David Dollase is the Director of Safety and Security at Sporting Park and received the 2012 National Sports Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award. He arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and will return to Kansas City on Feb. 17th. He will be providing updates, photos and more throughout the trip for SportingKC.com. Below is his second report; click here for Part I.
Today started early, with my flight leaving at 0500 hours. I watched the sunrise from the window of my plane. I arrived in Guatemala City, the capitol, and had to go back through bag searches on this end. I guess a guy with so many very large bags may be a little suspicious.
However, after the Guatemalan security guard opened the first trunk and saw all the brand new soccer balls, socks, and gear, he looked at me puzzled and asked what it was all for. I simply stated for "los ninos," or the children. He smiled, closed the first crate and said you are free to go without looking any further at the rest of my bags. From the frying pan to the fryer is an understatement.
The traffic leaving the national capitol was horrendous to say the least and took forever. And just when you thought it was getting better, the road went nuts like some kind of bad track in a video game with switchbacks at angles that made you feel like you were pulling G's in the 1980 Mitsubishi Micro Bus, who would have thought it was possible.
Antigua is rustic and quaint. It's full of tourists from all over the world. But this is only base camp. I can't wait to see the kids that get this gear, they are going to smile from ear to ear and that alone make it all worth it.