When you go to South Africa don't leave home without Binoculars and a zoom lens for taking great wildlife shots. If you forgot them at home for whatever logistical reason - no matter how, you definitely need to find a replacement and that is why, instead of surfing the spectacularly gently Durban's waves (perfect for beginners, as we are) we spent a interesting afternoon looking for a new zoom lense in the Gateway shopping centre in Umhlanga, a lovely neighborhood north of the city.
The atmosphere in the shopping centre is the same as everyone else but something is different, I can't describe why, ohh finally we got our 55-250 canon and we are ready to pay the ticket for our parking, and it is in that moment, in the newsagent where I realize what is going on today here, in the Gateway centre, Umhlanga, Durban, Kwazulu - Natal, South Africa, Africa....all magazines and newspaper front page articles are covered in capital letters with 100 Days To Go!
Curiously, I start to look at them one by one and I have to say the message from the Mayor of Thekwini, Obed Mlaba, is what got my attention:
"There are 100 days left until the start of the Fifa World Cup and South Africa is gearing up to show resident and visitors alike what makes our city the Warmest Place To Be for 2010! And, while we start to celebrate the arrival of an exciting feast of international football in Durban, let's also remember the incredible impact that the pending World Cup has had on the rejuvenation of our city.
Using the World Cup as catalyst for development that will provide the platform for future economic growth, we already have the state-of-art Moses Mabhiba Stadium that provides Durban with a world-class defining landmark. "..."
..The Article continues with a long list of rejuvenation but it is only at the end where the Mayor of the city brings up the South African Soccer spirit:
"Our Fan Fest also offers something no other in South Africa can - the chance to take a dip in the sea at half time!
Ultimately, though, it's the people of South Africa who will make the World Cup a success for the country. And with 100 days left, it's gratifying to see the enthusiasm and excitement growing. We are all stakeholders in this historic event and during the months of Jube and July, we will all became ambassadors for our country, responsible for proudly showing off the many wonderful sporting, enterteiment and scenic opportunities we have to offer.
This is our time to shine and show the world our hearts are as warm as our climate and our ocean!
And we have to say that's what we experienced daily!