Harambee Starlets midfielder Corazone Aquino has said that the coronavirus pandemic has put a different twist to her experience at her new found temporary home in Ourem, an hour’s drive from Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.
The 21-year-old Aquino left Kenya early in January after signing a year-long deal with Portuguese second division side Atletico Ouriense but has been in isolation since the Covid-19 outbreak in March.
“I had just started getting comfortable with the new teammates, and even played my debut match where we lost 2-1 but it was a good experience since I got a chance to get into rhythm with my teammates.
“But because everything in the world is at a stand still, we just need to follow the correct measures to keep ourselves healthy for when we return to the pitch,” said Aquino on phone from Ourem, a municipality with a population of about 50,000.
The Kenyan international midfielder said that the pandemic had forced her to be more disciplined in working out and keeping her body in tune while maintaining social distancing from the rest of the team.
“Lack of training together as a team has obviously pulled me back in terms of staying fit. But I’m glad our coaches send us work out routine videos thrice a week keeping us on toes and also reminding us to maintain our discipline while off the pitch. This is important especially for us who are foreigners and easily get lonely most of the time as we are away from our families and friends during these trying times,” she added.
She said that even before the pandemic, she was already experiences a few challenges that made her a little home sick as a foreigner in the Portuguese speaking nation.
“Aside from the language barrier problem which I’m slowly overcoming by learning to speak Portuguese and also incorporating English in our communication within the team, I’m afraid that the food and weather will take longer to get used to, especially the cold that is unbearable.
“We are now faced with a new challenge of financially sustaining ourselves since we are receiving half of our usual monthly salaries since the team is not making as much money. I am, however, hopeful that things will get better with time.”