Thursday, 19 August 2010
The World Cup in South Africa was something I had been looking forward to ever since I started working at CCF in 2008. Being able to share in the enjoyment of the world’s greatest sporting event with Africans in Africa was going to be great!
As I said in my previous blog I found myself in Windhoek at Joe’s Beer House having dinner with three Americans on the night of England’s opening game against the USA. Unfortunately our table was not in view of a TV screen so I spent my time darting back and forth checking on the score - when I found that Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard had put England ahead I was of course extremely happy and expected more to come. However, when I returned to see the score at 1-1 I was perplexed, only to be told by some American fans that our goal keeper had basically thrown the ball in the back of the net.......unbelievable! So of course my American colleagues had great fun giving me stick, after all, as one US paper proclaimed: ‘USA win 1-1!!’
But no worries the next game was against Alegeria, a team we were bound to thrash out of sight and really kick start our World Cup. So back at CCF on the night of the game I was joined by not only CCF staff and volunteers but also members of the International Conservation course that was being held at CCF, it was a packed house and I made sure everyone was routing for the mighty England by handing out England flags and party horns. The national anthem played and the game got under way amidst a fantastic atmosphere in the CCF common room!
But what followed was one the worst football games I have EVER seen, a totally abysmal 0-0 draw. Needless to say it was a HUGE anti-climax and I had to humbly apologize to everyone on my country’s behalf.
When I was not watching my countrymen play like a bunch of girls my attention was switched to the African teams and there were big turnouts in the common room to watch the Hosts South Africa’s games and there was a lot of excitement when they almost pulled of a miracle and qualify for the next round. One thing that became a curse of this world cup was the emergence of the vuvuzela, quite possibly the most affective torture device ever created, especially when people don't now how to blow it properly like one of our staff members Joe who sounded more like a moose suffering a very slow and painful death. Sadly for Joe his beloved vuvuzela mysteriously disappeared - I have absolutely no idea what happened to it...........
Some Americans commandeered the common room to watch the next USA game so I ended up watching England’s glorious annihilation of Serbia 1-0 at Englehardt’s house (the very Englehardt I battled to get a half drum from), the price for watching the game at his house? why some of my Hunters Gold cider of course!
So the next round saw England up against Germany, and in footballing terms for us english it really doesn’t get any bigger than that. In the week leading up to the game I showed my support by kitting out our feeding car with England flags and playing english footie songs loud and proud. The day of the game came and it was time to don the Queen’s attire once more, this time however it was complete with face paint, I looked pretty damned good :)
But as you now know, it would be the last time I would sing the national anthem. A mixture of our players again playing like a bunch of girls, a dodgy Uruguayan referee and a linesman who seemed to have forgotten that when the ball crosses two feet over the line that actually means you award a goal saw us going home..............it was not a good day!!!
So all of us at CCF (bar the one German) joined the rest of Africa and put their support behind Ghana but it was more heartache as the dirty, cheating Uruguayans hand balled their way into the semis. Thankfully justice was done and both Uruguay and Germany failed to make the final, which in the end also turned into a bit of an anti-climax and was probably the most boring final ever, but at least I got to see Fernado Torres holding the world cup whilst draped in the scarf of Liverpool!
Most of us were sad to see the tournament come to an end and the four year wait till the next one begins. It makes me wonder where in the world I’ll be watching. Where ever I’l be a few things will be certain - I’l be fully supporting the Three Lions, football WILL come home one day! I’ll still know the dance routine to Shakira’s Waka Waka and if anyone brings out a vuvuzela I will shove it down their throats!!
Posted by Matt Cleverley at 05:39
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Very sadly time ran out this week (old age and cancer) for our elderly retired livestock guarding dog Tyger, who I have helped look after for the two years I've been here. Tyger's condition went down hill very quickly last week and when she was unable to stand up on her own all of us at Boskop knew we had to say goodbye.
Tyger was one of the sweetest dogs you could ever meet and just loved attention. She would always follow Kate around the house when she had a day off, so much so that Kate would have to let her lie in the bathroom when she took a shower. Myself and Kate were particularly guilty of spoiling the old girl and would often let her sleep on the sofa, but when Tyger started to loose bladder control we had to put chairs up to stop her from jumping up. However, Tyger was often very determined and we would regularly find out that she had outsmarted us :)
She was a CCF dog but we loved her like our own pet and we will miss her greatly. Whenever I will look back at my time at CCF living at Boskop I will always think of her.
Posted by Matt Cleverley at 09:45