Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Go Black Stars!!!!

As I am sitting down to write this email, Ghana and Brazil are about to take to the field for their 2nd Round Match at the World Cup. The reason I am so excited about this game is that Ghanan “Black Stars” are the only African country to qualify for the second round at this year’s tournament and are the overwhelming sentimental favourite for myself many of my friends here in Mozambique. Over the past two weeks I am allowed myself to be carried away with this football mad country. When Cremildo and I were up in Quelimane and Nampula, we closely followed the results and regularly congregated at the local watering holes to take in the action. Many of the store owners in town would leave televisions on in the display window and in some cases there would be up to a hundred people all crowded around to try and get a view of their favourite players.

Football simply unites Africa, providing these countries with an opportunity to show the world that there is more to the “dark continent” then just starvation, disease and war. Football seems to encapsulate the living soul and the eternal optimism of a people focused on a brighter future. Look at how Angola was able to reach the world’s highest tournament only three years after emerging from 22 years of brutal civil conflict where the country was nearly ravaged for all its worth. Or look at how the Ivory Coast was able to broker a ceasefire in their civil hostilities as their country qualified for the championships. Or Ghana, a team nearly everyone picked to finish last in their pool, proudly displaying that they can compete quite effectively on the world stage, even disposing of the USA and the Czech Republic along the way!!

The Great Pele was convinced that an African team would win the world cup by the start of the 21st century…so here’s to Ghana in their bid to carry out that bold prediction and satisfy the hopes and dreams of an entire continent. It’s not just pride on the line here but a heavy dose of respect and defeating the mighty Brazilians, although a tremendous feat indeed, would provide a monumental boost to not only this West African country but the continent as a whole.

As for me, I am pounding away at my computer back here in Maputo after a fantastic week and a half in the field. There is much to do in the next few days as I anxiously look towards my two week holiday back home in Canada. If any one would like anything special from Mozambique, I guess now would be the time to ask for it!!

10 Comments:

Blogger Big Roddy said...

JARED!
I'm looking forward to you comin' home amigo! Wait 'till you hear what the band has been up to when you get to Folk Fest!
As for bringing stuff back, is there a chance that you'd be able to bring back a carved mask of some sort?
One week!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Penner, I would like some sand from the Bazaruto Archipelago... it's always been a dream!

12:13 AM  
Blogger jfunk said...

OOohhh! I have a colelction of sand so make that two please!!! And I never got my postcard so I guess I'll have to wait till you get back. :(

9:22 AM  
Blogger Elise said...

you saw portugal - holland? :S

yuuccchhh...

2:16 PM  
Blogger jpmozambique said...

Hey guys,

Rod i can do the mask no problem...Sean and Jen, haven't actually made it out to Bazaruto yet but will sand from Ilha de Mocambique be an acceptable substitute?

Elise, that game was a disgrace. I am very excited however to see England-Portugal on Saturday, should be a fantastic match. Mas, sem duvidas, Inglaterra vai ganhar!!

1:44 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

I don't know exactly how serious I was - so I'll go ahead and day not to worry about the sand. Maybe bring me a servant back home - that'd be nice. That or a touch of the local brew or spirit. Thanks dude - see you on the 4th!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Strange...when I came home, my friend Matt asked for a servant. I brought him a mask. He seemed ok with the trade off!

11:26 PM  
Blogger Elise said...

ahahahha, a inglaterra perdeu.

lame game, i know, but we won.

now we will play with the frogs. :p

wish us luck!

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Matthew said...

Jared,

Hopefully you are sitting back and relaxing at the folk festival back home.

Wanted to check that the absurd claim that you made last sunday night - "After last night, I am never ever going to Mundos again... for as long as I'm in Mozambique" - was the beer talking and that you don't actually hate Mundo's. How can you hate a place that has taken so much of your money, and given so little in return apart from the overpriced food, the lousey service and the throngs of local ladies throwing themselves at your tall white-man body... Surely you will be back for more. It must only be a matter of visits till you get your first "Mr Penner, there is a call for you at the bar on line 1" (then you might have grounds for not going again).

Missing you here buddy. Had an awesome Inidian feast last night at Mario's cooked by none other than Dan. Despite everything else about him that would suggest otherwise (not least being English), the guy can sure whip up a mean chicken curry.

See when you are back in town.

4:12 AM  
Blogger jpmozambique said...

hey matt,

yeah i'm sure my bold mundo's claim will fall apart within the first week that i am back in maputo. glad to hear all is well back in moz and get that dan to start preparing my "welcome home" meal (ha ha!!).

Cheers
Jp

1:43 PM  

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