Amen: Football’s forgotten heroes

first_img29 June 2010With the spotlight on South Africa during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it’s easy to forget what the game of football is like elsewhere on the continent – played far, far away from glitzy stadiums, often in remote dusty villages with hand-made balls, bare feet and a couple of crooked sticks for goal posts.This is what photographer Jessica Hilltout is trying to show. Her recently launched book, Amen, seeks to draw attention to the spirit of grassroots football in Africa, and the highly dedicated players and teams that follow the game as if it were a religion.MediaClubSouthAfricaFree high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. “All the people who live and will remain in the shadow of the World Cup deserve to have a light shone on them, not just for their passion for the game, but more so for the fundamental energy and enthusiasm that shines through the way they live,” she says.In this regard her work delves deeper than the sport itself: “This book is not just about football, or indeed about football in Africa. It is a book that tries to capture the beauty and strength of the human spirit. It pays homage to Africa. It is a tribute to the forgotten, to the majority,” Ogilvy & Mather’s creative director, Ian Brower, writes in the introduction.MediaClubSA Gallery: Grassroots African football“Africa is a world like no other … there lies a passion for the festival, a reason to rejoice. These moments are centred around music and football. Often the two go hand in hand. Football is the one activity that costs nothing.”So be itHilltout believes, and has largely based her work on the premise, that in Africa, football is not a religion, but everything a religion should be. “Football is the glue in Africa – it’s a necessity,” she says.“In every little village, no matter how far off the main road, I’d find people playing football at sunrise and sunset. One small village could have as many as five football fields. Waking up at dawn I’d join the players and spectators gathering together on the football field, like we were congregating at a shrine or a temple. There was a true sense of devotion to the game.”The book’s title is also based on this sentiment. “Amen is a four-letter word, the same in every language. It means ‘so be it’,” Hilltout says.“This is very pertinent to Africa in terms of how people accept their fate, with pride and dignity, tough as it may be. It was also the word I heard the most during my trip. When I would leave groups I had been working with, they would say to me: ‘Amen, amen. May this project work. Amen, amen.’”A life on the roadHilltout, who was born in Belgium in 1977, is no stranger to travelling and a life on the road. As a child her family moved around a lot and spent time in the Seychelles, US, Canada, Hong Kong and South Africa.After studying photography in Blackpool, UK, and a brief stint in advertising in Europe, she bought an old Toyota Land Cruiser with her boyfriend in 2002 and made a 15-month trip from Belgium to Mongolia.Following this, the two shipped the car to South Africa’s port of Durban and drove up through Africa, back to Brussels. Throughout the journey, Hilltout kept log books and a photographic record of the regions and places she explored.“Although there was no thread holding my work together at that stage, it was the foundation of what I am trying to express now: highlighting the value of simple, banal things – that stuff that people usually overlook. My first photographic project that held any ground was called the Beauty of Imperfection, which Amen is linked to. It also pays tribute to the imperfect.”Return to AfricaIt was Christmas 2008, back in Europe, when the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup sparked the idea of a grassroots football book for Hilltout and her dad, who ended up working with her on the project. “We thought, that with this huge event happening for Africa as a continent, why don’t we show everyone what football means in the little villages, cities and towns across Africa, the places that aren’t going to be the focus tournament?”For the project, Hilltout concentrated on Southern and West Africa, covering about 20 000km between South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.“There was no real planning for the trip. Nothing had really been pre-arranged. I got on a flight to Cape Town from Brussels, and with me was a Hasselblad with one 80mm lens, 300 rolls of film, a digital camera, my log books, a mini printer and a stock of new footballs. I packed this all into an old VW Beetle that was equipped with a roof rack, three spare tyres, two jerry cans and a higher suspension.”Southern Africa was a natural choice because Hilltout’s dad had the Beetle stored in Cape Town, so she borrowed it for that portion of the trip, but West Africa was a more spontaneous choice.“I decided to go to West Africa because I had never covered that region before … and I knew there were lots of big football countries there, like Ghana and Ivory Coast – so I just flew to Accra. Once I arrived there I bought a Nissan Vanette and kitted it out with four big boxes: one for footballs, one for food and the other two for clothes and film. The whole trip was done on gut-feeling. I would literally arrive in a village … start talking to people … show them my log books with the ideas I had for the project … then off we’d go.“All in all I spent seven months on the road and worked in about 20 different places across the two regions. Each place has a story to it, and that’s covered in the book. There are stories about the guys who fixed boots in the villages, the guy who took in hard-up youngsters and mentored them, and the guy who owns a ‘football cinema’ in West Africa that’s built of mud and sticks, but it can seat 60 fans – and you can even get a fried egg and cup of coffee in there while watching the game!“After this I returned to Europe to put it all together. In total I spent about two years on the project.”Communicating with locals wasn’t too much of a problem for Hilltout, as she speaks English, French and Spanish, but she admits things were a little difficult in Mozambique, as she couldn’t converse in Portuguese. “I drafted a letter and got it translated from Spanish into Portuguese and addressed to the chiefs of the villages I intended visiting.”The contacts she made in the bigger towns, who she says became “her very good friends”, helped her connect with communities in far-off places and translated when only an African language was spoken.“The people with whom I worked were all essential to this project. Once they understood the message I was trying to portray, once I’d gained their trust, they gave me more than I could ever have dreamed. They let me into their villages and homes. They proudly showed me their shoes, their balls, their jerseys.”Trust was a big thing, Hilltout says. “Sometimes it took three days before I took out my camera. I was very aware of the fear of deception, and how these people had perhaps been promised things before. They think people are coming to take – not to give back. And I think this is very well reflected in the history of Africa.”Tired ballsThroughout her trip she exchanged the manufactured footballs she’d brought along for more intricate, home-made ones put together with old socks, pieces of cloth, string, plastic bags and – believe it or not – condoms. Hilltout says that once inflated and covered in a few protective layers, these can keep a ball bouncy for up to three days!“Eventually I found myself with 35 such balls and realised the extent to which they represented the essence of my trip and the heart of the project. I am looking to exchange the balls I collected for equipment for all the players who made this project come to life … so that they can keep on playing the game they love,” she says.UK sports writer and author David Goldblatt talks about this collection extensively in the foreword to Amen: “A few years ago I wrote on the opening page of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football: ‘Football is available to anyone who can make a rag ball and find another pair of feet to pass to’, as if making a rag ball were a simple matter.“How glib, how foolish, and from a man who had never made a rag ball in his life. I still have not made a rag ball, but I have had the good fortune to see the photographs in this book, Jessica Hilltout’s Amen, and I will never take the manufacture of footballs, from any material, so lightly again.“Among the many things that I have learnt from this book, is that getting or making that ball is no simple task. On the contrary, it is emblematic of the inventiveness, diligence, creativity and single-minded focus of Africans in particular, but of poor communities everywhere,” Goldblatt writes.Exhibitions and book salesThe photographs in Amen are on exhibition in Cape Town, at the Joao Ferreira Gallery, from 15 June to 24 July. A similar exhibition is on in Brussels, Belgium until 18 July.The 208-page hardcover version of Amen is currently available in all major South African book stores for R600 (US$77), and available in magazine format for R190 ($24).Where to from here?“Part one of my campaign is to get the word out about the book, and then the next step is to use the publicity and funds generated from it to make a sustainable contribution to the football communities I photographed in Africa,” Hilltout says. “Of course, I can’t go back and help everyone, but want to focus on two highly committed groups I met in West Africa.”While Hilltout is working to make a positive change in lives of those she photographed, she says her own outlook has changed too.“The life lessons I learned in Africa could never have been learned in Europe. This project has changed me. I’ve begun to understand the true importance of football, which would have been impossible if I hadn’t lived through all the stories in order to capture the pictures. Through football I think I understand a little more about life, or at least a certain way of living.”First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Ground-Source Heat Pumps Have Low Operating Costs

