TJ Widbin 1

Live from South Africa: TJ from Cape Town

This article was originally posted on the official Kicks 4 Kenya blog by K4K founder TJ Widbin. To read the original post or donate to Kicks 4 Kenya, a non-profit that specializes in touching the lives of children in Africa through soccer, click here.

World Cup 2010 is officially underway and the country is going crazy! We had our first match at Cape Town on Friday night between France and Urugay. The atmosphere at the start of the game was beyond words. Closest thing I have ever experienced close to it was 2005 Capital One Bowl, and all Iowa fans will know why. It was absolutely incredible. Unfortunately the game itself was a bit of a dud as they drew to a 0-0 tie.

Every game the sponsors: Visa, Kia, Sony, and Adidas all bought tickets for underprivileged youth in Cape Town so they can take in the World Cup. Myself and my friend Marlena from Canda were put in charge of taking care of these kids. We brought them into the stadium, showed them their seats, and took care of them in general. It was an awesome experience. I wish pictures could show the look in these kids eyes as they saw the field and were in total awe. It was a good feeling knowing I was helping these kids enjoy this experience of a lifetime. The kids will never ever forget this and that was special. I will be doing this for each of the next 7 games at Cape Town and am very much looking forward to it.

Last night I went to the Cape Town waterfront to a watch party hosted by FIFA sponsor MTN. It was awesome to see the support of USA and England. Everyone had their colors on and a few people even dressed up as medieval was a good time. I would have liked to get a win out of the deal but consider how we scored our goal I will without a doubt take a tie. USA needs to figure out some offense though for their next match on the 18th and get 3 points. Another tie will not be sufficient and a loss will without a doubt knock us out of contention for the round of 16.

The rest of the games are pretty boring for the most part. Everyone is so afraid of losing their opening match that they are all quite dull. Hopefully things pick up tonight as Germany takes on Australia!

It has been so cool getting to know volunteers from all over the world. You learn so much getting together and talking to everyone because there are literally people from every part of the world. I have met some amazing people and already know I will mis them a ton when its time for us all to leave. I have made friends for life that is for sure.