Today was a day for cultural experiences. To start, I went to a much more Kenyan church than usual. There was dancing, modern music and skits; all in English which was great. I even got invited back 🙂
Afterwards, I got lunch with a friend from APU and headed off to my first African soccer match with my Kenyan friend Collins! Gor Mahi, an ethnic Luo team was playing Mathare United, a team from the slums. The first thing that hits you in the stadium is the incredible level of noise, courtesy of the ever-present vuvuzulas. It’s deafening, especially when they blow one right in your ear. Then there’s a cheer-squad that chants, cheers, shouts at police, harasses girls and does pretty much anything everything else during the game. They went the entire 90 minutes without losing their noise level or enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, the game ended 0-0 and was kind of boring. You’re packed into bench seating with the sun shining straight in your face so I can’t say it was the most comfortable experience either. The best part of the game though was afterwards when the crowds descend on the street. All traffic is stopped in this sea of people walking home. There’s dancing in the streets, fighting, beating on the cars stuck in traffic, and a lot of general commotion. Unfortunately as the only muzungu there I became an interesting attraction as well. They would ask me something in Swahili and laugh and laugh when I didn’t understand. It felt a little like being in Japan except there I can defend myself. Anyway, it was loud and crazy and really hot, but definitely a good cultural experience.