I woke up this morning to the rain gushing down. It sounded like someone had turned the faucet on in full, and I was slightly confused because it was still sunny. It’s Sunday…you can hear the whole village singing at church. It’s nice to wake up to. Last year when I stayed with the Computers for Uganda team at Bukalasa Seminary we heard bells and singing every morning.
Anyway, on to the football game that happened yesterday…
So John, Teep, Alissa, Brenda, Ronnie, and I all piled into John’s car and headed off to the Ugandan Parliament building to catch a convoy that would take us straight to the Mandela National Stadium. All of the Parliament members, ministers, and their friends were invited as VIPs to attend the football match between Uganda and Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently the best team in Africa. Their coach is the same coach who coached the German team to victory at the World Cup, so everyone was pretty intimidated by this guy and his team.
When the teams got onto the field, you could definitely tell the difference between the plays. Nigeria’s team members were all much larger and muscular than Uganda.
The kickoff came and for most of the first half, the teams were pretty much head to head. The stadium crowd was yelling at the top of their lungs. Uganda’s fans had these little yellow MTN horns (MTN is the largest phone company in Uganda…think giant, eh, monopoly) and they were all making quite a racket. Nigeria’s fans (huddled together in a small section) kept a constant drum beat going for their players.
Then Nigeria scored. The Ugandan crowd cringed. It was over…they knew it. The stadium, though not completely silent, stood still (except for the Nigerian section).
The first half ended. All of us were afraid what the second half would bring, but we still clung to a bit of hope.
The second half started out pretty rough. For several times it looked like Nigeria was going to get another goal. The players looked tired, disappointed…their enthusiasm was gone.
Then Uganda got a penalty kick at the goal. 1:1
Then they got another kick. 2:1
The stadium was roaring. I could not hear a single thing outside of total deafening noise. We did it. We can win this game now!
Uganda was back in full swing. The players were alert and ready for anything. Nigeria came back at them with full force. They attempted several goals, but Uganda fought back. They kept their lead.
The final minutes came. Nigeria fought back harder than ever. But Uganda was equally resistant. They wanted to win. They were thirsty for a chance at the World Cup.
Then the game ended. The crowd went absolutely insane. People, thousands of them, swarmed the field. Dancing, singing, crying. It was a win for their country.
Then we got out of there, fast. We jumped into the car, but by the time Ronnie had pulled out of the parking space, the traffic jam had turned into a giant traffic mob, and we lost all hope of catching the convoy back to the Parliament.
I wish I had brought my camera to this…ah, I wont forget it again. It’s quite difficult to describe what I saw…but I can say this: Football makes men crazy and silly.
We got out of the giant traffic jam (New York, you’ve got nothing on this) and made our way back to the heart of Kampala. It was all incredible. Absolutely incredible.