Haitian Orphanage

What three objects would you use to describe American culture to people who have never been here?


The grass brushed against my ankles and my backpack bounced with each step as I walked through the field. Through my sunglasses, I looked towards kids playing what I knew was soccer. With my school, I had traveled to Haiti over Christmas break. Although we spent a couple days in various cities on cultural excursions, my favorite place so far had to be the orphanage. Heat, metal roofs, long grass--and a feeling of life.

The group kicked the soccer ball towards us as an invitation to join the game, and a couple of the guys started playing right away. I stayed near the sidelines under a metal-roofed dugout with some of the others. I preferred football, which my dad had first started teaching me when I was about ten. My favorite thing about football was the culture surrounding it. Almost everybody in my town was familiar with the basics and nobody I knew made it through Super Bowl season without getting pulled in to all the excitement. Suddenly, the soccer ball came soaring towards me, landing on the metal roof, where something sharp must have popped it. When the Haitian teenagers ran over, they looked upset to see their ball destroyed.

I had an idea. I unzipped my backpack and pulled out my football.

At first, they were confused...

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