Today two of our volunteers are leaving, so last night FMA got together to play a game of Tejo, Colombias national sport.

Lonely Planet describes Tejo as: lawn bowls on steroids, or badminton with hand grenades – a refreshing mix of adrenaline, testosterone and gunpowder. And the proper way of playing, it’s said, involves consuming ludicrous amounts of beer as you go. What could possibly go wrong?”

It is based on a game played by indigenous warriors over 450 years ago, often with the aim of earning the right to marry some spicy maiden from a rival tribe. Today it’s played by throwing dense steel discs into a 1m2 box at the end of the 20m Tejo lane. The box is filled with clay and in the centre are two small triangle paper packets filled with gunpowder. Points are given to the team with the disc closest to the centre of the box and extra points are given if the gunpowder explodes. It is kind of difficult to concentrate on your aim with all the explosions in the other lanes. Personally I’d say it’s like playing bowling, only you can’t roll the ball and you’re in a shooting range without noise cancelling headphones

On the Lonely Planet website they also mention: “But mind your digits when you fish your tejo disc from the clay. Sometimes the gunpowder goes off without warning”

Let’s just say no one told us that last night..! But all fourteen of us kept our fingers intact, so I guess thats what they call a successful game of Tejo!

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