RESPECT, EMPATHY, INCLUSION

World Cup – View from Rwanda

(Stephanie is a guest blogger from Occidental College -class of 2011. – in Rwanda for a month) 

June 17th,  2010
Although I am not in South Africa, the spirit of the World Cup is
strongly felt here in Rwanda. Even in the mornings when I run, I often hear either “Waving Flag”, the World Cup anthem or the sound of a vuvuzela horns.

It’s amazing to see the support that Rwandans show for
their fellow African teams. Everyone here is so happy that a World Cup is finally being held in Africa. I do not think that any continent has as much unity or support for each other in the World Cup than Africa does. The enthusiasm is simply amazing!

We went to Amahoro Stadium, Rwanda’s national stadium to watch Côte d’Ivoire vs. Portugal on the big screen. It was much more exciting to watch with other people and feel the energy of the stadium than watching from a TV. We even sat behind Rwanda’s Minister of Sports & Culture! In contrast, we also went back to the stadium to watch South Africa vs. Uruguay.

Since it was a night game they had set up two big
screens on the lawn outside of the stadium instead of inside, for
better security. During half time MTN had a DJ and gave out hats to people who could answer their questions right.

Yet the mood that night was still as the audience watched in pain as Uruguay scored three goals against South Africa. Although people say it is unlikely, I hope an African team makes it to the final rounds of the World Cup!

Africa seems to want to win more than any other continent and if the competition was based on fan support, an African team would surely win.

Stephanie

Thanks for this blog Stephanie!

 

If the Stadium seats could talk…

Oh yes! What a passion for soccer, or "football" as they call it in Rwanda and so many other places. As you talk about Amahoro stadium being packed with soccer fans I can't help but contrast that scene with the one 16years ago when it was packed with people fearing for their lives, for the lives of their children while a few UN soldiers were courageously risking their lives to protect them … what a different day it is in Rwanda now!  I was there last year in April and will never forget the 20,000 voicese  singing Amazing Grace.  The  playing field was lit up with candles spelling "HOPE" in English, French, and Kinyarwanda,  honoring those lost during the genocide.  So many powerful scenes, imagine if the stadium seats could tell the stories of the history they have witnessed.  – Carl

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