Just call me RoboCop

2 Apr

 

Single red paintball

“I’m not a malicious person, but the feeling you get from shooting someone with a paintball is beyond words.”

~Oliver Lang

On the Thursday before Easter, my host-mum and her friends and I decided to play paintball. Unlike the beautiful alfombras of Comayagua, this isn’t a Honduran Easter tradition; it’s just something we decided to do on a whim.

I was very nervous. The only woman of the group who had played paintball before, I was well aware of just how much it can hurt.

My first ever game of paintball was played with a group of 25 guys as part of a social event for members of my department’s graduate program. In the interest of gender equality the boys held no quarter, and I got absolutely pelted with paint balls.

The bruises lasted for weeks and weeks. My worst one didn’t fade for two whole months.

When we arrived at the paintball field in Valle de Angeles I was jittery and struggling to keep my face frown-free. We divided into two teams of three people each and entered the playing field.

However once the game started I soon relaxed. The five novices playing with me seemed content to stay hidden and take pot shots at the opposite team only every so often.

I had already decided that the best form of defence is to attack, so I started creeping forward from a pile of tyres to a wooden barricade to an old oil drum.

Once I was in a good position I started shooting at C, one of my host-mum’s closest friends. I assumed that once she realised she was being shot at she would move to a location with better cover. To my surprise she stayed put.

With each subsequent shot I kept thinking, ‘surely now she’ll make a run for it.’ But nope. She stayed where she was. After about six direct hits she finally leapt to her feet with her hands in the air yelling, “ALTO! ALTO! ALTO!” (Stop! Stop! Stop!)

Then I felt a bit mean. From my first game to my second I’d transformed from the runt of the pack, completely victimised by the other players, to the big bad alpha paintball wolf.

In my defence, I really did think that everyone else would move around a lot more than they did. I ended up coming away from the day completely unscathed, whereas the players on the opposing team had all been shot repeatedly. Mostly by me.

Oops. So much for engendering good cross-cultural relations. Someone call the embassy I think I’ve just declared war on Honduras!

For the rest of the afternoon I was given a new nickname: RoboCop.

Next time (if there is a next time and I’m not banned from playing) I’ll know to take it easy.

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3 Responses to “Just call me RoboCop”

  1. Andrea April 29, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    That’s so funny!!!! i laughed so much when my mom told me but your version of it is better!

    • honduranhiatus April 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      🙂 I don’t think I’m going to be invited to play again!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. One year later… | Honduran hiatus - June 11, 2013

    […] Mayan ruins …written press releases for UNICEF …toured a volcanic island in a mototaxi …nearly sparked an diplomatic incident while playing paintball …visited families living in extreme poverty …traveled to another country for the love of […]

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