Monday, November 19, 2007

South Africa Loses!

We drove up to Johannesburg last weekend to watch Team America beat Bafana Bafana, South Africa’s national soccer team. The team name means “boys, boys” in Zulu. You can likely guess the meaning of the women’s team name, Banyana Banyana…

South Africa’s supporters came out in full force, but South Africa was not expected to win. Believe it or not, despite getting bounced out of the World Cup in the first round, the U.S. team is actually pretty good.

The U.S. also had some surprise supporters.

The impressive team spirit couldn’t pull the ball into the net for South Africa, though, and the U.S. won 1-0.

The match was the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge, with all proceeds going to benefit the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Because of the spirit of the match, the organizers arranged for several children’s soccer teams to score free tickets. The kids all came in their soccer uniforms (including cleats!) and were very, very excited.

“Who will you root for?” was the common question from people who knew that we were going to the match. That’s Andy in his Bafana Bafana jersey and Kate in her Red Sox shirt (still claiming bragging rights for their World Series win).

These two split as well, she’s in her Bloemfontein Celtics jersey and he’s waving a U.S. flag.

1 comment:

Ilse Billings said...

Hi Kate,

I know I have not been the greatest with writing you and staying in contact. I suppose it is not one of my strengths. Today is Saturday after Thanksgiving and Alphios is coming over to our house for dinner. We are serving ham with green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes and apple sauce. For dessert we have coconut cream pie. I aksed him if there was anything he did not eat but he said that he ate anything. So...I hope that he will enjoy something American. From going through your blog it seems that you and Andy have been having the time of your life. I love looking at your pictures and reading your comments; you always make it so interesting. I am sure that the thought of returning home to the USA must bring about a large variety of feelings. Can't wait to listen to you talk about your experience in person.