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SOCCER MADNESS

05/09/2010
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As you chug past villages and through settlements on rutted tracks or gravel roads it is not unusual to see a motley crew of aspiring Messis and Ronaldos kick up clouds of dust in hot pursuit of a soccer ball.  If that checkered ball is not available a modified tin can will also do the job.  What passes as a soccer field in these remote desert areas is not a field of well watered cropped lawn, but rudimentarily cleared boulder pitches, or at best, a tract of sand bookmarked by metal posts – with or without a net (it does not matter here as long as it works!) – posing as goal posts.

When in Africa you make a plan.

It thus came as no surprise that just such a plan was made in Puros when clients of Conservancy Safaris just had to watch a must-see Bayern-Mϋnchen game on television.  The TV was there, the satellite dish too – carefully mounted on the tin roof of a hut – but alas no fuel for the generator!  Soccer fever is contagious and faced with such a pressing dilemma, teamwork proved to be invaluable. Co-operation is the name of the game and when Conservancy Safaris came to the rescue with a jerry can of fuel, cables were rerouted and all life in Puros came to a halt and collectively held its breath until at last that little black screen sprang to life.   Passionate cheers and heart-stopping groans bounced off the Puros Mountains as players from another world danced and shimmied with the ball across that flickering screen, egged on by fans thousands upon thousands of kilometers away, in a remote village somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Vuvuzelas were not available, but then again, a kudu horn does the job too!

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