Friday, October 9, 2009

The World Cup

The President declared Wednesday a half holiday (afternoon off) because the World Cup was in the Gambia.  Not the games, just the cup.  We went to the national stadium (with about 5,000 Gambians) to see it.  We were there almost four hours.  There was singing and dancing and musical performers.  The entire army was there, complete with machine guns.  I believe that every child in the greater Banjul area was in attendance.  There were women selling peanuts and orange flavored ice cream in plastic bags.  After about three hours, the president arrived with the cup.  His entourage drove around the track twice, throwing boxes of biscuits into the crowds.  There was a whole group of people running after him.  Many of them passed out, as it was over 100 degrees.  And then, just as the president was about to make his speech and present the cup, a gigantic storm blew in.  Everyone left quickly.  It was so windy, you could barely open your eyes.  I was covered in dirt and trash picked up by the wind.  And it dropped like forty degrees in a matter of minutes.  Just another typical day in West Africa.

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