When I first heard about homecoming, I thought it was a dance end-of-the-school-year thing. It turns out it's actually the first football game of the season! Needless to say, Holly & I weren't going to miss this experience, so we bought tickets + shirts and met up with some friends before the game began. It was pretty insane. The university pride here is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Students are always wearing jumpers, hats, shirts bearing the university's logo. The Golden Hawk is everywhere!
We arrived at campus early in the morning: the university was offering free pancakes and people were getting their faces painted. Music echoed in every corner of the square, supporters forming a sea of yellow and purple, representing our university's team. As we made our way towards the stadium, house parties had already kicked off, with students drinking from funnels in their front gardens, vuvuzela's sounding in every direction. The atmosphere was amazing. We got to our seats towards the front of the stands, cameras at the ready, anticipating the start of the game. The blue sky was clear of clouds, the hot sun promising a beautiful day. Horns sounded, cheerleaders formed a corridor, confetti exploded in the air and hundreds of players invaded the pitch. Cheers ensued, soon to be joined by music blasting from speakers. Three small planes flew over the pitch and the game began.
It was such a surreal experience, I always wondered if these kind of events were exaggerated on film and television. They're not. The enthusiasm and support towards the players so inspiring! My favorite memory has to be when one of our team players ran the whole pitch, escaping the opposition players grasps at every turn. Everyone got to their feet in a flash, cheering and clapping. I'm not into sports, but this was an amazing fun experience I will never forget! Unfortunately we lost, and I got a bit of heatstroke, but it was a great day none the less.
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|Holly & friends waiting for the game to begin|