This past weekend, I made the trek up to Johannesburg to meet up with some of other Grassroot Soccer interns, and all stay with the interns placed in Joburg. We went to a huge football match against two rival teams based in Johannesburg at Soccer City (the bean-looking stadium that was built for the 2010 World Cup). What an AMAZING weekend! So many memories I will keep with me forever; things that can only happen in Africa, but I’ll try to keep this simple and sweet. I could go on and on.
From Maseru to Joburg is only a 4.5-hour car ride, well, in a normal car. At the office we have half-day Fridays, so Haz and I wanted to leave at 1pm to hopefully get a taxi-bus to Joburg by 3pm. The border is only a 3min car ride from our house, but we didn’t end up having a car to get home until about 3pm. Also, here in Africa, when you want to get on a bus, you have to wait until the bus is completely full to leave—we didn’t end up leaving until 4:45pm—shock! So there I am, second weekend in a row, squished in the back of a van on a trip that took 6 hours!! All I kept thinking was, “I’m never doing this again, I’m never doing this again, I’m never doing this again.” It’s something that only a 22 year-old living in Africa will want to experience, and once is just fine with me. When we finally got to Joburg, I was greeted by the friendly faces of the other interns. I have only hung out with them at our orientation, but it seems like I’ve known them longer. We went out Friday night, and it is like another world. When we were dinner, I was shocked how many white people there were—ha! Going to Johannesburg was like going back to civilization—big city with big freeways, nice restaurants, and cute cafes and shops.
Saturday was the big game. It started at 3pm, so our whole day was pretty much planned around it. We woke up early so the boys could catch the South African rugby game (the World Cup of Rugby is going on), so us girls got to catch up and talk about our experiences over a couple cups of delicious Kenyan coffee. We all bought jerseys on our way to the stadium, chiefs are bright yellow and black so of course I would cheer for the Chiefs! The game was INSANE! We had the best seats right behind the goal, and there are no strict stadium rules so we were able to walk down and stand front row with the cheering section. We were all standing on our seats, and the game was nonstop singing, dancing, and cheering! There were so many of those loud trumpet wazoos going on, my ears were still buzzing after the game! I can’t even begin to explain that experience! It was a once in a lifetime perfect moment surrounded by great friends, a game I love, and an energy by the crowd that makes any other fans around the world seem like you’re watching golf.
The pirates and chiefs play again in March, and there is no doubt that there will be reunion round 2! It’s also a perfect getaway for the weekend if I want to just get away from Maseru, you know, go back to a more Westernized city. Don’t get me wrong, I love Maseru, but there’s nothing like a chicken pesto sandwich with a baguette at a French café with a latte in hand.
We tried to get home on Sunday, but things didn’t really work out, we ended up leaving the next day. We got to the taxi station, and no one else was signed up to go back to Maseru--typical. (Remember that they don’t leave until they have a full car) So they told us that they would leave at 9pm, I’m like “are you kidding? NO!” Every common sense in my body was telling me not to go, I was not going to wait in the taxi/bus station in downtown Joburg after dark. No way. I would take a day off over jeopardizing my safety anyday. So I had a little freakout in my mind at the bus station, thinking I was stranded in Joburg. Luckily, I remembered there was a guy from work picking up an All-Star group at the airport in Joburg to bring them back to Maseru the next day. There happened to be extra room to hop aboard and get a free, comfortable, ride back to Maseru. Everything always seems to work out in the end, and lets just say, next time, I’m renting a car!
Peace, Love, and the African experience!
|Our seats, no big deal|