Friday, June 11, 2010


So I know I still have some catching up to do on this blog, but I feel compelled to skip ahead to today - the day after the opening ceremony for the World Cup. Kathy and I watched it on television (while we worked on a presentation she has to give to her newest volunteers today). Highlights for me were Vusi Mahlasela (whom I had seen perform live at a free concert in Washington Park in Albany, New York, years ago - and whose sticker I have on my guitar case) and, of course, Shakira (especially the official 2010 World Cup song, “Waka Waka This Time for Africa”, for which she was joined by the local South African group, Freshlyground). I think Kathy best liked "Sign of Victory".

There is no doubt that World Cup fever is taking hold here. Even Kathy bought a South African flag for our new car (we seldom see any other flag flown for World Cup around here), and everywhere we go we see Bafana Bafana's colors: yellow and green. More and more conversations turn around World Cup: who is going to which games; who is watching which games where; and so forth. Kathy and I are even going to the Cameroon versus Japan game in Bloemfontein on Monday. Of the games being played in Bloemfontein, it had the best seats still available when we finally decided to go. I am mostly going because she wants to go, and she is mostly going just because... It should be fun, though, as long as the crowd manages some level of decorum, and the border crossing is not too, too horrendous.

Speaking of which, we got a security warning informing us that our six month passes into South Africa have been rendered invalid by the South African government for the duration of the Cup. This will likely turn a fifteen minute wait at the border into a two to three hour wait at the border. Each way. Just lovely. We also got a security warning yesterday to stay away from the mall today because they will be showing one of the games there - and we are to avoid crowds.

But the most salient aspect of World Cup for me is the vuvuzelas. I have been hearing them in the afternoons for days now, as I sit in our dining room and try to work. But this morning, they started at around 6:00 am. Kannete?!? (Really?!?) I am already looking forward to the peace and quiet that will follow World Cup. Meanwhile, my Monday World Cup adventure with my wife should be grand, and I wish all the best to Bafana Bafana!!

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