Thursday, June 3, 2010

WELCOME TO OUR VISITORS!

GREETINGS FROM JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA!
MAXMOM here...
Welcome to all our international visitors!!!

There are only 7 days to go before the kickoff of the Soccer World Cup 2010 and our city is ready! Soccer World cup fever has decended like a monsoon. Visitors are arriving en masse.
Our beautifully redesigned airports are in full operation.  

Flags are flying, Vuvuzelas are blowing, Soccer Stadiums are ready, last touches are being made to parks, roads and trains and the mood of our country is warm with goodwill.
 
We are pleased to welcome all our visitors to our shores as well as those who will be watching from afar!
10 Years ago they said that we wouldn't get the bid for this event...
...then they said we wouldn't be able to provide the facilities...
...then they said that we wouldn't be ready on time...
They were right!...
We weren't ready on time...
WE WERE READY BEFORE THE TIME!!!

(The following pictures were taken off the internet)
Bloemfontein Stadium...

Cape Town Stadium...
Rustenburg Stadium...
Pretoria stadium...
Nelspruit Stadium...
Durban Stadium...
Port Elizabeth stadium...
Polokwane Stadium...
...and our very own
SOCCER CITY IN JOHANNESBURG...

Yes, we are ready for our visitors!!!
(The English team arrived this morning!)

I am no expert on soccer events, but I live in one of the host cities - Johannesburg - and can only comment from a lay person's point of view. As a citizen I see both positive and negative effects on us hosting this incredible event, so I am both excited and apprehensive...

Let me enlighten you as to what us normal citizens are facing and have faced...
Some of the negative things...

* Increased traffic congestion; where it takes people up to 2 hours to get to work
(another 2 hours to come home)

* Over 350 road accidents a day on our highways

* An influx of illegal immigrants and counterfeit goods

* Warnings for the world cup, which include:

- increased driveway robberies and hijacking in our suburbs
-increased corruption amongst officials
-increased human trafficking
-service concerns relating to electricity
-increased pickpocketing
-less police to deal with crime in suburbia since they are relocated to SWC events

* We have had attacks on our newly designed bus rapid transport systems because Taxi drivers feel marginalised

* Our schools and universities are closed for 6 weeks over the duration of the SWC, so children are more vulnerable to child trafficking

* There are concerns of Xenophobia as a result of the influx of illegal immigrants

* We have had strikes which have immobalised our harbours for weeks on end affecting businesses far and wide.

* We have 'fake' beggars on our streets who have 'hired babies' in their arms to canvas sympathy.

These are but a few of the concerns which average citizens have had to live with in the preparation for this event.
BUT...

On the positive side, the SWC has provided many jobs for our poverty sticken country over the past years. 
Our roads have seen 'extreme makeovers' which should substantially ease traffic congestion in the future.
We have all these new, beautiful stadiums and the possibility of publicity for more visitors to our beautiful country in the years to come.
Most importantly, we have the opportunity for our nation to unite in this event!
OUR TEAM IS READY AND OUR NATION IS READY!
So all in all....
WE WELCOME THIS EVENT AND WE WELCOME YOU!!!
...and for that, there are biscuits all round...

GO BAFANA BAFANA!!!
Sending lotsaluv to you all!


19 comments:

Deborah said...

Hi, I'm glad your beautiful country is all ready. Please try to stay out of harms way. I will be watching the game on TV. Also, I like your new name for your blog!
Have a great day!
xxoo
Deborah

Jake of Florida said...

Just as we were reading this, our national public radio station -- NPR -- had a segment on the World Cup in South Africa -- so I was looking at all the stadia as they were talking.

We still want to know - are we the Barkalot Bafanas or the Barkalot Bafanas Bafanas????

Inquiring dogs want to know!!!

Wirey love to you all.

Jake and Just Harry

KB said...

You were ready EARLY! For all the work involved, that's impressive. I hope that the negatives don't come to pass and the positive changes stay around.

I love the photo of you holding the King! And, Tammy's soulful eyes.

Jake of Florida said...

Thank you so much for answering our question!!! We really like the way our new name sounds -- but then we realized we may not be putting the accent where it belongs. We have it on the middle syllable -- but maybe it should be on the first or the third. (Our mom loves words -- so she made us ask!!)

