Sunday, June 27, 2010

U.S. Blues

I was down in the dumps this morning in the wake of Team USA's loss to Ghana, and quick exit from the round of 16. No more Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of a match in this World Cup. (As I write this, the future of Mexico's anthem is also looking pretty grim.)

But our team did give us some great moments, and Landon Donovan has earned his place in U.S. soccer history with three electrifying goals.

My disappointment was put into perspective this morning when we took a boat ride to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Our tour was conducted by a former political prisoner who frankly shared his experiences, from the brutal punishments inflicted by the guards for the slightest infractions, to the attempt to blow up a fuel depot that led to his arrest by the apartheid government.

Prisoners were forced to break rocks with picks and shovels in a limestone pit for 12 hours a day, only for the sake of demoralizing the men because the rock wasn't even used.

As disheartening as it was to learn about this sad period in South Africa's history, I felt some comfort that the island is now a museum, less than 20 years after the last political prisoners were released.

In the afternoon, we took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and drank in the spectacular views of Cape Town, Greenpoint Stadium and the sparkling blue Atlantic.

I can't wait for Tuesday, when we will return to the stadium for the round of 16 matchup of Spain and Portugal.


  1. Excellent updates. I watched some of that game and it would have been a blast to see you guys in the crowd.
    Those horns are just too much aren't they!
    Keep those pictures coming!!!

  2. Love your blog. The vuvuzelas are awful. They should be banned. Singing would be more harmonious and stirring I believe.