A Travellerspoint blog

May 2006

World Cup Fever!

Front row seat to Angola's first World Cup...

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I LOVE the World Cup. There's a craziness about the sport in every country except the US. Then to bring that craziness together as each country vies for ultimate football glory? There are no words to capture the excitement. Just watch the fans... 'nuff said.

But this year will be great - Saudi Arabia is in again (but they usually lose quite quickly), AND Angola is in! World Cup runs all through June and I'll be right in Angola for it all. Angola's played some international friendlies (unfortunately losing 0-2 to Argentina on Monday) and is in Group D for the World Cup. Schedule below:

June 11, Group D3 Angola vs. Group D4 Portugal in Cologne
Friday, June 16, Group D3 Angola vs. Group D1 Mexico in Hanover
Wednesday, June 21, Group D3 Angola vs. Group D2 Iran, Leipzig

This is big for Angola; coming out of the civil war with team of Angolan players coached by an Angolan, and the first match against Portugal, their former colonial ruler. Read more at the NY Times

Their chances of winning the World Cup are 380/1 and winning their group 16/1 - but hey, I love an underdog...

Posted by hsustyle 06:56 Comments (0)

Angola, who?

A lot of people don't know much about Angola, except that it's in Africa. So for your educational purposes...

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Slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Border countries:DR of the Congo, Congo, Namibia, Zambia
Terrain: narrow coastal plain that rises abruptly to vast interior plateau.
Main natural resources: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore

Total: 12,127,071
(Of that, 5 million people are living in Luanda, a city built for 400,000 people)
Angola has a very young population due to the war (0-14 years: 43.7%, 15-64 years: 53.5%)
Religion: indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15%
Languages: Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Living below the poverty line: 70%
Infant mortality rate: 185.36 deaths/1,000 live births

Semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)

On the war:
Angola is slowly rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but UNITA renewed fighting after being beaten by the MPLA at the polls. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting.

Posted by hsustyle 05:35 Comments (0)

Ready or not... Here I come!

Departure date: June 6

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So I'm off to Luanda, Angola in 10 days. Did you know that already? If you didn't, here's a little rundown:

Leaving Boston on June 6 - Newark to Lisbon to Luanda

Interning with the World Food Programme (WFP) Health and Nutrition Office in Luanda on a new Maternal and Child Health (MCH) project.

Departing Luanda on August 3 - Luanda to Lisbon to Newark

Only two months, now I wish it were longer, but I've got to get back to my dietetic internship in Boston! Mostly just learning and seeing what working in the real world of International Nutrition is like. And I've been getting that real bad itch of needing to get out of the US.

Am I ready? Hell, no! I've got to go to REI and pick up some gear and chemicals and whatnot so that I don't get malaria...

Posted by hsustyle 07:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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