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A German, an American, a Zimbabwean, an Australian and a South African Get Into a Car...

Sound like a joke? Well it's not. We were an anthropologist, a soccer captain, a programmer, a sociologist and a social entrepreneur, and we were on our way to go and watch the opening game of the soccer world cup on a SolarWorld solar TV, several kilometres from the South African ESKOM grid (Lutz Scharf, Micah Rose, Susan Hansen, Rick Strickland and Ron Wertlen). SolarWorld had chosen the installation sites in early Summer and so the cold and unseasonal rain that met us as we turned off the N2 to head down to Nkwalini meant that the outdoor TV set could not be used. It also meant that the soccer training camp was curtailed due to the short daylight hours, something that the American planners had not counted on.

Still the soccer camp which included watching World Cup games on TV and practical exercises on the fields of Nkwalini (as bumpy as they are), brought some new insights about the game to the community and strengthened the bonds between visitors and community members.

It is my hope that we'll be able to get funding for a solar powered soccer field for a sport school or academy at Nkwalini. This is something that the community members can see immediate value in, and which could in an environmentally friendly manner lengthen activities in Winter (in particular) in a community which does not have much else and which is very passionate about soccer. This is something I have noticed during my time in the community and also on the that icy cold afternoon of the 11th of June 2010 in a dark community hall, when 300 community members (with only 2 Vuvzelas) cheered on the Bafana Bafana, in a gripping opening game.

Posted: July 27th 2010 08:11

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Ron Wertlen Ron Wertlen
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