Just a note about yesterday's (17 Mar 2010) soccer match against the local team in Goz Beida. We arranged a match against this team as part of our St Patricks Day celebrations. Earlier in the day we had a parade where the shamrock (yes we managed to get some sent out here to the heart of Africa!!) was blessed and then was distributed to all the troops.
Irish Battalion v Goz Beida - St Patricks Day in Chad.
We did this at 0630 so as to avoid the real heat of the day. The game was played in a relatively cool (for Africa) 40 degrees and to say the 2000 odd locals supporters were partisan is understating things a wee bit. It ended nil all at full time and then went to penalties which we lost.
In the second picture you can just about make out a bit of yellow above all the heads towards the right side of the photo. That's the goalie being carried shoulder high by the jubilant supporters.
Enlargement to show crowd-surfing goalie (in yellow)!
All in all it was a tremendous occasion and in fairness it was great to see the local team win and for the villagers to celebrate something, there is little enough for them to celebrate at the best of times here.
Kevin Mc Donald
OC Recce Coy
102 Inf Bn