Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 47 - USA vs Ghana....

Would would have thought that it would come down to this. World Cup football match. USA vs Ghana. I happen to be living in Ghana, but am an American. Who do I root for? Do I root for my partria or side with the locals with whom I am living amongst? So much internal conflict!!!! :)

The days leading up to the game today have been pretty crazy. A majority of the cars seen driving down the road have Ghanaians flags on them. Everyone that you meet is talking about the game and how their "Black Stars" are going to end the match victorious. Everyone is willing to tell you their predictions on the game and by how many goals the Ghanaians will beat the US.

Andrew and I made arrangements to have a buffet dinner at the Capitol View with the other Burro office staff. It was nice to be able to just show up and have our food ready, without having to wait for an hour just to get our food.

Here is our table, with a great view of the game

Part of the waiter staff at the Capitol View, standing for the Ghana national anthem during the opening part of the game. The waiter on the left is Joseph. He knows us as we are regular customers

Our buffet

Minestrone soup, vegetables, egg fried rice, french fries, grilled chicken, fish fillets, beef stroganoff, and ice cream

Everyone deeply engrossed in the game

Rose, the burro office manager, worried that the US is going to score

So Jan brought these table decorations. Each country had its flag, along with three colored balloons representing the colors on its flags. When one team would score, we would pop a balloon of the other country (i.e. when Ghana scores, we pop a US balloon). This is the balloon situation at the end of regulation

The balloon situation at the end of overtime

Once the game was officially over, the entire place erupted. People were running around dancing in the restaurant. It was mad hysteria. The celebration continued the rest of the night, but in the streets. Driving arounds afterwords, there must have been thousands of people out on the streets banging pots and pans, blowing trumpets, and yelling. (Kind of reminds you of a King family New Years eve celebration).

Andrew and I were discussing this evening how awesome it is that these third world developing countires have something to rally around. Had the US won this evening, would you even known it driving down the road? Sure there may be select pockets of people in the US that would be out celebrating, but for all intents and purposes, it would have largely unnoticed, unless you happened to watch the game. Here in Ghana it is a completely different story. The ENTIRE country rallies around their football team. You see people, anywhere from young children to older adults running around the streets after a football win. Andrew and I have both spent time in latin and south America and the same phenomenon occurs. Your national football team wins, you are happy for days. If they lose, it is almost as if there was a death in the family.

Andrew and I were hypothesizing that perhaps it has something to do with the socio-economic status of the countries. Perhaps because the people do not have a lot materially, they find out things to rally around and prioritize in their lives. How awesome it would be for an entire country to have something to rally around. Something to get excited over and something to celebrate. Let us in American take note from these people. Let's find something that we too can all rally around as a country. After 9-11, for a time it appeared that the country was united. But shortly thereafter, everyone slipped back into their own little world. Shame, shame, shame


katie k said...

Your party looks like it was so much fun! I love the picture of everyone watching the game. I also like the fun table decorations and how you popped the balloons. Insightful thought... it would be nice if our country had something to rally around :)