We’re Going to the World Cup: Côte d’Ivoire
On April 14, Jean-Sébastien Brettes, Melissa Gundlach, and Nicholas Kuhn, all New Yorkers originally from Europe & Africa, left for Africa to start “We’re Going to the World Cup!” (WGWC) followed by a small camera crew, making a pilgrimage down the continent from Morocco to South Africa, arriving in time to attend the 2010 World Cup. The 3-month journey takes them across 11 countries and over 5,000 miles.
The WGWC team reported from Côte d’Ivoire:
We won’t be forgetting the time we spent in Ivory Coast soon. It was full of adventure, reunions and some frightening moments. The most emotional moment of the journey was certainly the reunion between Jean-Sebastien (JSB) and Yacouba. Yacouba was like a second father to Jean-Sebastien when he was growing up in the Cote d’Ivoire. The emotional reunion after years apart was caught on camera. Check out the video ‘Happy Reunion’ and you’ll understand! And share in their joy of once again seeing each other!
After only a few days in Ivory Coast, we were involved in a car accident while driving to Aboisso to visit Didier Otokoré’s training center. This training center is a new addition to the Ivoirien soccer scene and has great potential. Unfortunately, due to the accident we were unable to make it there. Everyone survived the crash despite the high number of people involved. There is a short video that we were able to put together depicting the incident.
After recovering from the shock of the crash, we met some key people in the local soccer world of Ivory Coast, and we learned that there is a huge gap between the national team and the local teams. The next webisode focuses on this ongoing issue and potential solutions to resolve it.
Our next stop was Gagnoa, a famous region in Ivory Coast thanks to its soccer star: Didier Drogba! Through the help of numerous people, we had the opportunity to visit the small village where Drogba has his roots. We were showered with warm hospitality from the many new friends in this region. Sebastien was even invited to play with the local soccer club! After traveling back to Abidjan, we visited the stomping grounds where the Touré brothers, Kolo and Yaya, first developed their soccer skills. This too is captured in the next webisodes.
At the end of the trip in Ivory Coast, we found what paradise looks like! The beaches of Assinie are one of the most beautiful places in the world! We were able to play beach soccer and surf a bit after sharing a Ricard and a good meal with the Ricard team. Awesome!
After spending time in Ghana and crossing Togo and Benin, we are now in Nigeria for a couple of weeks.. Expect soon the summary of our journey in Ghana!