My Home away from Home

Janae Gonzalez is a member of the 2014 U17 Women’s Mexican National Team as well as a reporter for The Vista Voice. While out of the country for competitions, Gonzalez will contribute weekly updates on her experiences abroad.

Day 1 of 3 1/2 week camp in preparation of the u17 Womens World Cup

Day 1 of 3 1/2 week camp in preparation of the u17 Women’s World Cup

Have you ever imagined living in a completely different environment? Not just like going on a vacation, but going to a new place with different people, customs and food, and living there? I feel like I have two homes — one in Folsom, Calif, and the other in Mexico City, Mexico.

My immediate family and school are in Folsom, but my second family and dreams are in Mexico. My second family is my soccer team — specifically, the U17 Women’s Mexican National Team — and my dream is to represent Mexico in the U17 World Cup, as well as further down the road. To conquer my dreams I feel as if my whole life shifted. New friends, a new place to sleep, getting used to different types of foods, being in a different time zone, and not only being a student-athlete, but an independent study student. A lot of my friends say that I’m “lucky” because I don’t have to attend school, but I would choose school over teaching myself any day.

I am currently at a 3 ½ week camp in Mexico at a facility called CAR (this is where all Mexican National Soccer Teams train).  At the end of the camp, cuts will be made and the final team will immediately travel to Costa Rica to represent Mexico in the 2014 U17 Women’s World Cup.

Whenever someone asks me, “How is it going in Mexico?” I usually reply with “Good” or “Really good” because it is hard for me to put into words everything that I feel. I have put in so much time, hard work and faith to be where I am, and I have never been happier. I can’t explain to anyone what it means to me or how I feel when I put on that green jersey, but “good” is good enough for me.