Two Santa Monica AYSO teams traveled to Chengdu, China on July 22nd. After a 30-hour adventure, they arrived mid-morning July 24th for an action-packed, three-day soccer tournament.
The soccer was competitive and both Region 20 teams made a good showing. In 90° heat and over 70% humidity, they fought until the end of each game, never giving up. Every match ended with a gift and cultural exchange not to be soon forgotten.
They also had an incredible cultural experience making Chinese masks, sipping tea, practicing calligraphy, and painting; they saw the Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest Buddha sculpture in the world, and toured the Panda Reserve, the old city of Chengdu and the Wenshu Monastery.
The delicious, authentic Sichuan lunches and dinners have been a new experience for everyone. One player said, “some of the food is good, some is great, and some is not”.
The trip finishes with a four-day tour of Beijing, to see the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and more!