Where we are going and when...

  • Depart Tucson - June 5th
  • Arrive in Johannesburg - June 6th
  • Kruger National Park for Safari - June 7th - 10th
  • Capetown - June 10th - 18th
  • Capetown for France vs. Uruguay - June 11th
  • Simons Town for Shark Dive - June 12th
  • Capetown for Italy vs. Paraguay - June 14th
  • Winelands Wine Tour - June 15th
  • Durban - June 18th - 20th
  • Durban for Netherlands vs. Japan - June 18th
  • Victoria Falls - June 21st - 24th
  • Johannesburg to Tucson (via Atlanta) - June 24th

South Africa

South Africa

Monday, June 14, 2010

What is that noise?!

When it is four o’clock in the morning, what is the only noise you can hear echoing through the streets? What object creates a noise that has commentators describing as "annoying" and comparing it with "a stampede of noisy elephants, “a deafening swarm of locusts”, “a goat on the way to slaughter” and "a giant hive full of very angry bees”? What is the newest anthem of the 2010 World Cup? There is only one answer to these three questions: the South African vuvuzela. It took me more than an hour to learn how to use a vuvuzela, while it took the three boys only a few minutes. You must relax your lips inside the mouth piece and make a ‘farting noise’, then relax your cheeks and let your lips vibrate inside the mouth piece until you reach an outrageously loud trumpeting sound. This noise has caused a high demand for ear plugs according to Cape Town newspaper, Cape Argus, as well as advice on using baby oil or Vaseline to soothe swollen lips.
Before the World Cup 2010 started on June 11th, FIFA considered banning the use of vuvuzelas during games but it is obvious FIFA was unsuccessful, claiming the vuvuzelas too important to the history of South Africa to exclude them from the festivities. If you have watched any games on TV, you can hear what sounds like thousands of air horns continuously being blown, however this unique instrument is unlike any other. The vuvuzela was most popular in the 1970s in Mexico but Kaizer Chiefs FC fan Freddie “Saddam” Maake declares himself as the inventor of the first vuvuzela in 1965. He produced his version from an aluminum bicycle horn after removing the black rubber to blow with his mouth and later added an aluminum pipe to add length. “Saddam” has pictures of himself with his aluminum vuvuzela at South African and international soccer games all over the world, including the 1998 France World Cup. At some games, his musical instrument was considered a weapon and this ruling motivated Maake to find plastic companies to fabricate his invention. In 2001, a South African plastic company by the name of Masincedane Sport produced a plastic version in mass amounts. For the past week and a half, I have seen hundreds of fans carrying their trusty vuvuzelas by their sides, with an occasional blow or two to show some extra spirit. From grocery stores to gelato shops, the vuvuzelas are available throughout South Africa for purchase. Even if you do not like the buzzing noise created, you are not a true soccer fan until you own one of these South African favorites.