first_imgGBA Encyclopedia: Heat Pumps: The BasicsAre Affordable Ground-Source Heat Pumps On the Horizon?Podcast: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 1: The BasicsPodcast: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 2: Rules of ThumbPodcast: Ground-Source Heat Pumps, Part 3: Five QuestionsAir-Source or Ground-Source Heat Pump?Is a Ground-Source Heat Pump a Renewable Energy System?Ground-Source Heat Pumps Don’t Save EnergyGround-Source Heat Pumps (2010)Ground-Source Heat Pumps (2009)Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated House RELATED ARTICLES It’s true that the initial cost of a residential GSHP system is usually two or three times that of a conventional HVAC system. A GSHP is an upgrade, just like custom fixtures and furnishings elsewhere in the home. However, operating costs are routinely one-half to one-fourth those of conventional equipment, as are recurring maintenance costs, while the equipment service life is typically twice as long—25 to 30 years. These economic advantages result in part from the efficiency of the technology and in part from good design practices that emphasize properly sized equipment. A new-construction installation is more cost effective than a retrofit.A GSHP pays for itself quicklyThe typical payback period for the incremental cost of a GSHP system is three to eight years, which gives a GSHP a significant life-cycle cost advantage over conventional equipment. When the time comes to replace a GSHP, the ground loop remains available for use by the replacement equipment.Owners of GSHP systems will see savings each time they pay theirmonthly electric bill. With heating and cooling costs reduced by half or more, funds become available to pay other expenses. At some point—in two, five, or 10 years—the GSHP premium is exceeded by savings, and net benefits accrue. Before and after that point, users will enjoy improved comfort and environmental benefits, as well as safer, more efficient, and more reliable equipment.GSHPs harness renewable energy that is available anywhere and makethe energy available to anyone on any scale. Once installed, the equipment is unobtrusive. While some of the energy delivered by a GSHP comes from the electrical grid, most comes from the earth as free and sustainable energy. GSHPs work as promised and are available now.Read an opposing viewcenter_img Ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems collect ambient heat from the soil within 400 feet of the ground surface. This heat is concentrated by vapor-compression refrigeration units and delivered to conditioned spaces by conventional forced-air or hydronic mechanical systems. They reverse this process when in cooling mode. The technology has been used since the 1950s, so there are few unknowns. It works in nearly any climate or soil condition, and no longer needs to be proven. GSHP efficiencies are multiples of conventional HVAC equipment conversion. Heating coefficients of performance (COP) for GSHP systems range from 2.7 to as much as 5.0, while cooling energy-efficiency ratios (EERs) range from 13 to 27.You don’t have to burn fossil fuelsGSHPs use electric power to run the compressor, loop-circulating pump, and fan; there is no combustion or conversion of chemical energy to thermal energy. On average, a GSHP uses about 1 kW of grid power per ton of capacity (12,000 Btu/hour). A kilowatt of electricity equals 3,413 Btu, so this means a COP of about 3.5.Assuming that natural gas costs $1.25 per therm, a GSHP with a COP of 3.5 will cost less to operate than a 90% AFUE gas furnace unless electricity costs more than 16.5¢ per kWh—significantly higher than the national average electric rate of about 10¢ per kWh. When you compare lower maintenance needs of noncombustion GSHP machines with combustion units (especially as they age), the annual out-of-pocket advantage grows. A GSHP also eliminates the need for a separate air-conditioning system and its associated costs.last_img read more

