Each of Ghana’s goals against the USA is followed by an eruption of shouts and drumming, everyone spilling out of PPAG’s Young & Wise Center to dance in the streets. So it is no surprise that when the game is over, the afternoon light golden, an entire country stops to celebrate.
The images say it all, and I wish I knew how to post the short movie clips I took, so you could hear the drums, the singing, the gourd shakers, and the shouts. I parade through the streets with the PPAG kids, who drape me with yellow-red-and-green flags, hats, and ribbons, and I congratulate everyone I meet, laughing at their taunts of “Don’t cry, Obruni!”
Later, spent and sweaty, and covered with dust, I send Kojo down the block for a basket of beers and sit in front of our house, drinking Castle Milk Stouts with Effo and our neighbor, Uncle John, whose granddaughters dance around us and help us shout to all passerby, “Ghana besha debiya!”
Ghana will always win!
It is an optimistic statement, since their next match is against world champions Brazil, the best team in the world. But tonight, nobody cares. Their beloved Black Stars have surpassed all expectations and filled their homeland with a thick dose of hope and victory. And I am here, in the thick, musty smell of it all, Milk Stout in my belly, an honored guest in one of the happiest places I’ve ever been.