The children, like all children in South America, love soccer. Their desire to play is only exceeded by the almost unplayable conditions of what passes for a soccer pitch at Westfalia. Perhaps to some it is not such a big thing, but to kids who spend their days and nights (with the exception of school hours) within the confines of the orphanage property, it carries more importance. There is no running down to a neighborhood soccer pitch or a public park. There is only what exists for them within the confines of Westfalia.
So, we do have our field of dreams. A field with grass. One cannot even walk gently on the land here without their shoes being covered with gray dust. Run, and it flies up in clouds. Imagine a group of children playing soccer amid clouds of dust to breathe in. To add to the difficulty the ground is littered with small sharp stones. All of this inhibits play, whether it is football or the typical fun that we knew as children playing in the grass. Rather than endure the dust and stones, they practice their ball handling on the narrow patio in front of the main building.
So yes, we have our field of dreams. We hope that someday, in the not too distant future, we will obtain the financial means to fulfill our dream, their dream. There is no doubt about the joy it will bring to the children, and that is worthy of a lifetime of smiles.
As an update, some initial investigation concerning prices of sod was quite depressing. The area involved is about 35 by 40 meters. That amounts to 1400 square meters (just under 13,000 square feet). Sod is sold here in 1 meter squares. From the source, a sod farm, it seems the cost is about $1.75 per square meter. Ouch. $2,450. Since the ground is nothing more than dry grey sand, we also need to add about 420 cubic meters of soil (35 by 40 by .3). I’m afraid to find out the cost of that. We may need to go to seeding instead of sod. Would love to hydro seed but not something I have seen here so doubt it is available. It seems we might be looking at about $4 to $5k for this project. Time will tell. One thing we definitely know is that the benefits to these children, who are confined to the grounds when not in school, far outweigh the cost.