FD Early Intervention Webinar: Creating Supportive and Inclusive Environments

first_imgSocial Emotional Development in the Early Years: Creating Supportive and Inclusive EnvironmentsDate:  November 12, 2015Time:  11:00 am – 12:30 pm EasternLocation: Social Emotional Development in the Early Years: Creating Supportive and Inclusive EnvironmentsCreative Commons Licensing, [Flickr, Baby Learns How To Grab 1-March 17, 2013]Amy Santos, PhD, and Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, will discuss the importance of creating supportive and inclusive environments to promote social emotional development in young children with disabilities. Santos and Ostrosky will discus specific topics including:  1) Research studies that highlight the impact of supportive environments on children’s social emotional development 2) Evidence based strategies that parents and military family service providers can implement in their respective settings 3) Considerations when assessing children’s natural environments 4) Parent coaching strategies to assist parents and caregivers reflect on and adapt their environments to support their children’s social emotional development.MFLN FD Early Intervention webinars offer CE Credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois. The EI team is actively pursuing more CE opportunities in states other than Illinois. Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia participants can obtain a certificate of completion to submit to their credentialing agencies for review for CE credits. Please check back frequently to the webinar Learn Event web page to receive updates on our progress. Access to the webinar page can be found here.For more information on future presentations in the 2015 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

