Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Update

Hey everyone. Below is another well-written update from Josh on the adventures that took place on Tuesday. I apologize it is taking me a bit longer to post these but coach insists on us putting in some video of the day so everyone at home can get a chance to see what we did (video will be posted as soon as it finishes downloading which might not be until morning). Be sure to check out the great photos Charlie took and keep writing comments! We read and appreciate them. Thanks,

Another long, long, hot day in Cape Town, South Africa. The morning went by slowly. The F&M brigade boarded the buses at 8:30 this morning, expecting a two-hour drive along the most southwestern coast of the African continent. Our adventure was not a straight shot to our destination at the Cape of Good Hope, as we stopped at several photo-ops along Capeman’s Peak, which is the historic long, mountainside winding traffic trail that passes through Table Mountain National Park, acting as a mini safari at times, witnessing baboons, ostriches, and gazelles, and at other times, a frightening, driving escapade that caused our caravan of buses to skim the edges of tight-turning curves and, although remodeled, extremely narrow roads. Looking down, always to our right, we witnessed some of Earth’s most extravagant works of art, deep gullies that flowed greenly over ridges into white sandy beaches, and finally into the blue holographic-looking depths of the Atlantic Ocean, backgrounded by more towering and overpowering, but still very intricately sculptured mountains.

When we finally arrived at the most southwestern tip of Africa, our tour guide, Abraham, warned us of wearing backpacks, in fear of baboon attacks. Of course, Geoff “Iceman” Dreher emptied his backpack and brought it out, in hope that he would be attacked, so that he could show-off his “wolverine-like” strength in fighting off the monkeys. No monkeys to fight off, but everyone captured unbelieveable pictures of divine eloquence. Oh, and all the while at the Cape of Good Hope, the bordering ocean area is known as one of the most populous areas of Great White Sharks that prey on seals surrounding the beach tips. Then, we rushed out of the park, heading to see the penguins. A short walk to the beach and a retreat to the buses set us in a hurry for our second day of Grassroots Soccer Camp at the Ikhusi Primary School in Khayelitsha Township.

The school was located in a drastically worse part of the township, Baphumelele, than our camp from the day prior. Again, as we did Monday, children dangerously surrounded the bus, no nerves this time, high-fiving us just the same. We entered the school grounds, walked past a graffitied basketball court and a gospel-sounding chorus room, reintroduced myself to Ethan Zohn, ducked away from the camera crew, and stepped onto what they called a “field,” but what I would naturally refer to as a sandbox with rocks, dirt, wood-chips, trash, and the occasional patch of grass, which altogether, padded the balls of shoeless and sockless footed soccer. This yard very close to where the Chris Campbell Memorial Complex will be built; a turf field, two futsol courts, and club box with full lighting. VuVu gave me a hug and a friend not mentioned in my yesterday’s post, Laterri, reintroduced himself to me and talked to me for awhile about my game-play against Ajax Cape Town (he came to watch); he asked me to try to find him a pair size 9 puma cleats (ugh, I really wish I could just hand him one of the pairs we brought over, maybe Coach will let me). I was immediately dragged into a circle of children, accompanied by Eric Corsini, Jake Gantz, and Neil Siegrist. We watched a boy named, Cissé, engage in a freestyle and acapella rap, what seemed like a battle or maybe just a song, with three other kids. Cissé followed me for a while. We played, essentially, a more complicated form of tag, and some heading and catching games. VuVu taught me the meanings of some Xoza (with a “click” in the pronunciation) words and phrases, so I could repeat them to the children. Time went really quickly. A crowd of children paraded us out again, following us down the road to Site B Field to play the Khayelitsha All-Stars.

Site B had the entire Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles in the background. The field itself was a bombshell, rocks, dirt, sand, no grass, or patches of two-foot grass, and regular septic tank holes. I started the game unexpectedly. The opposition was extremely talented, and had Brazilian-like soccer organization tactics. They scored first and second. Brian Homer-Gunther almost capitalized, and Matt McCall’s goal was called off-sides. The end result was 2-0. Yes, the game was in itself an experience, but the real experience dealt with the children parading our sideline, our half time talk, and our post game jersey exchange with the players. About twenty to thirty children sat on the laps of bench players, touched our muscles, equipment (shin guards, socks, and boots), and hair. Giuseppe Bua and Dan Shuptar spent the entire game arm wrestling and talking in funny accents to the kids. Brian Fisher, Dani Levi, Geoff Dreher, and I found ourselves jokingly tackling kids, picking them up and spinning them around on our shoulders, or in Fish’s case, his neck.

Back in the bus, Coach decided that we would shower before dinner, and then everyone had an independent night out at Mariner’s Wharf. I need to go to bed. The days are getting more and more difficult with less and less sleep. Another beautiful day. Night.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,
This blog is the coolest thing... literally, I check it religiously and always look forward to hearing the awesome, detailed descriptions and looking at the amazing pictures and videos. It looks like you are all having the most incredible time and I am living vicariously through you. Can't wait to read more every day and then hear more about your trip in person when we all get back to school.
-Laura Rolfe

March 18, 2008 at 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so impressed with the detailed account of the day's events! Can't wait to read more!
-Jann and Lauren Corday

March 19, 2008 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Coach Epps said...

Good morning,

Thank you for your fabulous postings! Your efforts are so appreciated.

Love and safe travels - with hugs to your glorious , smiling fans! We are so proud of you!

Warmest wishes,
Coach Epps

March 19, 2008 at 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Lane Corday on Friday March 20th...
Hope everyone can sing Happy Birthday to you...
Enjoy your day.
Hugs and smiles,
Jann, Lauren and Frank

March 19, 2008 at 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you guys are doing there is absolutely amazing. I cannot say how impressed I am with you all. Eagerly anticipating more updates!!!

March 19, 2008 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Tami Lantz said...

Could not wait to get in to the blog this morning to see the incredible pictures. Josh - your writing is so impressive.

Thanks to all of you for making us back here at home feel like we are right along side you.

Blessings to you all. Enjoy another day with your adoring fans!


March 19, 2008 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Dr. D said...

Hi Folks!
Great job. Sounds like you are all having the time of your life. Way to go.
We're so proud of you!

March 19, 2008 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks again for another great post. i can almost envision everything you guys are experiencing... which really brightens my relatively dull break. cant wait for the next post!
-amy amato

March 19, 2008 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an incredable experience your team is having. The children of the towns you visit are so lucky to share all of your warmth, skill and care for others. You all should be very proud.
We look forward to reading more about your trip. Happy Birthday Lane!
-Sandy and Dan Levy
Brandon Corday's aunt and uncle

March 19, 2008 at 11:23 PM  

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