And yes, your trees and ours are probably the same. Another name for the Poinciana or Flamboyant is the Flame Tree.

Wirey love.

The Barkalot Bafana Bafana

Ms. ~K said...

The new stadium is awesome.
When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, we went to Alaska for 3 weeks to escape the craziness.

Toffee loves his mom-loving time!

Hugs and bellyrubs to all,
~K

Mrs. JP said...

Wow, those are impressive stadiums. I can only imagine what a town might go through when so many people descend on it from every where! Please stay safe and keep those cute and cuddly faces close to you.
Blessings from all of us in the holler to you.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Your beautiful country has so many stadiums! I'd say it is more than ready!!! Please stay safe and have fun too!!! Love seeing all of the pictures!! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Nubbin' Tails said...

It's great to see the beautiful pictures and hear the ups and downs. My dad lived there back in the 80's when he was a wee lad. :-)

My question is how is it that you can look at noms for long enough for mom to take a picture? :-D

Wags!

Mr. Nubbin'

sprinkles said...

I love that first picture with all the flags from the different countries, very cool!

All of those stadiums are pretty impressive.

Who knew that such a good thing could bring so much bad with it.

Junior and Orion said...

Meowm says there were positives and negatives when the Winter Olympics were hosted here too, but we made it thru. We will be purring for all to go well for all of you!

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! WOW! Great Stadium. For sure it will be a great event. Have FUN and Stay Safe. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Wow those are great looking stadiums! But it is too bad that you normal folks have to put up with so much of the bad stuff - that is the kind of stuff that makes me glad we didn't get the Olympics here in Chicago. But it sounds like there are a lot of benefits that will have come out of it too and that is great!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

I don't know a thing about the sport but I'd sit in one of those stadiums with you and cheer when I was supposed to cheer (if someone would poke me in the side)☺

Living in a tourist community as I do each year from the end of May until the first week of September - especially on the weekends - our roads are filled with cars from all States in our Union. People drive a little more recklessly and stop and go when you least expect them to causing a lot of 'fender benders'.

But, as a community that sustains itself over the winter on summer tourist dollars, us locals learn to drive defensively and to be ready to give out directions to some of the best and prettiest areas in the State of Michigan when asked.

I, too, know the good and the bad and the ugly; however, yours sounds much more extreme. We don't have any child trafficking at all - at least I've never heard of any. No beggars that I've ever seen but at two in the morning - and if you are in the right part of town - you'll find drunks weaving back and forth like a yarn shuttle in the hands of an expert☺

The drunks are usually picked up by the police and housed overnight in our new, comfy, state of the art jail!

Sheila and Bob said...

Love your photos, stay safe.


Sheila & Bob

houndstooth said...

It seems that every celebration brings along those who will prey on the rest of society. I hope that the festivities go off without a hitch and that everyone has a good time. Hopefully it brings some good press to your lovely city, as well!

Lorenza said...

This kind of events bring good and bad things, right?
I am sure the goods will be a lot more than the bads!
We have been watching lots of tv programs that are showing us your country! It is pawesome!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I saw tour beautiful country on tv.
I heard about this awsome event on the radio this morning.
It is all over the news.
Your stadium is awsome.
We will cheer for you- so play hard.
Be careful. And by the way- I am the best pickpocket there ever was.
And NOBODY messes with me!
We love you
Love the adorable smiles of Tammy and Toffee
Love the photo of you snuggling with Toffee. That little doggy is loving the moment,

love
tweedles

Doris Sturm said...

Wow - what an interesting post. I learned a lot today! What a beautiful place you live in - I had no idea! I was thinking that with all the negative aspects of visitors, the term Xenophobia is actually a realonable not an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange...because look at all the bad things that happen when so many strangers come in all at once...that is terrible!

Why do people act that way when they are away from home? I think it's awful how opportunistic and selfish people are.

I sure hope nothing bad happens to you and your babies. You are such a sweet lady - be careful and just watch from home! Hire some dobermans while you're at it...or a shepherd or two...no kidding! Your dogs are way too sweet and I want nothing to happen to them either. They're such white little angels!
Much Love,
Doris
p.s. thanks for sharing those lovely photos of the stadiums. They look simply marvelous!

Jacqueline said...

Everything looks wonderful, but I hope the negatives are far less than expected...Sending positive energy your way, wishing you all only the best.