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A TV on the Head and a 30-Foot Pole on the Shoulder

I shrieked when I looked down the long dirt road and saw what Seth and Oliver were doing.

“You said it would be easy!” I screamed as I ran towards them. “You said it would be ‘no problem’ to move the TV here from the office! This is NOT easy!”

Perched precariously atop Seth’s grinning head was the massive television, jerking heavily with every step Seth took as he strode towards the guesthouse.

If possible, Oliver’s situation was even more shocking: on his shoulder teetered a thirty foot wooden antenna, bouncing up and down with springy danger. The talon-like metal antenna top clawed the air threateningly.

“You walked all twenty minutes from the office like this??” I wailed. “Are you okay??”

“No problem!” laughed Seth, reaching the guesthouse door and hoisting the TV from his head onto a plastic table.

YCC has no car of its own: just two rusty bikes. Therefore, I suppose there really was no other option than this classically Ghanaian (and endlessly impressive) head carry walk!

YCC Director John joined the other two men outside to deal with the antenna business. Like the famously photographed American soldiers at Iwo Jima hoisting the American flag in sweat-stained victory, John, Seth, and Oliver pushed that tall pole up, up, up until it leaned like a giant’s skinny peg-leg against the guesthouse wall!

Seth scurried and found two cement blocks to steady the base, and Oliver leaped atop a rickety wooden table to scale high enough to thread the antenna cable around a chink in the guesthouse wall, then along the roof. John found the cable’s end and threaded it into a crack in the kitchen window.

“See, no problem!” said my dear coworkers, wiping their brows and trotting into the kitchen. I stayed outside for a few more minutes gaping at the newly assembled apparatus before joining them inside.

Then came more gaping on my part! Now, John was wielding a foot-long butcher’s knife that he had borrowed from Millicent (who was busy cooking groundnut soup and so didn’t need it for the moment) and he was stabbing the knife into the electrical wires of the TV cable!

“Be careful!” I hollered.

John looked up calmly. “It’s easy if you’ve studied it,” he said, and then went back to work.

Some sort of wire splicing must have taken place, because after some more stabbing then sawing by John with the knife, then some fancy finger work, the television finally sprang to life! Hooray!

“I am so, so impressed,” I sighed in awe, sitting down to join my friends as the match began.

And all of this only to watch the Egyptian Pharaohs tragically beat the Ghana Black Stars one to zero in the finals of soccer’s Africa Cup of Nations!

African Cultural Values: Honoring Humanity
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