For our ninth orphanage we were carried away by the maelstrom of World Cup madness!
Our days here in South Africa have been vying to top each other in terms of amazing synchronicity, chance and laughter.
FootBallSmiles has definitely taken on a life of it’s own and we are simply active participants guided by our initial outline, the details happening incredibly out of our hands.
As our childhood pact was to see the World Cup in Africa, we also have to find ways to get to see the games and finding tickets is an adventure in itself. In our search, Jordi met David, a crazy adventurer from Zaragoza who set out alone without a single ticket and no English language skills at all. Through his contact with Manolo, Spain’s fan number 1, we went to the press hotel and Manolo graciously met us, but, had no tickets. As I have some friends on the Swiss team, I left Jordi and David there and went to pick up our tickets thanks to Pirmin Schwegler at the Swiss Team hotel.
When I returned, I found Jordi deep in conversation with Fifa television who wanted to follow us to the next orphanage. Cool!
There was only one problem, we had not yet found one!
In each town, after securing cheap lodging we set about searching for nearby orphanages, (to save on transport costs), contacting them, asking what they might need other than balls, if there are any girls, how many there are, etc…
All of our efforts until then had not given any fruit…but, we still had a day to find one before heading to Soweto.
The next afternoon, we still had nothing, then, Ben, the Fifa guy, told us he had found one that we could go to the next morning…Perfect!
We went about as usual, the only difference being that instead of being just the two of us there was a whole crew, even David wanting to be part of it.
After a beautiful morning with the orphans of St. Thomas in Durban, a wonderfully peaceful place well-run for over 50 years, we returned to our backpacker lodge and began assimilating what we had experienced…a mix of hope, smiles, love and sadness… How can we do more?
The Fifa report turned out to be a few minutes long, although we have not seen it, we do know that it has been broadcast on Swiss television…funny that I have spent so many years in Switzerland and that is exactly where it has been seen!
Lodging in Johannesburg has proved to be a stumbling block. So many games are played here, the prices have sky-rocketed. The first few days we had little choice but to pay, but, this time, the place we had originally stayed at was fully booked.
Through a friend of a friend of a friend of Jordi’s from Sant Joan, we managed to find a place with a family just near Soweto, our next mission. This is proving to be one of those serendipitous situations that reveal much more than initially imagined.
Thanks to the help of Connie and the Tsita family, we were taken to Bethesda, a super centre in Soweto, have been helped with a video and can bring to life a song donated by our friend Dereck…It is all Magic! As papa Joseph would say.
Our good friend Gareth, who helped us so much during our first stay in Johannesburg is still with us, learning about football and always wondering what new adventure we have in store for him!
FootBallSmiles is a constantly changing, smiling team!
This Saturday, June 26th, we have an appointment to play football in Soweto at the next door centre (for older kids), with 120 kids, Ash Tsita and his friends will make music and we will even have Rudzani filming…promises to be a fantastic FBS event, once again thanks to a lot of help from a few friends!
FootBallSmiles…When the children play!
Today is Sant Joan, the patron saint of our little village on Ibiza and we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you so much for all the support and,
May you all be like children and smile as you jump over the fires!