The Ghana Files: Soccer

The power has been out for a few days around here. Of course, when the power goes out so does the water pump. At this point, it’s nothing new to me. I am learning to work around it. I charge my electronics to 100% when the power is on, and store water in buckets when it’s working. I am learning to be OK with the fact that I can’t compulsively check my email and Facebook. I’m starting to enjoy my evenings spent reading by candle light.

This is a way of life for Ghanaians, and needless to say they have mastered the art of getting around power and water outages. Children carry buckets of water on their heads and meals are cooked on the coal pot. One thing I’ve noticed that Ghanaians are NOT willing to compromise on is soccer.  Soccer seems to be a way of life in Ghana. Everywhere you go you see signs advertising games, boys playing in fields or on the beach, people wearing jerseys. I walk past the primary schools during the day to see the students breaking to play soccer. Many times I have had my own classes cancelled for soccer, I even spoke to a colleague who had a very important staff workshop postponed for (you guessed it) soccer. It seems that in Ghana, soccer comes first.

Last night, there was an apparently very important match televised. Do you think a power-outage would stop Ghanaians from watching this event? Think again. As I laid in bed, somewhat anticipating a break from the blaring high-life music that plays the entire weekend (it’s always so quiet during power outages) all I could hear was screaming. Screaming and the sounds of generators. Across town, it seemed that almost everyone had managed to find generators so they could fire up their televisions for this event. You could hear yelling and hollering from the next town over, accompanied by the buzz of the generators. It was surreal. Ghanaians have priorities, and soccer seems to be one of them!

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