One thing that I had always wanted to do last time I was in Sierra Leone was to attend a football game at the stadium in town. I did not know how safe it was for expats to go and the opportunity never really presented itself. So, it was just something that I wished I could do but didn't think would ever happen.
My first day back at Mercy Ships I ran in to Vez, one of my good friends here. She told me that they had gotten ticket to go to the game the next day and I was invited...so fun! There was a group of about 10 of us that were going to see Sierra Leone take on South Africa in a World Cup qualifying game.
We met up with the rest of the crowd on Saturday and set out on foot to the stadium. Several of the girls were wearing green (which is representative of both teams). However, since the majority of the group was white - we kept getting comments about South Africa. We tried to explain along the way, that we were cheering for Salone.
As we neared the stadium, the crowds were bigger and bigger. Got in the stadium and got to our seats and just took it all in. Gradually the stadium became more and more full. The game was pretty exciting! It was so fun to be in the crowd with all the fans. They were all very into the game. Looking around - you could see all ages watching intently, some with radios right up against their ear as they watched and listened. The best part of the whole game was when SL scored their goal. The crown lept to their feet - everyone cheering, yelling, singing, jumping with arms in the air. It was awesome!
Sierra Leone won the game 1-0. After the final whistle blew, many of the fans rushed onto the field to carry the players on their shoulders as they made their victory lap. It was such a great experience...one I'm very thankful for!
Sierra Leone won the game 1-0