Watching soccer

How many national stadiums have a view of trees too? Lawson Tama in Solomon Islands does.

This blog is temporarily about travel and homeschooling – from Solomon Islands.

Arthur Wate (Solomon Star journalist, West Ham fan and friend) discusses football with Pete on Independence day.

7 July 2011 marked the 33rd independence celebrations of Solomon Islands from the UK. The ceremony is still incredibly British – march pasts, speeches, salutes and a brass band. A real parade – fooled me, I thought that meant trucks of people dressed up rather like the Notting Hill carnival or the infamous partying of Rio. Later in the day a noticably crowded Honiara split up so the kids joined a fotsol (v like football, except much faster and a lot more fun to watch) knockout competition; older ones took part in Solo Idol (a take on Pop Idol!) both at the Multipurpose Hall. For free indy music the teens were at the outside Art Gallery listening to the bands on stage. This was really fun and as a quarter of the Solomons population are aged 15-26 was super crowded.

Lola and Nell with custom dancers from Lau, Malaita - they'll be dancing at the Pacific Arts Festival in July 2012, which will be held for the first time ever in Honiara.

Nell: “I thought independence day was very interesting as Solomon Islands has only been independent for 33 years, that’s amazing. It’s amazing how many countries Britain used to own – Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Solomons, America and lots in Africa. And that’s only a few. But now England has made them all independent is has gone back to being a rather small island. I saw Solomon Islands’ PM, Danny Philip, making a speech in front of lots of people. The speech wasn’t that interesting, but it was quite interesting hearing an actual Prime Minister talk.”

And then there was the international friendly football game at the stadium Lawson Tama. I’d seen a toad hopping over this in the morning at the indpendence parade, but by 3pm kickoff it was clearly a football ground. Quite a low key game between Solomon Islands (blue strip) and Vanuatu, but I’m glad to say that Solo won 2-1. We paid $60 for a seat in the covered stadium (essential if it’s either sunny or as today raining all day), equivalent of about GBS 5. But for just $10 families go and sit on the steep banks on the opposite side (south) using umbrellas to protect themselves from rays or rain. The return match is at the weekend so hopefully we will go to that too. Pete is truly happy to have finally seen a big match at a ground that his groundhopping West Ham-mates will be horribly jealous of. As for me, Lola and Nell – it was our first international game (the squads are part of the Oceania league).

Nell: “The football game was very different to English football as anyone could just jump over the fences and there was hardly any security. We sat in a stand made of wood with a big gap underneath the seats so I thought it would be interesting to go under there. I did this – it was full of rubbish – and no one even noticed me there. When I tried to get up it was really tricky so Lola had to give me a leg up! The game was very enjoyable especially when Solomons won 2:1 against Vanuatu. Great result!”

Explore posts in the same categories: 15k miles from home

3 Comments on “Watching soccer”

  1. Jennifer Wate Says:

    This is a lovely piece of reflection. Arthur likes this-(Westham fan).


  2. Jennifer Wate Says:

    This is a lovely piece of reflection. Arthur likes this(West Ham fan).


    • homemadekids Says:

      Jenny, it is just lovely to be able to see you and family again. I’m glad we can write you up with suitable style too! It is fun being in the Western Province but I am also looking forward to my remaining weeks in Honiara so that I can catch up with you better! Lukim iu August. Nico x

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