HCC Volunteer Experience

Codie Tredway: 2007 to 2008

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On the morning of January 27th 2008, the boys of HCC woke up to what they thought was a usual sleepy Sunday. Instead, to their surprise, Yaw told them that they would be taking part in the current pride and joy of their country, the African Cup of Nations, Ghana 2008. This football (or soccer) tournament is a fight for football dominance on the continent. This year, Ghana took great pride in hosting the Cup.

Unfortunately I missed the bus ride to Tamale, where the match took place, but I can tell you talking on the phone to Joe from the bus was virtually impossible due to 23 electric voices in the background. I met up with the boys in Tamale, and was so happy to see the huge smiles on their faces. The boys were unusually silent as we got our first looks at the inside of the brand new Tamale stadium. I remember Matthew said to me, “This doesn’t seem real. I feel like we are still watching a TV.”

After the utter excitement died down a bit, I think the boys did actually take in the second half of the first match (Angola vs. Senegal). The second game was between South Africa and Tunisia. By this point, there were even a few friendly bets flying around on what the score would be. At the end of Game 2, you could see the signs of a day filled with so much excitement, especially in the faces of the little guys. Great memories had been made, as we all took one last look at the field and got ready for the 4-hour bus ride back to Sandema.

We arrived home after 4am, and all climbed into bed (except for Mark and Daniel Jr. who bathed and got ready for school!) thankful for the amazing day. I think this event gave the boys that much more pride in being Ghanaian, and gave them the irreplaceable feeling of really being a part of something that is so meaningful to them!