From the first true attempt at communism (prominently featuring Nietzsche’s sister) to a colony of staunchly religious Manitobans who thrive on the production of yoghurt to the harbouring of the infamous Nazi Dr. Mengele, Paraguay boasts a kaleidoscope of historical idiosyncrasies.
Dani and I walk by the Club General Genes field every day on the way to work. The faded blue sign boasts “Established on December 17, 1929” in peeling flakes. The field looks its age! The cancha is falling apart and what may have once been the nicest field in Asuncion is now ringed by a crumbling wall and a small pack of feral dogs. I never paid it much attention but then I stumbled upon an awe-inspiring, walk-to-work-revolutionizing article on a Paraguayan website highlighting a unique moment in global history.
Please allow me to regale you with a tale of hot-blooded adventure mixed with a healthy dose of bad luck.
The ball hit the nose of the plane, lodgeding in between the motor and propeller. The wooden propeller shattered. The plane plummeted from the sky, skirting the tree-tops ringing the field before smashing into the ground a few hundred feet away.
Apparently, everyone on the field stood in silence for a moment before stampeding towards the crash-site. Fortunately, both occupants of the plane were shaken (duh) but unhurt. The referee soon decided that enough time had been wasted, announced it was high-time that the match continued and invited both pilots to return to the field to finish watching the match. The mob returned and saw Club Genes soundly defeat their opponents. After the last whistle, the pilot searched out Trido, reassured him that there was no hard feelings, urged him to continue playing his hardest and then left the field. I can’t say this for certain, but I’ll bet that’s the last time he ever brought his plane to a football match!
I love Paraguay for stories like this. On the surface, the country may feel a bit bland, but when I begin scratching beneath the surface, I never fail to be impressed.
I’ve gained a new appreciation for the Club Genes cancha. Now, when I begin my walk to work, my day is brightened by visions of a bright-orange football streaking into the air and knocking a plane out of the sky.