Goa to post lifeguards at Harvalem waterfalls

first_imgPANAJI: Goa Tourism Minister Ajgaonkar on Saturday directed his department to post lifeguards at Harvalem waterfalls in Sankhalim, North Goa, following reports of locals and tourists dying at the spot. On Saturday, a 29-year-old man drowned there while on a picnic with seven other military hospital personnel from Panaji. The Minister said that locals had warned the group not to enter the water. “Time and again, the tourism department informs people not to throw caution to the wind,” Mr. Ajgaonkar said.The Bicholim police said that the picnickers went for a swim. Seven were rescued, but one drowned.last_img read more

Alejandro lifts Go for Gold in upset win vs CEU

first_imgJ-Jay Alejandro found his mark when it mattered as Go for Gold stunned Centro Escolar University, 91-89, in overtime heist Thursday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.ADVERTISEMENT GO FOR GOLD 91 — Gutang 20, Casiño 15, Pasturan 14, Alejandro 9, Gaco 9, Leutcheu 9, Haruna 7, Domingo 3, Salem 3, Dixon 2, Ocampo 0.CEU 89 — Ebondo 34, Wamar 16, Chan 12, Aquino 11, Manlangit 8, Cruz 4, Opiso 2, Arim 0, Caballero 0, Fuentes 0, Guinitaran 0, Saber 0, Uri 0, Veron 0.Quarters: 27-17, 43-38, 58-65, 84-84, 91-89. He first tied the game at 82 with a booming right corner three with 50.3 seconds remaining, but Art Aquino got fouled and cashed in on his foul shots to give CEU the 84-82 lead with 33.0 seconds remaining.Joseph Manlangit secured a steal on Matt Salem, but Aquino this time muffed both of his foul shots, setting the stage for Casiño to once again knot the score at 84 with a layup over Rod Ebondo with 5.1 ticks left.Orlan Wamar forced the issue on the other end and gave Go for Gold one last chance, but Casiño could not connect on his desperation three at the buzzer as the game went to overtime.It was the first defeat in four games for the Scorpions, which leaned on Congolese Ebondo, who finished with 34 points, 25 rebounds, and three blocks in the loss.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT View comments The former NU Bulldog drilled two treys in the extra period, the last giving his side a 90-87 lead with 2:43 remaining before the Scratchers defense got the job done with Jimboy Pasturan securing crucial offensive boards in the final minute.“It’s definitely a big win,” said coach Charles Tiu as his side leveled their standing at 3-3. “CEU is probably the best team in the league while we’re a new team. I like the fact that we fought and won against them.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlejandro fired nine points on a 2-of-6 shooting from downtown, while also nabbing four rebounds and two assists.Justin Gutang led Go for Gold with 20 markers, five dimes, and four boards, while JK Casiño had 15 points, including the team’s last five points in regulation to force the overtime against his former squad. AFP official booed out of forum Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Read Next LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Gilas Pilipinas bows to Australia in Fiba World qualifiers John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Ronaldo rested by Real for Copa del Rey

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo rested for Copa del Rey but Bale makes Real Madrid squad Iain Strachan 19:16 1/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cristiano Ronaldo - cropped Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Zinédine Zidane Karim Benzema Marcelo Sergio Ramos Gareth Bale Numancia v Real Madrid Numancia Copa del Rey Zinedine Zidane will not be able to call on the Portuguese superstar for a trip face Numancia, with Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric also left out Cristiano Ronaldo is one of five key players rested by Real Madrid for the Copa del Rey tie against Numancia, while Karim Benzema is sidelined by injury.Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos were excluded from the squad to face the second-tier team in the first leg of the round of 16 at Nuevo Estadio Los Pajaritos on Thursday.Benzema, who has struggled badly for form this season, suffered a hamstring strain in the 3-0 Clasico defeat at home to Barcelona in December and will not be involved. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Gareth Bale has been picked though, as the Wales international seeks to regain full fitness after battling calf and hamstring issues in an interrupted first half of the 2017-18 campaign. Here’s our 19-man squad for our trip to Soria to face @cdnumancia ! #RMCopa | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/hQ49Upha1I — Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 4, 2018 Seeking to reduce Barcelona’s 14-point advantage over them in the table, holders Madrid return to LaLiga action on Sunday at Celta Vigo, who knocked Zinedine Zidane’s team out of last season’s Copa del Rey in the quarter-finals.last_img read more