couldn’t bring in his backpack. So he left it at one of the places where they were selling t-shirts. We got into the stadium to watch the final 5 minutes of the first half.
But the in the last few minutes of the first half, Trinidad and Tobago scored a goal, which made everyone in the stadium upset.
We got to watch the second half from our nose-bleed section seats, which actually weren’t that bad. We saw the “golazo” by Mexico and went home happy with a 2-1 victory and 3 more points for Mexico in their quest to qualify for the 2010 World Cup (check the video highlights here).
Leaving where we were parked, none of the four of us who were in the car knew which way to go. We finally made it to a recognizable place, but by now, we were starving, so we had to stop to get some tacos on the way home.
Overall, it was a fun night, despite the 5 or 6 hours we spent in the car in traffic and/or lost in Mexico City. I’m glad we went, and I’m looking forward to August 12 when the United States comes to town to play against Mexico for bragging rights and points towards the World Cup.
This past Saturday, the Seminary had a big publicity event. My participation in the event was to help the youth ministry students with our information booth, teach a youth ministry seminar, and organize a skit for one of the worship times. The event was a huge success.
There were more than 300 people at the event (which was our attendance goal), and during the two seminar times, my youth ministry workshop was packed. I spoke about the goal of youth ministry to more than 100 prospective students. We handed out fliers and collected names at our booth. I even ran out of business cards.
There is a great thirst for youth ministry training in Latin America. I believe that we are living in a time where youth ministry training is about to explode both in Mexico and other places in the world. It is humbling and exciting to be a part of what God is doing.
If you would like to support the work of our family in Mexico, click here to find out how to join our team.
We had such a great time in Huatulco, playing on the beach and in the pools at Las Brisas resort. Janell knows how to travel cheap, and she found an incredible deal for us to get out of the city for a while.
We picked a great time to go. It was right between Spring Break and Mexico’s Labor Day. In addition to that, there was the swine flu scare here in Mexico, which has left tourist resorts mostly empty. There were times when we were literally the only ones on the beach. We had a lot of fun together as a family.
Here are some pictures from our trip:
If you want to see all of our pictures, check out our flickr set.
I was a little bored from not doing anything for the last few days, so I decided to get out of the house and drive around today to see what was going on in Mexico City.
Here’s what I saw.
Paseo de La Reforma is one of the two main roads in Mexico City. Usually, it is bustling with traffic and people. It’s pretty much never this empty, but due to H1N1 (swine flu), today it was fairly empty.
This child street performer dressed up as a lion was also wearing a blue mask today. There were many street vendors still out today, despite the government’s advice to stay home.
The green taxis are an icon of the city. Today, the drivers were wearing masks and rubber gloves. This was the best picture I could get of a gloved taxista.
What is big enough to shut down the two largest religions in Mexico: Soccer and the Catholic Church? Mass has been canceled in Mexico City’s National Cathedral on Sunday, soccer games were played without the usual crowds of thousands in closed and empty stadiums.
The Secretary of Education canceled class in Mexico City, the Federal District, and San Luis Potosi for more than a week. The Mexican government’s treasury department has even allocated almost half a billion dollars to fight it.
What could be big enough to cause this mayhem? The answer: Swine Flu.
What is Swine Flu?
Swine Flu is the talk of the town in one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas. It is a weird strain of the flu whose “combination of genes had not been seen before in flu viruses in humans or pigs.” You can’t get it from eating pork. But it is dangerous. So far there have been more than 1300 cases of it in Mexico with more than 80 deaths. You can read more about swine flu at the CDC website.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
The CDC website says, “CDC has NOT recommended that people avoid travel to Mexico at this time.” In fact, there have been no swine flu cases reported in Mexico’s beach resorts, which are hundreds of miles away from Mexico City.
While it’s not recommended to visit Mexico City right now, most of Mexico is not (yet) affected. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious when deciding to visit Mexico or not.
How to protect yourself from Swine Flu
Inside Mexico has a great post on how to protect yourself from Swine Flu, which includes some no brainers, such as washing your hands, avoiding hospitals unless absolutely necessary, and limiting physical contact.
The Mexican government has also put out a bulletin with recommendations on how to protect yourself from swine flu.
How does Swine Flu affect the Poulette Family?
The Seminary has canceled class until May 6th. Our church has suspended all activity this weekend as well. We had already planned to go out of town, so it’s not going to affect us too much. We are taking the same precautions as everyone else, which is just basically avoiding a lot of contact with other people and washing our hands like crazy.
Many of the Seminary students travel all over the city and country for their weekend work at various churches, so they might be affected. Pray for this sickness and the country of Mexico right now. It doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.
Swine flu is something that we will be wondering about for a while. Please keep praying for our family here in Mexico.