June 17, 2010

Soccer & South Africa

Last Saturday, we attended a USA Watch Party at Chandy and Tammy's house. I always love seeing their smiley faces and it was awesome to have a throwback party to the days of the 2002 World Cup. Back then we would wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the underdog US team miraculously make it to the quarterfinals as we happily munched on junk food. Those were the days.

Unfortunately, I've barely been able to keep up with the World Cup hysteria this week. Between beginning my new job, taking the requisite naps after said job, and the lack of cable television in my condo, keeping up has been pretty difficult. My fantasy bracket is also shot - I had Spain winning 4-0. Whoops! I'm seriously considering switching all of my picks for the next round to the underdog and hoping everyone else picks the favorites :)

But I have been able to keep with the blogs of some of my closest childhood friends who are currently in South Africa. They're not there as tourists for the WC (even though they managed to score some tickets!!!) or even studying abroad, but helping out the impoverished. And while we're seeing the beautiful new stadiums and a facade of wealth and prosperity, these girls have been able to witness the poorest of the poor that lay just outside the tourist zones. And the government has been putting more and more money into creating tourist infrastructure as their poor live in shantytowns across the countryside. The rich-poor gap is obviously still a huge problem. My friend, Sarah, wrote a really interesting article about just that, and you can check it out here. Both Michelle's and Sarah's blogs chronicle their experiences this foreign world and provide some insight into what's going on there besides soccer.

And it's officially summer here in Gainesville - the weather forecast says it feels like 105° F. I'm already looking forward to hanging out my the pool with Stacy this afternoon :)

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