Most of our friends have left. All conversations start with with, “So, when are you leaving?” We avoid goodbye parties. It’s time to leave Ghana.
The movers come tomorrow. I can only scrape together a few final thoughts before I pack up the computer.
It’s nice to have the World Cup as a distraction from the move. At least for a few more hours today, Ghana is in the World Cup final race. You can feel the energy in the air. Half the cars in the city have Ghana flags on them and everyone on the street is
wearing Ghana World Cup team gear. It’s nice to see this level of support for the country. It’s the most patriotism I have seen exhibited to date in Ghana. Every time Ghana scores a goal in the World Cup, we open the window to our TV room and listen to the roars and the beeps and pans clanging and the cheers throughout the neighborhood.
After Ghana beat the U.S. in a recent game that put them into the final 16, the cheers lasted for a long time. Everyone likes to stick it to the U.S., especially countries that are forced to accept our charity. So I went outside the gate to my house with my son to check out the celebrations. A crowd of about 100 Ghanaian fans ran down our street waving Ghana flags and cheering and yelling. A guy with an American flag saw me, threw the flag down on the ground in front of me and my seventeen-month-old son, and stomped on it. The funny thing was that the crowd wasn’t behind him. He was the only jerk and as soon as he started stomping on the U.S. flag, all the Ghanaian people who hang out in front of my gate (the driver, our guard, their buddies) jumped up, booed and hissed at him and yelled for him to move on.
I think about my son and how freaked out he is going to be when he comes back from his playgroup tomorrow to an empty house. It’s so bizarre to me that life in Ghana is all he knows. My friends say he will be fine and that I am the one that will be out of sorts. I’m the one who couldn’t wait to get out of here and, now that leaving is upon me, I’m thinking of all the things I will miss about Ghana. The Ghanaian people, the sun, the beach, our house and yard, the great friends we made.
Two weeks from now, my son will wake up in a foreign city and not remember a thing about Ghana. But not me. And I have no regrets.
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