Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Lets Play Ball

(Barefootball Number W23272)
(Our Max and my ball)

I haven't been inspired to cook the past few days. Instead we spent a gourmet birthday party weekend with friends in Riebeek-Kasteel, and then on the way home stopped off in Blouberg for an impromptu Boerewors Roll Sunday at my parent's home. Another one of my favourite sunny-in-the-middle-of-winter days where the pleasure is enhanced by the presence of a tired-from-running-on-the-beach dog and the gloriously happy giggling of my 2-year old niece Mia, and the soft-snuffling of my newborn namesake nephew Sam. So apologies for no learning-to-cook or trying-to-get-thin updates... But I have found two things well worth shopping for and found them to be marginally better than a cheese toastie...
My mom and I spent the day together yesterday looking for jeans that fit well ( Yay for Woolworths Magic Jeans which promise to flatten the tummy by up to 3cm... I know I know, but every bit helps) and drinking coffee.
Anyway, while at the Woolies cafe, (Decaf skinny latte with an artistic and well-executed heart on the milky foam) I noticed the barefootball.
Now I am completely inspired by the World Cup and I have apologized profusely to the universe for having doubted that South Africa could host something on this scale, and yes I was afraid of the influx of football hooligans, and the potential for an escalation in crime, and the traffic issues, and the hiked restaurant prices, and the parking problems and blah blah blah blah blah. None of which seems to have been a problem, instead I have seen my country through the eyes of foreigners and am extremely proud to be an African. I have walked the Fan Walk, attended the Holland -Cameroon game, spoken football to strangers, learned about hand balls, and generally got into the spirit of things. WITHOUT having bought or blown a single vuvuzela! Now, I really don't have a problem with the African Horn, I just don't want to blow or own one. What I would like is one of those crazily elaborate headgear as worn by South African soccer fans, but I've not been able to find one within my budget. What I have found is the barefootball, made from recycled material and selling for R50, which I think is the perfect reminder of the 2010 World Cup. Created from waste material and made by by crafters in the disadvantaged communities, these balls embody all the best of African ingenuity and creativity. All profits from sales of these balls are put back into the project and the community. They are no gimmick, or FIFA approved souvenir, they are replicas of hundreds of thousands of soccer balls made by hand and whatever waste material can be found throughout Africa by impoverished people wanting to play ball. As I drive along the N2, I am always humbled and moved by the children playing along the side of the highway playing on makeshift fields with makeshift goals and whatever can pass for a ball. Along the N2 sweaty soccer excitement and joy and laughter battle against and temporarily drive away sadness and hopelessness. It's all about the ball...

Buy yours at Vida e Caffe or at the Woolworths W Cafe's.

PS. Ali, would you like me to buy a couple for Dr Du Toit's study in Glasgow?

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