waka waka ¡eh! ¡eh! ¡esto es áfrica!

In a follow-up to our last post, World Cup fever continues around the world and throughout our WorldTeach programs. Heather Tang, WorldTeach Chile volunteer, shares the excitement from her site in Quilpué.

La Copa Mundial Sudafrica 2010 has begun!  The Cup, arguably the most important tournament in the world, is the one time every four years that every country stops for the love of one thing:  soccer.  We all know not too many people in the US would say that soccer is their sport of choice to watch, but I think most can agree that when an international event with the magnitude of the World Cup takes place, there is certainly a buzz of electricity in the air.  Now take that buzz and multiply it into a lightning storm during the Kansas tornado season and you've got the electricity in the air here in Chile.  As someone who loves sports in general and actually enjoys watching soccer games, I can't explain how happy I am to be in a country that really cares about the sport (fútbol as they say here) and how exciting it will be to watch games with the passionate locals.  You can't go anywhere without seeing an ad, hearing the Shakira song or someone yelling, "Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le! Viva Chile!!!"  I don't watch much TV, but from what I've heard and have seen, pretty much every commercial and show has some kind of soccer related theme.  My students are running around the school with their 2010 Official Chile World Cup Sticker Books, and if there is one thing that keeps them semi-tame, it's crowding around the book and discussing each player's stats and how many goals "Chupete" will score.

Fellow volunteer Annamarie from South Africa and I were grabbing empanadas after Bikram yoga in Viña last night and the man at the cash register asked where we were from.  When she replied, his eyes looked like they were going to pop out of their sockets and with a huge smile, he yelled, "Sudafrica??  Sudafrica!  Johannesburgo es una ciudad hermosa!  Te gusta fútbol??" so that everyone in the shop turned and looked at us.  She's going to be pretty popular this month.

Chile will be playing their first game next Wednesday, June 16, against Honduras.  So the entire country will be at a standstill during the match.  No, I'm not kidding.  The government sent a memo to all the schools mandating that the students MUST be able to watch when Chile plays.  So next Wednesday and every game after, they aren't required to be in school until 10AM after the match ends and those who have to come on time will be able to watch on the TV in the lunchroom.  Many businesses are doing the same.  I, myself, will be cheering for Chile as well as the US, of course, and am super emocionada (excited) to watch the USA-England game on Saturday!

One of my 5th graders asked me who I was cheering for in the tournament.  I told him US and Chile and so he drew this for me before the end of class. :)

And now the Spanish version of the Waka Waka...! Don't forget to submit your own!

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