Monday, February 11, 2013

We're Famous

Sort of.  Okay, not really.  Let me explain.

Last weekend we went to the AFCON (African Cup of Nations) quarter-final game in Durban.  We purchased our tickets back in October.  We knew we’d have amazing seats by getting our tickets so early, but we had no idea who would be playing in the game.  Luckily, Bafana Bafana, the South African national team, ended up advancing to the very game we had tickets to!

Being in Durban for the Bafana Bafana game was so much fun.  You could feel the excitement throughout the city.  So many people were wearing Bafana Bafana clothing and carrying flags.  Remember vuvuzelas?  Those obnoxiously loud horns that everyone was blowing during the 2012 World Cup?  Well, let’s just say we’ve embraced the awesomeness that is the vuvuzelas.  They were being sold, along with all kinds of gear, on practically every street corner.  We knew we needed to look the part for the game, so we went to a market to buy knockoff jerseys.  Our friend, who is a great bargainer, negotiated the man down to R50 (about $6.50) per bright yellow jersey.  We knew that matching yellow jerseys were not going to be enough though.  We had a goal:  we wanted to be on tv!

We were on a mission.  We purchased large paper and numerous colored markers.  We knew the best way of ensuring fame was to have amazing posters.  After much discussion, we decided on “USA Loves [big red heart] Bafana Bafana” was the way to go.  Two hours later (I’m really not sure why it took us so long to make four signs) we were ready to go.

While walking to the stadium in our matching yellow shirts, we purchased a few South African flags and a couple of vuvuzelas.  We figured the more fan gear the better.  Needless to say, we started to attract a fair amount of attention.  Watching people take our photo and listening to drivers honk their horns, we just knew our plan was going to work.  When we stopped in front of the stadium to take our own group photo, a bunch of random fans jumped in.

We finally reached the stadium, but our work was just beginning.  We first had to identify the cameramen.  We then spent some time practicing our poses and smiles.  Throughout the entire game, we’d all stand up, hold our signs and smile whenever we saw a cameraman turn to take a crowd shot.  Finally, during the break before penalty shots, we saw one of the cameramen slowly turn his camera in our direction.  This was it.  It was our time to shine.  We stood up, held our signs high and cheered with all our might.  Sure enough, our cell phones soon started beeping.  People had just seen us on tv!  Fellow volunteers saw us, South African co-workers saw us, and even some of our learners (the few with televisions) saw us.  We were superstars!

P.S. The game itself was a lot of fun.  South Africa played Mali, and the score was 1-1 at the end of regulation.  Neither team scored in overtime, and South Africa unfortunately ended up losing during penalties.  Our 15 minutes (ok, seconds) of fame was more interesting than details about the game though, right? 


  1. Your blog is great. My wife and I were PCVs at Mountain View (SA15)in 2006-2008. We hadn't gotten much information on the happening in Ngwelu for sometime. Today we received an email from Musa who mentioned two PCVs at the school. I Googled and found your blog. I have been reading all morning. Much is the same and much is different from our times at Mountain View.

    Brendon Bond

  2. Hark two birds in the bush,
    Brendon and I had a fabulous (sometimes challenging) as PCV volunteers at Mountain View Hospital from Sept. 2006 to June 2008. What a gorgeous, beautiful place with sweet, artistic, and talented Zulus. We would love to connect with+ you as I believe that we had many of the same experiences and also we truly had a wonderful life changing experience. We would love to meet with you and talk about the improvements at the hospital and also the improvements in the HIV story in SA. Please let us know where we are. Our home is in LA but we are in Cincinnati for this year to help our son with a new baby. I thank Musa for sending the email today. My email is susbond@gmail, facebook Susbond