UNK Today | August 2014 - page 20

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Taking soccer abroad
Loper Lineup
Where did you study?:
Lima, Peru
Reason for studying abroad?:
“I just graduated with a
degree in Spanish. I want to be a nurse, so I did it a little
backwards so I could play soccer for four years and study
abroad this way. For nursing, it’s always good if you have
some Spanish-speaking background.”
Biggest culture shock moment?:
“I lived with 13 people.
That was pretty shocking. And Lima itself is a city of 9 mil-
lion people, so, compared to Kearney, it’s a little different.”
Favorite native food?:
Ahi de Gallina
What about Nebraska did you miss the most?:
Everything is so loud. People are everywhere. There’s always
car horns because I think there’s like 400,000 taxis in Lima.
There’s always cars everywhere, and I missed having my
own car.”
How did soccer abroad compare to soccer in the U.S.?:
“It’s pretty much a religion there, and they’ll even say that.
In Peru, and they aren’t even good at soccer as a country,
they just love it. It was really cool just to see how much they
love it. It’s so much fun for them. It’s really a religion.”
Favorite memory?:
“My favorite thing was when we
got to go to the Amazon. I got to hold a baby sloth and a
baby monkey. That was pretty awesome. We went to a little
Amazonian village of 200 people — which, another example
of the soccer culture, every single village in the Amazon has
a soccer field even though they don’t have TVs or electricity
— and their pets were a baby sloth and these little monkeys
and turtles. They were super excited to show us them when
we got there.”
Planning on returning someday?:
“I would really like
to, but it’s expensive. I’ll have to start making some money
Four players on the University of Nebraska at Kearney women’s soccer team spent time abroad this past school year. Three of
them — Missy Everson, Jackie Paloucek and Kaitlyn Taylor — shared their experiences with Hub Sports writer Connor O’Gara.
Where did you study?:
Lima, Peru, but it was on a mission
trip with a University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Medlife group during spring break.
The group went there to provide
free health care to the poor.
Reason for going abroad?:
“I’m majoring in biology. That’s
what I want to do, so it was really
eye-opening to see all of that stuff
going on over there.”
Biggest culture shock
“The kids knew that
you weren’t from around there.
All of the kids would get out of their schools,
and they’d come hang out around the camps
we were doing. The first week there, they
came and asked us about Facebook and stuff
about America. They were just amazed at
things you would tell them. You could tell it
made their entire day just talking to us.”
Favorite native food?:
What about Nebraska did you miss the most?:
flat land. I know that sounds kind of weird. But the places
we went, they just lived on dirt mountains. They didn’t have
grass. Their roads were really bumpy and
not safe. It’s the little things that we take for
granted that they don’t have.”
How did soccer abroad compare to soccer in
the U.S.?:
“Over there it’s a privilege, and over
here people abuse it. For some people, it’s their
only way of having fun. Here, kids play video
games, obviously. They don’t get outside as much
as they probably should. They just abuse the
ability that we have to go play soccer on a grass
field. When I was in Peru, we actually played on
a cement field with some kids, and it was crazy.
They were good, too.”
Favorite memory?:
“I think it was really cool
playing soccer with them and in the background
having the mountains of where they live and their
small, little shacks. It was pretty to look at, but I
wouldn’t want to live there. It was just really fun.”
Planning on returning someday?:
“I’d like
to see the world, and I might go somewhere else.
But, yeah, if I had the chance and the money for it, I would go do
it in a heartbeat.”
Where did you study?:
Czech Republic
Reason for studying
“I chose the Czech
Republic because it was a
centralized location in Europe. I
was able to travel to 10 different
countries while I was there.”
Biggest culture shock
“For the Czech,
the main culture
shock was prob-
ably the architec-
ture. Everybody
pictures Europe
with all of the
old architecture. I
studied in one of
the historical cit-
ies in the Czech
and it had beautiful architecture
but in the surrounding areas —
within the town square it had
pretty old architecture — you
could definitely still see rem-
nants of the communist culture.”
Favorite native food?:
Roasted duck in Czech Repub-
lic, gelato in Italy
What about Nebraska did
you miss the most?:
thing I was most excited to
come back to was Mexican
food like tacos. They had no
Mexican food there. And just
going to the grocery store and
being able to read and under-
stand what you’re buying.”
How did soccer abroad
compare to soccer in the
“It’s definitely much
more popular and much more
advertised there. The Czech
have a very famous goalie who
plays in England, and he’s
basically considered one of the
gods there. He’s very well-
known and peo-
ple respect him
a lot. They have
a lot of pride in
their soccer.”
group of six of us
traveled to Buda-
pest and, basi-
cally, that whole trip was one
of the highlights. Everything
we did on that trip was above
and beyond what I thought it
would be. I thought it was the
best because no one really talks
about Budapest and says that
it’s an amazing place. I’ve talk-
ed to a few people and they say
to go. But no one talks about
it like they talk about Paris or
anything like that. It was just
beautiful. It was amazing.”
Planning on returning
“I know for a fact
that later in my life, I will
definitely go back to Prague.
Definitely that is one of my
favorite places in Europe. In
the near future, I’m not sure.
But I know that definitely
within the next 10-15 years, I
will go back.”
Rick Tucker, Kearney Hub
followed up her senior season on
the Loper soccer team studying in Lima, Peru.
Rick Tucker, Kearney Hub
, right, celebrates with teammate Emily
Kosch (20) during last year’s soccer season. After the season,
Taylor traveled to the Czech Republic.
Jackie Paloucek
For some people
, it’s
their only way of having
fun. Here, kids play
video games, obviously.
They don’t get outside
as much as they prob-
ably should. They just
abuse the ability that we
have to go play soccer
on a grass field...”
Jackie Paloucek
I know for
a fact
that later in my life,
I will definitely go
back to Prague...”
Kaitlyn Taylor
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