Oshte football

Trip Start Jul 22, 2013
Trip End Aug 03, 2013

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Flag of Bulgaria  , Montana,
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 2 was much like day 1, except, thankfully, a bit cooler. We are establishing a routine at the prison; drills followed by games. The UK team played the "oranges" today. Tomorrow we shall be against the reds or the yellows. We have had two different sets of guards each day and they observe the activities with a quizzical look, as if to say “why would you come here?” nobody pays attention to these young guys, nobody really ever paid any attention to them all their lives which is a big part of the reason they are here.

There are many Roma here. They make up the majority of the prison population but the divisions that are prevalent in Bulgarian society are reflected, with an interesting twist, among the young inmates. One guy told me “how can we play football with these gypsy boys, they are no good”, despite evidence to the contrary before our eyes. He only said it to me, and not too loudly. Outside, he'd be in the majority; in here he gets to see what life is like with the shoe on the other foot.

It’s great to have some of the young people from the HOP programme at the prison with us. Today we had Tsetsi, Sevko and Borislava. There aren’t too many girls who’d volunteer to go into a prison but Borislava was very eager and joined with the game against the prison orange team. She made a particularly telling tackle on one of the guys; his team mates are still probably giving him a hard time now!

The afternoon was spent at the local pool with our young HOP friends. Before dinner we met and the FSCI team informed us that there will be talent contest tomorrow! The young people were split into teams. Each team has a mentor (Tedi, Veneta, Valya or Rich P) and the judges will be Nik and Vera. Should be fun…
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