Sunday, March 27, 2011

Botswana (tries to) gets excited!

Recently, A called Botswana "JV," as in, not Varsity. This has become our favorite way to describe the way things work here.


Yesterday was the biggest soccer game in Botswana's national team the Zebra's history. If they won this game against Chad (apparently they spell it "Tchad" in Chad??), they would for the first time be eligible to play in the Africa Cup.

So naturally nobody knew what time the game started.

There not being any sort of website we could turn to (including FIFA, which seemed equally baffled), we called D, a driver for Penn and soccer buff, who seems to be plugged in to the underground networks that determine soccer schedules. He said it started at 6pm.

With that in mind, we headed for a nearby village called Manyana, where there are some 2,000-year-old cave paintings of giraffes and other animals (photos coming). We joked with our guide that we hoped he got off work in time for the game at six. Not 6, he said. The game was at 4.

On the way home, we stopped at this weird amusement park-resort place (definitely merits its own post) and asked the people working there. 3 or 3:30, they said.

So we started texting. Our Motswana friend R said actually the game was at 5. But our American friend R said no, the game was on RIGHT NOW.

Other people variously suggested 4:30, 5:30, and that the game that was on right now was a re-run of the last time Botswana played Chad.

We finally decided the game started at 4:30 and headed to a bar to watch it. It started at 5.

The feed was direct from Chad, the broadcast was in French and they mispelled Botswana as "Bostwana," and when not skipping and stalling, the video was almost too blurry to follow. There were also no replays, not even when Botswana scored the only goal and the camera missed it. I guess Chad has bigger problems.

But we won and there was an impromptu dance party at the bar, and that's all that matters.